Peanut Butter Granola Bars

I’m always on the hunt for easy snacks to make that are perfect for grabbing on the go or packing for lunches for work. So naturally, granola bars seem like a fairly obvious snack to make.

And I must say, these granola bars not only curb any sort of peanut butter cravings I have but they are also super healthy!

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I also had quite a bit of fun packaging these bars. 🙂

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Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Adapted from Five Heart Home

Makes 8-10 granola bars

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 1/2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup flax seed
  • 1/2 cup hemp seed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

In a small/medium sized pot add the peanut butter, agave and coconut oil and cook on medium/low heat until all melted and smooth, stirring occasionally.

Once blended and smooth, remove pot from heat and stir in the oats, flax seed, hemp seed, vanilla extract and cinnamon.

Next, pour the mixture into an 8×8 square baking dish, spreading the mixture evenly around the dish and press down firmly.

Pop in the freezer for 2-3 hours or until firm to the touch.

Once bars are firm enough, slice bars into desired size and store in the fridge.

*I would suggest wrapping each bar in wax paper to keep them from sticking to eachother.*

Enjoy!

Red Pepper & Broccoli Spaghetti

Have you ever had one of those dishes that you just can’t get enough?

This pasta dish happens to be that for me, as I’ve made it three times in the past week. It is just so good!

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I’ve also recently become obsessed with cashew parmesan cheese, so sprinkling on some of that on this spaghetti really takes this dish to the next level.

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But the pasta on its own is still delicious!

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Red Pepper & Broccoli Spaghetti

Makes 4-5 servings

  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups red pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2-3 cups greens of choice (spinach, kale, arugula and spring mix all work wonderfully)

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente.

Once cooked, remove from heat, drain and set aside.

In a large pan, add the olive oil and garlic and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until garlic begins to brown lightly. Add the red peppers, broccoli, basil and oregano and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often.

Add the cooked spaghetti noodles to the pan and stir to combine.

Next, add your choice of greens and stir again to combine.

Remove pan from heat and dish out immediately.

If you desire, sprinkle with some cashew parmesan cheese (this recipe is divine).

Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Baked Oatmeal

So I am kind of unsure if I should even call this a breakfast item, considering it tastes just like you are eating a sinfully delicious dessert. It’s uber chocolately and actually healthy!

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This bad boy is packed with tons of protein and fiber, so why not treat yourself to a delicious and healthy breakfast dessert?!

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Double Chocolate Baked Oatmeal

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie and Spark Recipes

Oatmeal:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup unsweetned applesauce
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 tbsp agave
  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsweetned cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp hemp seed
  • 1 tbsp flax seed

Icing:

  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp agave
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • pinch of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add all of the oatmeal ingredients together in a small bowl and mix until fully combined.

Pour oatmeal into a greased 1 cup sized baking dish or ramekin for 20-23 minutes.

While the oatmeal is baking, combine all the icing ingredients together in a small bowl and stir until fully combined. Once combined, set aside.

(It can take a minute or two for the agave/milk and cocoa powder to fully combine, but just keep stirring until it does. If mixture is too dry, add a little more milk.)

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Slather on the icing and enjoy!

Coconut Date Cookies

I recieve a lot of requests from friends and family members on sugar-free recipes and let me tell you, that is easier said than done. I’m not a believer in artificial sweeteners (like Splenda), so trying to find a natural way to sweeten desserts is no easy task.

So I’ve recently discovered the glory that is date paste and I am in love! What a perfect natural sweetener to add to baked desserts!

These cookies are the perfect example of a simple recipe consisting of date paste. I just can’t get enough!

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Coconut Date Cookies

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp flour
  •  pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup date paste (Here is the recipe I used)
  • half a flax egg recipe (1/2 tbsp ground flax+ 1 1/2 tbsp water)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small/medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda and set aside.

In a different medium-sized bowl, mix together the butter and date paste. Next, add the flax egg and vanilla and mix until combined.

Add the flour mixture into the butter/date paste mixture and mix until fully combined. Then, add the coconut and mix again.

Scoop up chunks of the cookie dough and drop on a lined cookie sheet and flatten them down slightly.

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

*Makes 10-12 small cookies.

Have a great weekend!

Healthy Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Brace yourself for the most chocolatey brownies you will ever eat.

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Seriously.

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These are the richest fudge chocolate brownies I’ve ever tried.

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Bonus points: they are actually healthy!

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I dare you to try to eat just one! 😉

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Healthy Chocolate Fudge Brownies

  •  1/3 cup unsweetned applesauce
  • 2/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 egg replacers ( I use this brand, but anything similar will work)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp spelt flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder

Icing recipe (adapted from SparkPeople)

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp agave
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tbsp almond milk

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix the applesauce, agave, vanilla extract and the egg replacers together until smooth.

In a small bowl, add the spelt flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt until combined.

Add the contents from the flour mixture bowl into the larger bowl and mixture until perfect combined and clump-free.

Pour mixture into a greased 9×9 square pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Once cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for at least an hour.

To make the icing, mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Add more milk to smoother.

Slather icing on the brownies and enjoy!

Chocolate Chickpea Brownies

So these brownies sort of started as an accident.

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I wanted to try my hand at making blondie brownies, but while gathering all the necessary ingredients I realized I was all out of chocolate chips.

Determined to still make some tasty brownies, I altered the recipe so now they are no longer blondie brownies, but just regular old chocolate brownies.

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Still absolutely delicious! So all is good! 🙂

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Chocolate Chickpea Brownies

Adapted from Healthy High

  • 1 can (540mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

First, grease an oven safe baking dish with some vegan butter or cooking spray. I used a 9.5 x 7.5 baking dish, so anything with similar dimensions should work just fine!

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Add all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.

Spoon the batter into the baking dish and smooth out.

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Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the brownie comes out clean.

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Remove from the oven and allow to cool. These brownies are super moist, so make sure they are completely cooled before you try cutting them and/or removing them from the dish.

This recipe makes about 12-14 pieces.

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Nutrition information per brownie square (in a 14 piece serving):

  • Calories: 144
  • Fat: 7.1g
  • Sodium: 272mg
  • Carbohydrates: 17.7g
  • Fiber: 2.7g
  • Sugar: 6.3g
  • Protein: 3.9g

I love how healthy this dessert is. I feel much less guilty about eating several of these… 😉

Vegan Hot Chocolate

I’ve been itching to try making vegan hot chocolate for some time and finally got around to tying it. And it is ridiculously chocolately!

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None of that watery, sort of chocolate flavour  drink. Pure, rich chocolate flavour!

Vegan Hot Chocolate

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

  • 1 1/4 cups almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp vegan chocolate, shaved

In a saucepan, add the almond milk, cocoa powder, sea salt, vanilla extract, agave, cinnamon and nutmeg and cook on medium-high heat, stirring every so often.

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Next, shave the chocolate with a zester and add to the saucepan. Stir.

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When the mixture begins to bubble a bit (about 10-12 minutes), remove from heat and pour into desired cup.

Enjoy!

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You can add whatever adornments you wish, however I kept mine simple 🙂

This recipe makes one drink.

Nutrition information:

  • Calories: 214
  • Fat: 8.2g
  • Sodium: 436.8mg
  • Carbohydrates: 38.3g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 29.3g

This drink is perfect for those cold days (which, sorry to say, we will be having lots of those soon enough).

What is your favourite cold day drink?

Have a great Friday! 🙂