I want to say thank you all so much for your sweet comments and your awesome feedback from Monday's post! It was very helpful--I have all kinds of ideas now, so thank you!! There were a few topics brought up that I have posted about before about so I want to send some quick links out. And for those wanting everything in baby steps--that is PERFECT! That's the only way to make changes......it is a very long process--believe me (remember how I used to eat nachos every day for lunch? yeah.)
If you are looking for small ways to start, start with THIS series of posts (start at the bottom) and it covers one topic at a time.
How to get your kids to eat "weird food" HERE
Snack ideas HERE
Lots of requests for gardening.......but you see, I am not that awesome of a gardener! This is something that doesn't come natural to me.....at all. Everything I do each year basically comes from trial and error.....but the more I try the more we have to eat. I wrote THIS post about some basic stuff, and I will continue to post this year as I plant and kill things. I have a board on pinterest that I've been pinning good tips so be sure to check those out too.
Make sure to read the comments in these posts because all of the info and tips are juicy and delicious.
On to today's post.
We are going to make......bars...?
I'm not sure what to call them.
They aren't really granola bars.
Fruit and Nut bars sounds like something for constipated old people.
The kids thought I should just call them cookies. (always a good sign when making something healthy)
In the process of making them, I decided the mixture looked a little bit like......bird food!
But don't let that deter you......these pack a lot of power for such an easy snack to make.
So there we have it. Bird Food Bars!
I really liked making these--not only can you identify EVERYTHING going into them (no artificial stuff....these are REAL food) you can throw in whatever you want.
I have some races I'm looking forward to this spring and summer and I have recently started my training.....which means I am always hungry! When I get off the trail I need something to tide me over until I get home, and these are packed with the sweetness and saltiness that I crave after I run.
Sweet and Salty Bars
This isn't an official "recipe" (surprise, surprise),
but here is a list of the ingredients that I used.
Play around with whatever nuts, seeds, or fruit you want to add.
1lb of pitted dates (found in the bulk sections of health food stores)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of cinnamon
about a cup of almonds, roughly chopped
a few handfuls of rolled oats AND rolled wheat
large handful of salted sunflower seeds (you don't have to use salted seeds, but I crave salt after a run so I decided to throw in something a little bit salty.)
large handful of raw pumpkin seeds.
child size [see photo below] handful of flax seeds.
handful of chocolate chips
Puree the dates in a food processor until a paste starts to form
(this is your "glue" to hold your bar together)
Add vanilla and cinnamon.
Continue to puree until it forms a big crazy date-paste ball inside your machine.
(at this point it doesn't look very awesome)
Now is the fun part!
Put your date-paste-ball and all of your other ingredients into a large bowl and get some adorable little hands to mix it for you.
Mix and mix and add a little more of this and that until you've fit as many nuts and seeds as the dates will hold.
The mixture is soft and it leaves you with a few options for how you want to shape your bars.
You could even roll them into bite sized little snacks.
I wanted to cut them, so I pressed them out onto a pan and put them in the freezer for about an hour, so they would cut easily. I decided to keep them in the freezer to store them--it only takes a few minutes for them to thaw out when you are ready for a snack.
These are pretty high calorie (so don't eat them all at once!), but those nuts and seeds are packed with healthy fats and protein that your body will love as an afternoon snack, or pre/post workout.
Also a great filling snack for your kids....and they will think they are cookies. perfect.
The possibilites for flavors of these are endless.
You can throw in any kind of nut or seed, or add dried fruit like coconut, cherries or apricots.....yum.
I'd love to hear if you make another flavor!