baking, breakfast, dietitian, gluten free, nutrition, recipe, snack, training

No Bake Protein Oat Bars

Three day weekends are the best! Especially when they fall on a holiday! This past weekend was filled with beach volleyball, friends, love, and absolutely gorgeous So Cal weather. I won’t go into too much detail (especially as I know the East Coast has been decimated by blizzard after blizzard..sorry New England friends!) BUT I thoroughly enjoyed summer weather and beach cruises this weekend.

Matt works a busy schedule so I try to keep granola bars (<10 g sugar, ❤ g fat, and 3 g fiber/serving- a lofty goal!) and other healthy snack options on hand. Today as he was packing his lunch, said healthy items were no where to be found. So to remedy that situation, I made use of some extra sunflower seed butter and decided to make my own granola bars!

Homemade granola bars are SUPER easy and you can control what ingredients you add. Want more protein? Add nuts or protein powder. Fiber? Chia seeds and oats can provide a soluble solution. They are so customizable that it makes you question why you spent $3.99 on that box of granola bars from TJ’s (which I did once I was done making these!) Plus, have you read the label on a protein bar from health food stores? Most have ingredients you can’t pronounce and aren’t the “clean eats” that most active individuals want to put into their body. Instead of spending the money on store bought granola/protein bars, control the ingredients and make your own! It’s healthier and YOU’RE in charge of the additives!

Everything I used in the bars today, I had on hand- that’s how easy they are! Add your favorite mix ins and experiment with what works for you! It literally took me 10 minutes start to finish to make these!

granola bars

No Bake Protein Oat Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 c sunflower seed butter (or any nut butter)
  • 1/2 c pepitas
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (any type, I used whey)
  • 2 TBS chia seeds
  • 2 TBS hemp seeds
  • 1 TBS cinnamon
  • drizzle of maple syrup
  • almond milk

Directions

  1. Add oats, sunflower seed butter, pepitas, protein powder, chia and hemp seeds, and cinnamon, stirring to combine. Mixture with be very thick.
  2. Add drizzle of maple syrup and a pour of almond milk. Combine mixture. It should begin to form together. If it is too thick to stir, add more almond milk.
  3. Combine until the mixture resembles cookie dough.
  4. Line a 9×9 baking dish with wax paper. Press granola bar mixture into dish. Fold over wax papper and remove from dish
  5. Place in the freezer to hardern for 15-20 minutes. Remove and cut into bars. Store in the freezer/refrigerator or airtight container.
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Maple Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

Since I’ve passed my RD exam I’ve had every intention of blogging regularly and posting really awesome pictures of all the cool stuff I’ve been up to. However, that did not happen. As much as I would love to be the dietitian that blogs on a regular basis, I decided, or rather realized that I’m better suited to post when I am feeling most inspired. And maybe if I have a really amazing recipe to share!

After I tackled the hurdle of passing my RD exam, I joined the league of Americans searching for a job. It was definitely a long and arduous process. I obsessively searched Indeed every day, upgraded my LinkedIn to premium and utilized my networking skills to see what I could find. During the internship I couldn’t wait to not have work to do but once I was jobless, I quickly realized I missed the work. I guess it’s true when they say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

Thankfully, my hard work and obsessive job searching led to two great opportunities! I am working in a hospital one day a week and will work full-time as an outpatient RD for a medical group in LA (my same job from before my internship)!

I couldn’t think of any better way to celebrate fall and new jobs than pumpkin muffins! These paleo pumpkin muffins were created 2 years ago when I was doing CrossFit and first heard about paleo. While I’m not a die-hard paleo-eater, I do love the way many paleo bloggers create some amazing grain free recipes! While the recipe is not completely paleo (oat topping) you can certainly change some ingredients around to make it paleo!

Ingredients

1 cup almond meal (ground up almonds)
1 cup pumpkin puree (I used Trader Joe’s Organic pumpkin puree)
¼ cup real maple syrup (Vermont Trader Joe’s Maple syrup, you can also substitute honey)
2 eggs
¼ cup crunchy almond butter
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon apple pie spice
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup roasted pecans
¾ cup roasted walnuts

Topping

¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
¼ cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon maple syrup
¼ cup oats
1 TBS coconut oil, non-hydrogenated margarine (Smart Balance), or butter

Directions
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Combine all muffin ingredients and mix in a stand mixer.  Be careful not to overmix!

3) Toast walnuts and pecans in a frying pan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and coarsely chop.

4) Add ¾ of chopped nuts to muffin batter.

5) Drop by batter by large spoonfuls into lined muffin cups. Recipe will make approximately 12 muffins.

6) To make topping, combine apple sauce, pumpkin, oats, and remaining nuts.  If using non-hydrogenated margarine or butter melt in microwave and then add to topping mixture.  Spoon a dollop of topping mixture on top of each muffin.

7) Bake in oven on middle rack for 30-35 minutes.  Muffins are done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

8) While muffins are cooling, drizzle real maple syrup over each muffin.

baking, dietitian, gluten free, instagram, nutrition, paleo, RD2Be, recipe, vegan

Blueberry Banana Muffins

We made these muffins late one night while craving a sweet snack, that wasn’t packaged or filled with cups of sugar (though the thought of a homemade muffin from Primo Passo Coffee in Santa Monica, CA sounds delicious and very needed as we work on our grant proposals!)  The recipe for these muffins were adapted from the blog The Minimalist Baker.  They use minimally processed ingredients and have recipes that meet a variety of dietary needs and preferences.  These muffins were first made on a snowy, day before Valentine’s Day baked good for boyfriend who was flying in the next morning (It was during one of the worst 2014 polar vortex storms- the California intern just about died!).  The simplicity and ease of the recipe makes these muffins great for anyone who is new to the kitchen!

They can be made gluten free, vegan or paleo by switching a few ingredients.  This batch were vegan and were delicious!  We’re still modifying the recipe but thought we would share our modifications and tips with you!

Blueberry Banana Bran Chia Seed Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 flax eggs (2 TBS flax, 5 TBS water)
  • 3 TBS agave nectar
  • 1/4 c unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 med ripe bananas
  • 1/2 c frozen blueberries
  • 3 TBS almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 c almond meal
  • 1/2 c plus 2 TBS wheat bran
  • 1/4 c chia seeds

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin tin with liners (recipe makes about 10 muffins)

2) Prepare flax egg.  Add flax and water and let sit for a couple minutes.

3) Add banana and mash.  Add blueberries agave, baking powder, vanilla, applesauce, and almond milk.  During this step we began eyeballing the ingredients.  The muffins aren’t super sweet so you can be flexible in how much agave you add.  Since there are no raw eggs, you can taste the batter for sweetness!

4) Add almond meal and wheat bran and stir.  Be careful not to over mix batter as this can lead to tunneled muffins! (Thank you food science class!)  Depending on how dry or wet your batter is, add more liquid (applesauce/almond milk) or bran.  You can also adjust sweetness here.  We added a little honey at this point.  Add the chia seeds and give one final mix!

5) Fill muffin cups to the top and bake for 30-35 minutes.  Check for doneness by pressing the tops of the muffins.  We found that they were still fairly liquid at this point (still experimenting with the baking temps and ratios of the recipe…will keep you updated!) and turned up the temperature to 450 and baked for an additional 10 minutes.  This did the trick!

6) Enjoy with all natural almond or peanut butter!  Delicious and nutritious!  Great way to Get Your Nutrition On!

 

We will continue to experiment with this recipe to perfect it!  To make the recipe gluten free, omit wheat bran and use Gluten Free flour (The Minimalist Baker used ground GF oats!) of your choice.  To make paleo, use almond meal flour.

 

Check out our Instagram feed for photos of the the muffin!  @getyournutritionon