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.. daily dose of health and happiness


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Back to School Granola Bars

Can you believe we’re nearing the end of August? As tourists head home, kids go back to school, and beach days slip away, I’m going to hold onto summer as long as I can! I love meal prepping, but completely slack during the summer months due to more fun activities – insert: happy hour on the deck, paddle boarding, beaching, laughing with friends. I totally can’t be alone on this! However, making healthy snacks to bring to work is a priority on my list. These granola bars have been a favorite for a long time and I’m always switching up the recipe with various ingredients. They are easy, delicious, sweet enough, and not filled with additives, chemicals, artificial sweeteners, food coloring, or high-fructose corn syrup. Mother, boyfriend, and child approved!

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Healthy Granola Bars

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (sub any sugar)
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • Several dashes of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 egg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 pan. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In a small bowl, combine melted coconut oil, honey and 1 egg. Make a little well in the middle of the dry ingredients to pour the wet mixture into. Mix together until well combined. This will be a bit sticky!.. but delicious if you accidentally taste test 😉

Spoon mixture into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. You may need to wet your fingers or spatula to help pat down the mixture.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for at least 30 minutes before cutting into. If you cut into them right away, they will be too soft and break. With homemade and lower-sugar granola bars, shapes vary! I get around 16 small bars out of these every time. I like to store mine in the fridge or even the freezer. You may notice chia seeds in the granola bar picture above – only because I ran out of hemp seeds that day. Unless you want to walk around with floss, I recommend hemp seeds only!

CHEERS to grab and go snacks!

  • What’s your favorite snack to always have on hand?
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How to Make Chia Pudding

Happy hump day! Making it halfway through a week without snow is a huge accomplishment for New England right now, yippee! Needless to say, it’s been quite chilly. In the mornings after my workout, I always feel a cold sweat and crave a warm bowl of oatmeal with a hot coffee. While oatmeal is very versatile, I’ve been bored! I miss the tropical, fresh flavors of summer. So what did I do? I threw on an extra sweatshirt and whipped up vegan coconut chia pudding to take myself to paradise. Are you in? I’ll show you how to make it below!

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Here are the only ingredients you need – and then some! Chia seeds create a gel-like texture after absorbing liquid, this is how you get a “pudding” consistency. It’s reminiscent of tapioca, which I understand some people aren’t a fan of! I happen to love it. If you don’t, feel free to blend all ingredients together to break up the texture. While this tastes indulgent, it’s filled with nutrients.

Chia seeds are loaded with fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, protein and calcium (5 times the amount of calcium in milk)! Talk about a nutritional powerhouse – and you only need a small serving.

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I like to use light coconut milk. I’ve seen many people use almond milk, soy milk, and other alternatives. For some reason, almond milk in chia pudding just doesn’t do it for me! I love the flavor of coconut and I also love the creaminess. Note: we’re having breakfast in paradise where coconuts are abundant, remember.

At least 2 hours or the night prior to eating, pour 2/3 of a cup light coconut milk into a jar, bowl, wine glass? Why not! Then add in 2 tablespoons of chia seeds. I also added 1 tablespoon of superfood goji berries for extra antioxidants. Feel free to add raisins instead, or chopped dates. Or wait until the morning and add your toppings then!

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Give your seeds a good stir. You can see above that they really start to gel from the get-go. You can see below the aftermath after a night in the fridge – no more liquid left!

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Throw on some berries, toasted coconut, slivered almonds, banana.. your tropical oasis awaits!

imagePossibilities are endless with toppings and add-ins. You just wait, I’ll have a decadent chocolately chia pudding recipe coming at ya in the coming weeks. Because, chocolate.

CHEERS to a tropical morning!

  • What summer flavors are you missing most? Ice cream counts 😉

 


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Fit Link Friday [11.14]

Hello Friday! How was your week? Mine was deemed “Birthday Week” so it’s been fabulous. Before we dive into the health and wellness world below, I’d like to share some photos from my special day! It’s not even over yet either, as I’m headed to the Celtics tonight with J, his brother and mother. I’m up for a weekend full of fun. In the meantime, here are some highlights..

birthday at work

birthday flowers

birthday cake

UM – this cake is vegan. And completely heavenly. Can you believe it!?!

birthday table

11/13/14

Now, let’s get healthy! Here are my fave health and wellness articles from this week. Hard to believe we are already headed into holiday season. How are you preparing? I’m eyeing all of the vegetarian holiday recipes below, to incorporate even more nutrients into the upcoming special occasions. Here we go! …

Vegetarian Holiday Recipes

7 Ways to Shorten the Distance Between You and You Best Friends 

What the World’s Top Health Experts Eat for Breakfast

How to Get Over Your Fear of Yoga Inversions

Quick Arms and Abs Workout

CHEERS to my 25th year!