Winter felt really long this year. Last week when I boarded a plane to fly south for a bit, I was ready in more ways than one. Not only did I crave some sunshine, but also needed a little reset in a few areas of my life that I can only achieve by spending time on my own for a bit. Have you ever felt that way? I am very fortunate to be able to get away and apologize if my Kitchen Scouting is a bit intermittent in the process.
Speaking of the blog, I do my best to offer you a reasonably broad range of recipes that you can make at home. Some are healthy, some a little less so. I don’t subscribe to one specific lifestyle and my blog reflects that for sure. Sometimes, I wish I did.
Sometimes, I wish I was that woman who got up in the morning and thought about what green vegetables she was going to put in her Vitamix with her protein powder, collagen peptides and coconut water and whatever else goes into a smoothie in the morning. But guess what? I don’t! I don’t even own a Vitamix!
I reach for the caffeine in the morning and if I am lucky enough to remember, I may throw a scoop of collagen peptides into it. I also wish I pre-gamed my coffee with warm lemon water every morning, a good flush for toxins and a way to rehydrate the body after a long night’s sleep. I do that – but only every third day or so which I suppose is better than nothing.
I could go on and on, but pointing out all of the things I am failing at is not only depressing, but also really boring. Let’s just say I am in awe of people who follow an incredibly structured routine with their lifestyle. Honestly, sometimes I wish I could be that disciplined. My mother used to say her approach was everything in moderation. Maybe that’s me too?
I enjoy many of Pamela’s tips about healthy eating options, supplements and even some restaurant recommendations! Through Pamela, I learned about another LA based woman named Elissa Goodman whose story is worth a read as well. Elissa is a certified holistic nutritionist and believes strongly in the food as medicine mantra.
Elissa has a “S.O.U.P. cleanse” program that actually sounds really interesting but you have to live in LA to do it. SOUP stands for soup, salads super foods, organic, uniquely designed, prepared with love. It’s a five day program that provides you with all the foods you need to reset including soups, salads, teas and the bars that I am sharing today. Pamela was doing the cleanse and shared on her Instagram stories how good the bars were so that is how today’s recipe came to be shared with all of you! Thankfully Elissa had a recipe for them on her website!
Now, I don’t know how you feel about bars but personally I was conflicted until now. I don’t usually buy bars because they often have up to 200 calories and that just seems like a big allowance for a small bar that may or may not contain healthy ingredients. And yet, I often find myself in the middle of an activity (golf particularly) craving a little bite of something to keep me going. This is when I wish I had something in my bag, only to realize I never do. This summer will be different!
Super Seed Bars are made with a combination of gluten free rolled oats (easier on digestion), organic brown rice cereal, all kinds of healthy seeds, almond butter and Goji berries which are high in antioxidents. These no-bake bars are bound together and sweetened with something called Coconut Nectar. It’s made by the same company that produces Coconut Aminos, a popular substitute for soy. I couldn’t find Coconut Nectar the first time I tried the recipe and used this product that I found at Whole Foods instead. It was a touch sweet for me, but still met the standards of my discerning college girl who enjoys bars.
Ultimately, I found the Coconut Nectar at my local health food store and have now seen it at certain Whole Foods. It is a replacement for processed sugar and is low glycemic as was the apple product I used as a substitute. It comes from the sap of coconut blossoms and contains 17 amino acids, vitamin C and B and is rich in magnesium, potassium and iron. I’ll take it, especially because I try to stay away from too much processed sugar if I can. In fact, I decided to cut back on one other ingredient in the bars, vanilla extract to make sure my end product was not too sweet which is my preference.
These bars are very easy to whip up and they set up in the freezer so no baking is involved. They keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge or up to a month in the freezer. Elissa’s recipe originally called for making the bars in a 9-inch pan and cutting them into 12 pieces, yielding about a 200 calorie, thinish bar. I decided to make them in an 8-inch pan to give them a little more thickness, and to cut them into 16 pieces so each bar is roughly 150 calories and just enough to take the edge off my hunger and hopefully yours too.
I brought these on the first leg of my trip to share with friends and they got a big thumb’s up (although caution – seeds may get between your teeth).
This recipe has made a bar lover out of me, that’s for sure. I will be making these on repeat all summer, perhaps swapping out those Goji berries from time to time with some Cocoa Nibs or another diced organic dried fruit like apricots. Or maybe even some dark chocolate just for fun.
What do you think? Will you make Super Seed Bars with Goji Berry? I hope so! Thank you to Elissa Goodman for the recipe.
PS – I made this Creamy Celery and Cauliflower Soup from Elissa’s website and have been really enjoying it as part of my reset. I found I needed to add a little more liquid to the pot to cook the vegetables and left the garlic cloves whole to prevent burning. I also skipped the coconut milk and thinned out the soup with a little water.
Until next time…