“Fall in love with taking care of yourself.”
Hello beautiful people!
Happy Thursday to all my health-nuts out there!
Can you believe that it is the last day in February already? I mean personally, to me this new year is flying by! I cannot believe we are almost into the 3rd chapter of 2019 already. As I get older, it seems as if these “new years” just go by faster and faster, which means it gets harder and harder for me to keep up with my “New Years Goals” and accomplish all that I have set in store for myself. And that is what brings me to today’s recipe in Nicole’s Healthy Kitchen. (Okay… That was kind of cheesy right? I am still working on the name so don’t beat me up about that. Haha.)
As I wrote to all of you at the beginning of the year, I am trying to change my New Years Resolutions into a new perspective. I talked all about how I want to ditch the new years resolution for a new perspective. In short, I talk about how I want to shift more towards creating long-term habits. For example, I no longer want to make my goal losing 5 pounds (although, that would be so great), but instead create a goal surround the idea of developing a better attitude towards my body. Now granted, this can be revolved around anything, not just fitness goals, however, I just personally have a lot of personal experience with health and fitness ups & downs.
Before my switch towards living a long-term, healthy lifestyle, I was so focused on just getting “fit.” I settled on short-term fixes all of the time to the point where I really wasn’t creating a well rounded lifestyle. Therefore, in reality, I ended up achieving even less. And that is why I am writing this blog for you today. As I have decided to shift to a more long-term look on healtg, rather than looking at it through short-term fixes, I realized that I have a huge sweet-tooth and I love baking desserts or sweet snacks. If you want to read more about my persepctive on new years resolutions and how I think we should ditch them for a moe healthier lifestyle, click here. However, this blog is all about a healthy, easy-to-make, sweet, and yummy recipe that I am sharing with you.
As I stated, I love cooking, baking, and making healthy, sweet, an tastey recipes in the kitchen. Trust me, I understand that there is this “perception” in our society that makes us feel like since we are trying to lead a healthy lifestyle we have to be restricting towards certain foods. However, I truly don’t believe this. You can still eat cookies, drink a beer, and have some ice cream, it just has to be done in moderation. Something that I have shifted towards doing this past year to help me control my sweet tooth in a more health-oriented way is by making my own versions of my favorite sweet snacks. I have shifted towards doing this because 1) I know what is going into the recipe exactly, 2) I save money (because your girl is on a budget and sometimes healthy sweets can be SO pricey), 3) it is a fun activity for me to do, and 4) I can learn more about nutrition and what fuels my body.
With that said, if anyone knows me, you’d know that granola/protein bars are my favorite thing on this planet. I love trying knew ones, eating them multiple times a day… Basically, I have an addiction. And that is why I have created the perfect, pre-workout fuel that will give you healthy energy and tastes so so good.
Here is my No-Bake Peanut Butter Drizzled Chocolate Chip Energy Bars.
⅔ cup peanut butter (I use Natural Skippy.)
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ cup oats
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon light organic brown sugar (I use the Meijer Brand True Goodness.)
2 teaspoon coconut sugar (I use Madhava, found at Meijer.)
Any toppings really. I used 63% cacao dark chocolate chips, but I would like to try dried fruit, almonds, coconut, or something else another time. 🙂 My recipe’s nutrition profile is calculated WITHOUT additional toppings.
- Either spray an 8×8 pan with spray butter, or line it with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Heat the peanut butter (or any nut butter of your choice), honey, and olive oil in a large saucepan over very low heat and allow to bubble and thicken for about several minutes while continuously stirring the mixture. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in the oats, coconut sugar, light organic brown sugar, and vanilla until the whole mixture is thoroughly combined and sticky.
- Press the granola mixture very firmly and evenly into the pan. Everything needs to be tight, compact, and even.
- Press the dark chocolate chips, or toppings of your choice, onto the top of the mixture. If you are doing dark chocolate chips, the may melt a tiny bit, that is okay.
- Store the pan in the fridge or freezer to firm up. Cut into bars (I cut into 12 even bars), drizzle peanut butter (or any nut butter) over top, and enjoy.
These are best kept in the fridge or the freezer. Each bar is estimated (if cut evenly) at 171 calories with 10 grams of fat, 17 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of protein. So as you can see, this is a great pre-workout snack. This would also be great for days you are going to be running around a lot, doign physicaly labor, maybe hiking outdoors, etc. as with the healthy and natural carbs you will receive a lot of energy.
Feel free to leave any suggestions on a recipe you want me to try next, sweet treat or not! I am always up for something new in the kitchen. Enjoy this week, y’all! I hope it is filled with love, health, positivity, and kindness!
With all that I am,