Food

LARA Bar Meets Perfect Bar- Maple Almond Oatmeal and Date Fitness Bars | Better Than Perfect Bars (Copycat Recipe)

 LARA Bar Meats Perfect Bar- Almond Chia Date Bars | Better Than Perfect Bars (Copycat Recipe) 

If you're on the quest to find a similar recipe for the ever so yummy Perfect Bar or LARA bar, then you're on the right track. I have been messing around with a few different versions, and this one I think you will love. I always found that the Perfect Bars were a little on the dry side; like if you weren't drinking a bucket of milk with them, they might get stuck in your throat. Opposingly, the LARA bars to me were always a bit too, how shall I put it, datey. Does that make sense? Anyway, I tried to combine the two and make it healthy, whole, and raw, while also keeping the integrity of the two different bars. Hope you like it!

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 LARA Bar Meats Perfect Bar- Almond Chia Date Bars | Better Than Perfect Bars (Copycat Recipe) 

I roast the raw almonds and make my own almond butter. I find it more affordable as almonds are a bit on the pricey side. You can also replace the almond butter with any nut or seed butter, but you will have to adjust the coconut flour amount to maintain the right texture. 

 LARA Bar meets Perfect Bar | Maple Almond Oatmeal Fitness Bar

I find that using a high powered small food processor is the best. I did a lot of research on which ones have the right motor to handle making nut butter. If you don't want to invest in an expensive Thermomix, even though I wish I had one, you can also find similar knockoffs that make making nut butter as easy as one, two, three. 

 LARA Bar Meats Perfect Bar- Almond Chia Date Bars | Better Than Perfect Bars (Copycat Recipe) 
 LARA Bar Meats Perfect Bar- Almond Chia Date Bars | Better Than Perfect Bars (Copycat Recipe) 

Maple Almond Oatmeal and Date Fitness Bars

For the healthy eater

Makes - 12 bars

Ingredients

2 1/2 Cups Almond Butter (Swap it for any nut or seed butter)

1 1/2 Cup Dates

1/2 Cup Oatmeal (if you want a less chunky texture, use oat bran)

2 TBSP Chia Seeds

1/2 Cup Coconut Flour

1/2 Cup Real Maple Syrup

 LARA Bar meets Perfect Bar (copycat)| Maple Almond Fitness Bars - Best Health Bars for Weight Loss!

2 TBSP Psyllium Seed Husks powder (Amazing health benefits for digestive health and weight loss)

1 TSP Salt 

Directions

Almond butter

Roast Almonds in  350-degree oven for 10-12 min. Let cool and use a food processor to make your butter. Be careful and make sure the motor is capable of making nut butters. You don't want to blow out your motor! 

Bars

Mix together Dates, coconut flour and maple syrup in food processor and pulse to blend until the dates are incorporated and blended. Add remaining ingredients and mold into a square baking pan, or whatever is easiest to get a good from for the bars. Slice into desired sizes. Refrigerate and enjoy! 

8 Inexpensive Kitchen Tools for the Healthy Eater

 kitchen tools for healthy eating!

Are you a healthy eater? I am, most of the time. I love to cook as well, which makes eating healthy come a little bit easier. But sometimes I find that making healthy meals requires a bit of time and extra help. Let's just be honest, it's not easy to eat healthy! It's actually really hard. But the more you do it, the more you get used to it. I have compiled a few items that might make your journey to eating healthy a bit less frustrating and lot more simple. 

Just so you know, if you click on the links below and purchase from Amazon, I may get a small commision with no extra cost to you. I will never recommend a product I don't stand by. Thanks fro your support!

1. Perfect Egg Timer

Eggs are an incredible source of protein and omega-3's, and no one likes an overcooked hard-boiled egg. Don't let it happen again! 

2. Magic Bullet

Smoothies are my number one go to when I just need a quick boost and to fill my tummy without feeling overstuffed. The magic bullet has been a lifesaver! There's nothing more annoying that having to clean a giant blender after making a smoothie for one. 

3. fruit infused water bottle

I love my lime water! As well as cucumber water. This is am amazing way to get your water infused with whatever you want and not have little floaty's or blueberries causing you to choke. 

4. herb saver

Have you ever bought some herbs, (and let's not beat around the bush,they are expensive) and then one day later they are done for? Yeah, I hate that. Here's a little help so that you can keep your heard fresh and ready to use for WAY longer!

5. veggie saver

I love this product. Talk about cutting down on plastic and food waste. I can't tell you how many plastic bags I've used to try and salvage a half of a onion or something that just ends up at the bottom of my veggie bowl, rotting away. Food huggers are an incredible way to store that half of whatever you didn't use. 

6. julienne peeler- veggie noodles!

Veggie noodles are a revelation! You don't need a fancy machine to make them, either!

7. Meal prep containers

The ultimate key to maintaining a healthy diet is by meal planning, and also portion control. This solves both aspects!

8. Food Scale

If you're on a stricter diet, a food scale is a good option to have. I also use it for measuring my baking ingredients!

Fennel Prosciutto and Melon Salad

Fennel Prosciutto and Melon Salad Recipe

When we went on our last trip to Elba, we made a sailing trip provided at the harbor about 10 min from our Airbnb. Included on this all day adventure was a delicious meal, cooked by our very own Captain of the sailboat. He was a simple man, from Parma (where Parmesan cheese came from) and cooked us his family recipes, learned from only the best…his Italian mother. It’s not like this was anything complicated or time-consuming, but like all Italian food, it was simple and honestly delicious. It was a fennel salad. In and of itself, fennel has a particular taste that is hard to compliment but paired with the right things; it comes alive.

I am going to show you how to make my version of the salad. His was pretty straightforward, which paired well with our pasta and sauce he made with it. I tried something a little more sustainable as to make it a whole, light, and healthy meal in and of itself.

 Fennel Prosciutto and Melon Salad

Fennel Prosciutto and Melon Salad

Fennel Prosciutto and Melon Salad

Inspired by the Captain of the Mediterranean seas.

Ingredients

Serves: 2

Time: 20 min

Salad:

1 fennel stalk

½ green melon, sliced thinly

125 g (about 2 bundles) of Endive salad (This adds a little bitterness to the mix)

150 g Prosciutto

5 sprigs of mint

¼ c walnuts

Creamy Walnut Vinaigrette:

2 tsp walnut oil

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp (or to taste) applew cider vinegar

2 tsp honey

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp horseradish

1 tbsp crème fresh or mayonnaise

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions 

Slice the fennel, endive, and melon into long thin slices. Layer all the different ingredients on top of one another, and top with walnuts. Drizzle with your vinaigrette and decorate with sprigs of mint. Serve with a dry, crisp white wine. 

 

 

Leftover Spinach That Needs to be Used? Make This With It!

Have too much spinach about to go bad? Here's an idea that your kids will also love!

I can't tell you how many times I've had to throw away large portions of rotten spinach because I didn't use it in time. When I used to live in the states, I would buy the giant bag at Cosco, attempting that this would be the week I start eating healthier. Didn't happen. I would go home, make myself one spinach salad. Perhaps throw some in a smoothie, and that was that. The rest would sit in silence for the next two weeks, staring me down every time I opened the fridge to get something. Now, I do something about it, so I don't waste precious food. My son also loves them. What better way to sneak some healthy into the yummy?

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food
— Hippocrates
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Yummy and Healthy

Protein filled Mozzarella Spinach Fritters

 

  • 12 oz steamed or sauteed Spinach (frozen spinach will do if you don't have some you need to use)
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1/2 c shredded Mozerella Cheese
  • 1/2 c oat bran (You can also put whole oats in the blender for a few seconds)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (also salt on each side when you cook them)
  • 1/2 Red Onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Olive or Vegetable oil for frying

Directions

Prepare your spinach by washing and then steam or saute. Drain out the excess moisture by pressing the spinach down in a strainer. Add all ingredients together and mix well. Be sure your spinach is cooled down enough to mix with the eggs. You don't want scrambled eggs. Spoon about 1/2 cup mixture into the pan with oil over medium heat and shape into flat burgers. Salt each side. Let cook about 5 minutes per side or until the eggs are cooked through, and there is a golden brown crust. Put on a paper towel to let the excess oil soak out.

 

Grandma Hand's Soft Sugar Cookie

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Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe 

Simple and yummy

I know that you may not believe me when I say there are literally the best sugar cookies you will ever eat, so I guess you will just need to make them to find out.

When I was younger, our visits to my Grandmas house were always greeted with a warm, soft sugar cookie. My favorite version was and always will be just plain, but there are so many different cookies you can make them into! But I think they are that good they don't need anything except a glass of milk, and you will literally be blown away. This lady is a rockstar when it comes to making the most simple dishes into something amazing. She even wrote her own cookbook back in the day that sits on my self and is frequently used. I, of course, asked her permission to share it with you all and she said yes. You should feel special because this one is a family treasure.

 

THE SOFT SUGAR COOKIE

Recipe by Grandma Hand

Yields: 2 1/2 to 3 dozen
Prep and baking time: 1 hour


INGREDIENTS
1/2 c (1 stick) softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c sour cream
3 c all-purpose flour 

 soft, delicious, sugar cookie. easy. simple.

PREPARATION
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
2. Mix butter and sugar, followed by the egg, vanilla, and sour cream.
3. Mix dry ingredients and slowly incorporate into wet ingredients.
4. Form into golf ball sized balls; roll in granulated sugar. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. 
5. Flatten to about 1/4 inch thickness with the bottom of a drinking glass.
6. Bake 6-8 minutes or until cookies just begin to brown around edges. Tops should spring back when touched with your finger.

VARIETIES:
M&M - After cookies are flattened, press M&M's into them.
Lemon - Substitute 4 tsp lemon extract for vanilla.
Peanut Butter - add in 1/2 c peanut butter to wet ingredients. Flatten with a fork instead of glass. 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Rustic Chicken and Bean Soup Recipe

 healthy rustic chicken and bean soup. fresh veggies.

 

In my first trimester of pregnancy, I made bean and chicken soup for dinner, hearing that beans are healthy for you, especially when pregnant. They are filled with protein and fiber, and that's just what a prego lady needs. I made about 3 gallons of this soup, thinking we could eat some and then freeze it for later. I had needed a little variety from my regular egg and mayonnaise or grilled cheese sandwiches which proved to be the only foods I could keep down, so I decided to make this delicious bean filled chicken vegetable soup. Come to find out; I couldn't even bear to smell it, let alone put it in my mouth, so later that night I just ended up stashing it in the freezer. Over a month went by and every time I opened the freezer that Tupperware full of disgusting looking soup haunted me. Finally, I got myself to put it in the fridge to thaw for the next day. It was time to bring out the soup. 
Christoph got home that night around 7:00, and we sat down for our chicken and bean soup dinner. He looked at me and said,"Did you know that if you eat beans while being pregnant, our child with have hooves?" I replied, "No I didn't, that's so awful, I have never heard that. Oh No!" Now I was terrified and started to get paranoid, imaging our child galloping towards me like a centaur and not running into my arms. Christoph continued to say. "Yup, then we will have to name it "Chalf" because it will be half child and half calf. 
Chalf? Oh, this is not good, not good at all. Poor Chalf. I will still love it.
I woke up, and it was about 3 in the morning. After realizing it was just a dream, I laughed, got up to pee again and took note of this dream, because it was worth retelling.

Here is a recipe for that delicious chicken and bean soup I was telling you about ;) Seriously, it's good. Maybe not to a pregnant lady, but it tastes absolutely normal and worth making. My husband always has about three servings of it. 

 


Healthy Rustic Chicken and Bean Soup Recipe

Ingredients:

Serves 8-10  

Cooking and prep time - 30 min prep, 1 hour cooking.

Produce:

  • 2 (14 ounce) cans Kidney Beans
  • 1 can Artichokes - roughly chopped

  • 3 large Chicken Thighs 

  • 1 medium Yellow Onion

  • 1 Finely chopped Leak

  • 2 Finely chopped Carrots

  • 2 Finely chopped Celery Stalks

  • 4 cloves minced Garlic

  • 2 cups Spinach

  • Italian Parsley - roughly chopped (garnish)

Spices

  • 1 tsp Black pepper, freshly ground

  • 2 tsp Salt

  • 1 tbsp Herb de Provence

  • Siracha to taste (optional; I always add it directly to my bowl becasue my kiddo doesn't like spice.)

  • 1 tbsp pwdr Chicken Broth (also to desired taste)

Oils & Vinegar:

  • 2 tbsp Olive oil, extra virgin
  • a Dollop of Daisy - Sour Cream (garnish)

Liquids:

  • 6-8 cups water (I add water to a desired consistency of soup. You may need to add more at end)

Instructions:

  1. In a large soup pot, saute onions, leaks, carrots, celery, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. 
  2. After 5 minutes Add Herb de Provence, salt, and pepper and saute 5 more minutes or until the onions turn translucent.
  3. Add water, broth pwdr, and chicken thighs. Make sure the water covers the chicken completely. Cooking the chicken in the soup will add good flavor to the broth. If you want to make a even healthier version, use 3 chicken breasts, but don't cook them in the broth; grill or saute to avoid the chicken getting dry.
  4. Bring to simmer and cook covered for 30 min. After Chicken is done, remove from broth and let cool.
  5. Remove chicken from the skin and bones and add back into the broth. 
  6. Add the kale and cook another 10 minutes over a low simmer.
  7. Add artichokes and beans and desired Siracha.
  8. Serve with garnishes and buttered bread.