Did you eat all the nutella?

I’m nutellin’.

I have a love/hate relationship with granola bars. I love that they are delicious, but I hate how much sugar and junk is (generally) in most commercial brands. I love that you can occasionally find some brands that aren’t high in sugar, fat, or junk, but I hate how much they cost. A box of 6 bars for 10 bucks? Really?! No.

So, I decided that I should make my own. But, I didn’t just want the plain, tried and true oats and peanut butter bars. I wanted something different. I wanted something out of the ordinary and extraordinary. I wanted something with protein, and creaminess, and a certain wow factor. And, while I wanted it to be good for me, I also wanted to be a bit indulgent…because, I mean, if I wanted a really healthy snack, I’d eat carrots or a salad or something. I can’t be perfectly good all the time 

Enter quinoa granola bars. I had seen a recipe mentioned somewhere, but where I can’t recall. Though, that recipe called for quinoa flakes, which I don’t have and could find. So, what did I do? I used up the leftover quinoa I had from dinner the other night instead, threw in some oats, spices, nut butter, and flax seeds and called it a day.

And while that was tasty, it wasn’t quite what I was looking for. When I recall having granola bars as a kid, I always thought they were such a treat, probably for a few reasons.

1. We hardly ever (if ever) had a box in the house, so I only got them at when I went over to visit friends. We would get to pick a snack after school and I would bee-line for the box of granola bars.

2. Those granola bars always had chocolate chips, or peanut butter chips, or some kind of sugary goodness nestled into, and on top of, them.

That’s what my bar was missing…the chocolate. How to remedy that, you might ask? Well, it was too late to toss in chocolate chips…which I wouldn’t have wanted to do anyway, since it kind of defeats the point….but I had a jar of Nutella. And out it came. Let me tell you, best marriage ever.

Not only was it chocolatey and sweet, but it also had the delicious hint of hazelnut which complimented the nut butter mixture I had made the bars with. Divine. I had way too many pieces, and then threw them in the freezer cut into portioned sizes.

So, long story short, I would highly suggest the Nutella spread over the top of the bar, if you make it with the ingredients I list. I don’t know if the combination would be as delicious if combined with straight peanut butter, but it’s worth the experimentation.

For a better bar.

For taste.

FOR SCIENCE.for scienceQuinoa and Oat Granola Bars

Ingredients
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 c Nuttzo Seven nut & seed butter (can substitute straight peanut butter)
1/4 c peanut butter
1 c cooked quinoa
1 c rolled oats
1/2 c chia seeds
1/2 – 2/3 c coconut flakes
Nutella (optional, but highly recommended)

Method

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, add the vanilla, the maple syrup, and the nut butters. Microwave, in 15-20 second increments, until melty and smooth. Be sure to stir between blasts.bar5
  2. Once the wet ingredients are combined and smooth, mix in the quinoa, oats, chia seeds, and coconut flakes.bar3
  3. Stir until completely coated in the nut butter mixture. It should be sticky, but not swimming in it. If there is more wet ingredients than dry, try adding a 1/4 of oats until it looks for even. It should hold its shape when pressed together.bar4
  4. Line a baking dish, or cookie sheet, with wax paper. Spread the mixture evenly into the dish. bar2
  5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  6. When you’re ready to eat the bars, cut them into portions and spread Nutella on top. (I highly recommend it.) Enjoy with a cup of milk or tea or coffee. bar
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What do you call a peanut in a spacesuit?

An Astronut.

I love peanut butter cookies. I might even be so bold as to say they are my favorite type of cookie. Especially when the dough is rolled in sugar and then baked, creating a wonderful crunch and extra indulgence. I mean, do you really need more sugar in a cookie? While the real answer is no, the answer in this case is YES.

A few weekends ago, I went on a trip to VT Comic Con with some friends and The Hero Army. I wanted to make sure we were going to have something to snack on while we were there. I know I get really cranky when I don’t get to eat,and being cranky while surrounded by kids is not a good look. Don’t want to promote the idea that tantrums are ok…

While working conventions is awesome and extremely fun, it is also a very tiring process. Emotionally, physically, spiritually, ecumenically… There isn’t always time to grab a snack, healthy or otherwise. And not eating for a 7 or 8 hours definitely wearies a Hero’s performance.

Being titled Mommy Molly most of the time, I wanted to make sure my crew was at the very least slightly fed. I wanted something quick and tasty and that appealed to the kid in us. Hence the cookie.

But, I also wanted it to be healthy, filling, have protein, carbs, and healthy fat. Which generally takes cookies off the table. But I really had a craving for peanut butter cookies. And I wanted them. And I would be damned if I wasn’t going to have a healthy(ish) cookie to snack on.

After scouring the internet for some ideas, I came up with this amalgamation. I think it covers the basic points of cookie-dom while also inheriting the benefits of better eating. They came out very tasty.

Hungry Hungry Hero Cookies

Ingredients11 1/2 c rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 c shelled pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 c butter, room temperature
3/4 c peanut butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c dark or semisweet chocolate chunks or chips

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, baking powder, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl , whisk together butter, peanut butter, eggs and vanilla.2
  4. Slowly stir the wet mixture into the dry oat mixture. Stir until just combined.3
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Place scoops of dough onto cookie sheet. I used a cookie scoop, to keep the cookies uniform, but drop cookies work too. Each scoop was about 2 tbsp of dough.6 57
  7. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.89
  8. Cool and enjoy.10

How does Darth Vader like his toast?

Oh hello!

Today’s post includes 2 of my all-time favorite things. Here’s the first…get ready to get your groan on! It’s time for some PUN.

I Can't Believe It's Not Midi-chlorians!

Man I crack myself up. And admit it, you’re smiling too.

Now for the recipe. “Is it toast?” you ask.Well, of course! But not just any toast…it’s Avocado Toast! It’s simple. It’s delicious. You might well be saying, “but Miss Molly…this is hardly groundbreaking!” You’re right, dear reader, and thank you for flattering me. But, often the simple things are overlooked and sometimes that simplicity is all you need in the morning.

I love avocado toast for breakfast, or lunch, or a post-workout snack. It has everything. It’s creamy,  a tad sweet, a smidge acidic,  spicy, and crunchy. It’s healthy, yet feels indulgent. And who doesn’t love avocados?! Especially now that they’re in season. Mmmmmmm. So good. I could eat them with a spoon.

Without further ado…I give you–Avocado Toast!

This recipe serves 1, and the nutrition info reflects that. Of course, I just used a regular Thomas’ English Muffin (sandwich size). But, if you use something healthier, that will change the info. This recipe also works with any other kind of bread, which goes without saying. Of course, the method remains the same. :) Happy toasting.

Ingredients:

1/2 ripe avocado (should be a bit squishy to the touch)
1 English muffin1 Roma tomato
2-2 1/2 tsp chia seeds
1-2 tsp Sriracha
1 lemon wedge (optional)

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Method:

1. Ingredients assemble! Or, gather ingredients.
2. Separate English muffin halves. Place in the toaster, and toast to desired done-ness. I like mine crispy and crunchy, but not too far on the dark side.
3. While the muffin is toasting, cut the avocado in half. Run a knife down the half without the pit, essentially making quarters. Slice up the tomato, about 3 little slices per side of bread.
4. Once toasty perfection has been reached, remove the toast from the toaster and place on a plate. Spread one quarter of the avocado on each side of your toast. Spread it evenly over the toast. Sprinkle with lemon juice. (You can also sprinkle the unused half of avocado with lemon juice, cover and place it in the fridge. The lemon juice will keep it from turning brown.)
5. Sprinkle the chia seeds evenly over each side of the toast.
6. Arrange tomato slices on top of the chia seeds.
7. Drizzle Sriracha on top of the toast.
8. Munch. Crunch. Savor.

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Let me know what you think!
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Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 355 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

388
Calories from Fat

194
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

21.6g
33%
Saturated Fat

3.2g
16%
Trans Fat

0.0g
Cholesterol

3mg
1%
Sodium

303mg
13%
Total Carbohydrates

45.6g
15%
Dietary Fiber

12.8g
51%
Sugars

8.0g
Protein

10.3g
Vitamin A 4% Vitamin C 119%
Calcium 15% Iron 41%
Nutrition Grade A
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet