Category Archives: SNACKS

Running {energy} Bars

i’ll be running a half marathon on april 7 {eeek! that’s soon} with one of my good friends, Courtney — she’s my race-running buddy :)

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and even though it’s my 6th or 7th half {yeah, i lost count…}, i am still learning new ways to train and fuel my body to prepare for a successful race.

one thing i struggle with is a good pre-run meal.

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last weekend, i went to a few stores nearby to check out their “energy” bar selection.  there were a few that looked great, but then i looked at the ingredients.    meh.

and then there were some that were all natural/had organic ingredients, but then i looked at the price tag.  geeeeez.

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so i decided it was time to make my own homemade Running Bars.  i love it because you can control the taste – like your bars to be sweeter? add a bit more honey.  like a nuttier taste? add a dab more almond butter. you can’t go wrong doing it yourself!

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the perfect pre-run {or pre-walk/jog/workout/climbing/yoga/etc.} bar!

Running Bars

recipe adapted from: No Meat Athlete’s “Ultimate Energy Bar Formula

**No Meat Athlete’s website is awesome. take a minute to check it out — he provides a formula {not a recipe} for making delicious energy bars. This recipe below is one that I created from the formula, with a few tweaks to the ingredient amounts.

ingredients

  • 15oz Great Northern Beans
  • .5 cup almond butter
  • .25 cup raw honey
  • 1 small banana
  • .25 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • .25 tsp sea salt
  • 1 .79oz packet Garden of Life Raw Protein in Vanilla {or 1 serving of your favorite protein powder}
  • .75 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • .5 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

directions

Preheat oven to 350°  –  Grease a 13×9 glass baking dish with a dash of oil.

Using a food processor, pulse beans, almond butter, honey, banana, vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt until smooth.

Add protein powder, flour, oats, and coconut and pulse again until combined.

Spread mixture into pan.  Bake at 350° for 15 minutes.

…Enjoy!!

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Pecan Butter

i never thought about making my own nut butters.  i just buy creamy peanut butter from the store and call it good.

and then i found a recipe for pecan butter.  pecan butter??  yep.  and it is  d e l i c i o u s .     who knew?

there are cashews in it too… and i don’t even like cashews…

use it as an apple dip or eat it by the spoonful {get a large spoon}

…a really large spoon.    i scraped the food processor bowl like it was brownie batter!!

Pecan Butter

recipe slightly adapted from: Edible Perspective

ingredients

  • 2.5 cups pecans
  • .75 cup cashews
  • 1 tbsp + .25 tsp pure cane sugar
  • .75 tsp fine grain salt {I only had regular sea salt and it worked OK}

directions

Preheat oven to 300°

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread pecans and cashews on it in a single layer.  Toast in oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Keep a careful eye on them!  {I am always ultra careful because pecans are easy to burn, at least for me!}  Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.

Scoop the nuts into your food processor and turn on.  Turn off a few times to scrape down the bowl and process until you get a smooth buttery texture.  About 6-8 minutes.

Add salt and sugar and process again until smoothly mixed in.

Keep in a sealed container in a dark/dry place or your refrigerator. {we use Ball jars} …enjoy!!

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Peachy Green Strawberry Smoothie

i have always been confused by smoothie “recipes”.  why do you need a recipe? you just put whatever sounds good to you in a blender and then you drink it.  for me, this is some frozen fruit, greek yogurt, a splash of juice, and some water annnd voila! a smoothie is born.

but then i had been seeing these “green smoothies” everywhere — someone had the amazing idea to throw some leafy greens into a fruit smoothie for a veggie boost {& who doesn’t need one of those?}

after a few tries of throwing in added greens with my favorite smoothie ingredients, i believe i finally found something.  and now i understand why there are smoothie recipes in the world… because once you find a good one, you want to share it.

this one is great to start your day with, or to drink after an evening workout…whenever you choose to have one, i am sure that you’ll enjoy it… sometimes matt & i make it on days when we just need some extra vegetables  : )

Peachy Green Smoothie

an original recipe from: Matt & Rachel’s Kitchen

yield: 1-2 servings {we usually drink one each, but occasionally Matt & I will split it}

ingredients

  • 5-6 frozen peach slices
  • 5 xsmall frozen strawberries {or 2 large}
  • 1 large leaf  or 3-4 small rainbow chard, spinach, or kale with stalks removed {we like to use a different one each week, rainbow chard is pictured}
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt {we like Fage 2%}
  • .5 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • .25 cup cold water
  • optional add-ins:
    • 1 tbsp wheat germ
    • 1 tbsp flax seed

directions

Add above ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth.

{note:  We use our magic bullet, and this recipe fits great in it, but a full-size blender works too!}

p.s. here’s proof that even matt likes it! —

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Pumpkin Bread

i love october.

this is a new thing for me.  i didn’t begin to love fall until about a year or 2 ago. i’ve always been a summer person {don’t get me wrong, i still love summer} but there is something about crisp days, steamy soups, football always on, warm scarves, and pumpkin goodies that makes me so happy. not to mention, i  l o v e  halloween.    a lot.

i bought a can of pumpkin puree this weekend and decided that i would help myself get into the fall mood by baking pumpkin bread.

i don’t yet have a go-to recipe for delicious, moist pumpkin bread so i began searching.  i found one recipe that looked lovely, however it called for more butter than i have stocked in my fridge.  i found another recipe that i’m sure was tasty but it used more oil and sugar than i wanted.  and then there was a recipe that only used 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree, and i wanted to use my whole 15 oz can.  after 30+ minutes of clicking through online pumpkin bread recipes, i gave up.

and i did the unthinkable.

i created my own pumpkin bread recipe.  such a scary thought… i mean, baking is a science… {& i’m terrible at science} one too many dashes of “this” and one less dash of “that” can leave you with a miserable mess of once tasty ingredients.  but tonight i felt daring and i needed the smell of cinnamon-pumpkin to fill my kitchen, i needed to eat some pumpkin bread.

so i did it.

*Note 1: this is not the best recipe there is, but i think it’s a good start.  i don’t think i did too shabby for never having made my own baking recipe before…

*Note 2: it’s much more like bread {hence the name} as opposed to a pumpkin muffin or a pumpkin cake.  it’s not so sweet, but i like that – if you need more sweet, i bet it would be delicious toasted with butter and topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.

Pumpkin Bread

an original recipe from: Matt & Rachel’s Kitchen

ingredients

  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • .5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • .25 tsp all-spice
  • 4 tbsp (or .5 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • .5 cup brown sugar
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree
  • .25 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla

directions

Preheat oven to 350°  and prepare your loaf pans {two ~9×5 loaf pans}.  Use cold butter to grease the pans and then flour them.  {be sure not to under-do it – like I did in my chocolate cake recipe – don’t be shy!}

In a medium bowl, whisk together the salt, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and all-spice.  Set aside

In a large bowl, blend butter {melted}, sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla  until combined.  Slowly stir the flour mix into the large bowl, until the mixture is smooth.

Disperse batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans.  Bake on the top rack for 35-40 minutes.

Do the toothpick check to make sure they’re done {toothpick should come out ‘clean’ when poked in the middle of the bread}.  Once cool enough to handle, pop them out of the pans… and enjoy!!

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Bob’s Salsa

so, it’s been awhile. . . how is everyone?!  . . .anyone still there? ?  i hope so!

my dad {bob … baab … boob, or whatever you might call him} makes a mean {& delicious} salsa. 

the only issue i have ever had with it {past tense} was the heat. you see, i didn’t like spicy foods when i was younger -i missed out on a lot of good stuff!  so reader beware, this salsa can pack a bit of a punch, but now, that’s what i  l o v e  about it!

we made this salsa for a lazy football sunday the other week.  that’s my favorite part about sundays… football & food – emphasis on the food, though i do love me some football, especially when we play pick’ems!  {pick’ems: go through all the games for the week and pick which team you think will win}

and because i am the one that’s writing this, i get to throw in that i’m pretty darn good at it… sometimes i think matt wishes he had my talent  : )

i hate to share my secret for predicting the winning team, but i’ll give you a hint: teams always play better when their outfits {uniforms} are cuter.  hey, good luck to you!

Bob’s Salsa

an original recipe from my dad {slightly adapted by matt & rachel’s kitchen}

ingredients

  • 3 large tomatoes diced + 1 small, if desired {for chunky} diced {we used heirlooms in this recipe, hence the lack of a rich red color}
  • 1 medium purple onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, leaves chopped
  • 2-3 jalapenos, diced {majority of seeds/insides removed for less heat}
  • 5 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • .5 tsp salt
  • .5 tsp black pepper
  • .5 tsp red pepper flakes
  • drizzle of olive oil

directions

Mix 3 large diced tomatoes, chopped onion, chopped cilantro, diced jalapenos, lime juice, salt, pepper, pepper flakes and olive oil in a large bowl.  Add mixture to blender or food processor and pulse on low for 10 seconds or so.

Once salsa reaches desired consistency, pour back into bowl and if desired, add the smaller diced tomato to add a little “chunk” to your dip.

as specified from Bob: serve with your favorite chips {here are ours} and an “adult beverage” or two…   enjoy!!

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