Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Raw Vegan Apple Pie Protein bars


As most of you know, I took a week off from blogging to start a cleanse and focus on getting back in shape. Balance is a huge thing for me, and when I feel things getting out of balance, it is time to take a step back, do a little self reflection, and get back in balance. I am super blessed to have a very active life. We have a lot of friends and family that come visit and that can really get hard because we go out and have fun and usually that means food and drinks, and that adds to my waistline. I am not heavy, or even really overweight. I am just average. I do however, always have to watch my weight. When I cook and bake I have to pass over a lot of what I make, in order to stay a healthy weight.

Nobody likes the term "diet". I don't really diet for the most part. I usually just balance out my life. Sometimes when it gets out of balance I need a jump start to get back to the healthy living lifestyle I thrive in. For me that means more yoga and less cooking. For others it may mean less tv and more sit-ups. Not everyone is the same. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. My weakness is a fully stocked kitchen. For someone else it may be sitting in front of the TV watching Downton Abbey. I am not saying you can't do the things you love. I am just saying, you need to balance it out with things that keep your body healthy. Get out! Walk, run, swim, squat, lunge, play, paddleboard, garden, dance. 

So now that my healthy living is back in balance. I am going to be sharing with you some healthy alternatives for those times you would have had something not so healthy. There are a lot of healthy alternatives out on the market in pre-packaged form. LÄRABAR® is a big one. LÄRABAR® is a delicious blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts and spices. Made from whole food, each flavor contains no more than nine ingredients. Pure and simple, just as nature intended. They are all Gluten Free. They have no gluten-containing ingredients, and they have manufacturing controls in place to ensure that there are no cross-contact concerns. I was not sent samples nor do I work for LÄRABAR®. I just think they are a good product out there for when you have a sweet tooth. They taste like a dessert, yet they are so healthy for you! They are under 200 calories and full of protein and fiber. No life is complete without a treat, and with these healthy treats out there, it helps keep you away from things you shouldn't be eating.

That being said, I hardly ever buy packaged food. Any excuse to get in my kitchen, I take it. So today I am going to make homemade Apple Pie bars, made the LÄRABAR® way. They are cheaper, save on packaging and you can make a lot of them ahead of time. These are perfect for all of our sailing shenanigans. They make a great addition to lunch. So for all of you out there that struggle with finding healthy gluten-free options for on the go living. These are for you! 

Over the next week or two I will be bringing you many yummy protein bars that taste like a dessert. but are actually a healthy meal or snack. Again, these are Raw, Vegan, Gluten-free, and Dairy-free. 

Vegan, Raw, Gluten-Free Apple Pie Larabar
This recipe makes 6 larabars

1/4 cup organic medjool dates, pitted
3/4 cup dried organic apple slices
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Soak the dried apples in warm water for 5-10 minutes. 
Meanwhile, gather remaining ingredients and pour into a food processor.
Drain the fruit and add to the food processor. Process for 30 – 60 seconds or until the mixture sticks together when pinched with your fingers.
Pour into a loaf pan and press firmly into bars with a spatula. Chill for 10 minutes and then cut into 6 bars. Store refrigerated for up to two weeks or package them in air-tight containers, freeze, and store for up to six months.
Don't forget you can order my cookbook HERE!
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