What do you snack on when you're away from home?
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If you're anything like me, these are the situations when I'm more likely to make unfortunate eating choices.
In the past, any of three scenarios would have played out. One, I'd make the best choice possible from wherever I happened to be. Two, I'd wait until I got home, which often resulted in overeating because I was far too hungry by the time I sat down for a meal
Three, I found myself succumbing to temptation(!) “Since there isn't anything healthy here anyway, you may as well splurge. A cookie from the Co-op?”
The reality is, at any given moment, there are lots of great snacks in our fridge, I just wasn't bringing something along. Why not?
Packing food is often the last thing on my mind as I rush out the door. With all of my things and puppies on leashes, my mind already on the next thing. A simple note taped to the door, “Have you packed a tasty treat?”
Snacks in our fridge aren't always packaged in a way that makes them convenient for grab-and-go. I invested in a cool looking container. It's small enough to fit in my everyday bag, although sturdy enough to hold up to being jostled. (Small baggies don't work, trust me on this)
Then there's the mental game I play. It's easy to convince myself that it's ok to indulge when away from home. Therefore, I've been seeking out different recipes, which make snacking feel somehow new and almost treat-like. It's not that I won't indulge every once in a while, but it's a decision I make before walking out the door.
This is one of those recipes I never get tired of. It's packed with toasted nuts and coconut, seeds, oats, and hemp hearts (or protein powder). Binding it all together are bananas, maple syrup, dates, and a chia seed gel.
It would be fun to hear your ideas for twists. I've tried toasted walnuts, unsweetened cocoa powder, unsweetened crisp brown rice cereal, and even a little espresso from time to time.
If you happen to be a gym member, I've got a stash ready to bring with me tomorrow. You can give them a try. If you're brave enough to make it through my first class as a resistance instructor(!), a tasty treat will most certainly in order
~ Adapted from Elana's Pantry
Maple, Oat, and Pecan Power Bars
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats
- ¾ cups pecans, chopped and toasted (or any other nut)
- 1 cup dates, chopped
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- ½ cup hemp hearts (or protein powder)
- ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
- 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 ripe bananas
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup (honey or liquid sweetener of your choice)
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 6 Tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- In a small bowl, combine the chia seeds and water. Set aside
- In a large bowl, combine & whisk together the dry ingredients
- Add to the bowl of a food processor add the bananas, dates, coconut oil, vanilla, and maple syrup. Process until smooth.
- Add the chia gel to the food processor and pulse a few times to mix.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until well combined
- Spread the batter evenly into a baking pan (I used a 10" cast iron pan) and smooth the top with the back of a spatula.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
- Let cool completely and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They also freeze well, take one out about ½ hour before enjoying