Best Protein Bar EVER – with Garden of Life

Follow ME To a HEALTHIER and More Vibrant YOU #gardenoflife #gardenofliferaw #kindorganics


So…by now y’all are aware that I went all whiny and whingy at BlogHer14, but I came away with a few positives, like meeting the awesome reps from Garden of Life Kind Organics.

I start every day with smoothies prepared with Raw Protein-Beyond Organic Protein Formula

  • Good for those with gastrointestinal sensitivities to milk, whey, and other protein sources
  • Easily digested – supports digestive health and function with live probiotics and protein-digesting enzymes
  • It’s raw, vegan and gluten free.
  • One serving has 17 grams of raw plant based protein.

My family loves my protein bars — I’m on a constant quest experimenting with different recipes to pack as many nutrients as possible in every bite, and THIS one is so good, it could be a meal replacement bar, too.

There are a lot of ingredients, but don’t let that scare you; it makes enough to last a long time.

This recipe uses Garden of Life Raw Protein in Vanilla, but you could use any flavor. Chocolate would be DELICOUS, and if you use that, add 1/2 cup cocoa to the dry ingredients.

“Bomber Bar” with Quinoa and Lentils ©™

We call them “Bomber Bars” ‘cos “bomber” is a term for an awesome wave. In my family, everyone but me surfs, and this is a great snack when you’ve burned all those calories in the water.

Lentil Puree:
4 ounces lentils, approximately 2/3 cup, picked over and rinsed
2 cups water
Cook until soft, about thirty minutes, then mash or use immersion blender. Set aside.

Ingredients:
½ – 1 cup Garden of Life Protein Powder
1½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (we love cinnamon)
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons fresh or ground ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom

2/3 cup maple syrup
½ cup vegetable oil or coconut oil
1 egg (delete egg to make it vegan)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsalted peanut butter

2 cups rolled oats
½ cup raw quinoa
1/2 c. Garden of Life chia seeds or ground chia
1/4 c. ground flax seeds
¼ cup rice bran
1/4 c. shredded coconut, sweetened

½ cup dried blueberries
1 cup assorted dried fruit, such as raisins, cherries, apricots, cranberries
1 cup chopped almonds

Directions:
In a really big bowl, combine the first ten dry ingredients, whisk to stir and set aside.quinoalentilbarCombine the quinoa, chia, flax, coconut, oats, and almonds on a baking sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes @350 degrees until lightly browned.

quinoalentil6in a large pot, mix the peanut butter and maple syrup together and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the rice bran, salt, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, ginger, and vanilla extract.

quinoalentil7Combine the quinoa/oats/almonds mixture with dry ingredients that were set aside. Whisk to mix.

Pour the peanut butter/maple syrup mixture into the bowl with dry ingredients, add oil and egg (if used).

Add cooked, mashed lentils. Mix well with wooden spoon to completely incorporate.

Add fruit. At this point, I use my hands to mix it all together. The mixture is a bit heavy and thanks to the maple syrup, it should stick together, so you may need to slightly moisten hands as you go.

Line a 13×9 pan with parchment paper, leaving enough hanging over the sides so you can lift it out after it bakes and cools.

Pour the (heavy) mixture into the pan and press down firmly.

*This is a super important step. When my tugboat man is home, this is his job. When he’s not here, I use a one-pound can to roll back and forth until it’s a flat and mooshed(?) together as possible. Pack it down to ensure it fills each corner and creates an even, flat surface.

Bake at 350 degrees for about thirty-forty minutes. Remove from oven, and press down again. The more dense the bar, the less crumbly it’ll be.
Let cool, refrigerate for at least two hours. Cut into 2×2 inch squares. To keep them fresher longer, I wrap each individually in parchment paper and always refrigerated.

quinoalentil8
quinoalentilproteinbar2 quinoalentilproteinbar3One of these bars is a protein packed “bomber” that’s a perfect snack or even meal replacement.

My son needs to eat several small meals with high quality nutrition and these are perfect for his busy, on-the-go lifestyle.

I’m happy because I know my family is eating healthy food made with love.

Why I’m Boycotting the 2014 Winter Olympic Games

World MEOver the years, I’ve been a passive fan of the Olympic games.

Oh, I’d sometimes watch figure skating, skiing and snowboarding, and that’s about it. Sean White is from our town, Carlsbad, and went to the same high school as my son, so there’s that tenuous connection.

The best year for me was 1994, the same year my tugboat man and I got married. I LOVED Oksana Baiul. Watching her perform “The Swan” was the most incredibly beautiful synergy of ballet and ice dancing. I’m not sure that level of perfection will ever be surpassed.

And it’s not that I don’t understand the years of training and sacrifice by the athletes and their families to reach this point in their lives, and it’s not that I don’t admire that kind of passion.

I get it, I really do.

But, overshadowing the joy of the win and the tears of defeat, is the tragedy of human rights and animal rights in Russia.

According to One Green Planet, over the last few months, Sochi, this year’s Winter Olympics host city, has fallen under intense scrutiny.

Some have called for a boycott of the 2014 Olympics because of Russia’s anti-gay policies, including a piece of legislation signed into law in June 2013 banning “homosexual propaganda” but no one has spoken publicly about boycotting the games on behalf of the animals.

WorldAnimals1

Photo property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

But there has been limited media coverage of Russia’s disregard for animal protection, including Sochi’s decision to use a captive dolphin as a torch bearer and the still pending transport of two wild-caught orcas to a Sochi dolphinarium.

And here’s more depressing news…

According to Peter Akman of CTV News, the city has gone back on its word and has resumed its plan to cull stray animals in an attempt to “cleanse” the area for Olympic guests.

Concerned locals have been documenting the cull’s victims through photo and video footage and animal activist groups have again called on the city to end its futile population control method, urging Sochi to instead build a shelter for homeless animals.

Unfortunately, we see similarly cruel decisions regarding animal “management” here in the United States with wolves, coyotes, and other predators, but this does not mean we should accept defeat and stay silent.

Instead, we must stay strong and be the voice for the voiceless.

In response to this barbarism, our own family boycott will manifest itself in a very simple way:

We will not watch NBC. We will change the station, watch another network, support other advertisers.

It’s not much, but it’s a statement to support our beliefs.

It seems so sad that not even one Olympic athlete has spoken out against these atrocities.

Is winning a medal more important than the life of an animal or thousands of animals?

Is that the best message we are sending the world and our future generations?

What you can do:

1. Join my family in boycotting The Winter Olympics and the advertisers. It’s a small sacrifice to show your support against these atrocities.

2. Sign this petition on Care2, asking Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, to halt Sochi’s cull.

3. You can also send an email to the City of Sochi urging them to focus on more effective and KIND overpopulation management solutions such as low cost sterilization and trap-neuter-release programs.

Thanks to OneGreenPlanet for this info.

WorldMe2Just think about it, OK?
Princess Rosebud and Her Tugboat Man

Sign the Animal Bill of Rights! | Animal Legal Defense Fund

I’m discovering my blogging path isn’t all seashells and Chanel…my tugboat man and I are both ardent animal activists — no, he doesn’t eat meat either, and abhors hunting or killing of animals. Hunting is not a sport. My tough merchant mariner is proud to stand up for and defend animals. What an awesome man I’m married to.

Sign the Animal Bill of Rights! | Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Do as I say, not as I do

A food police confession…we were out of healthy homemade cookies with DIL and sister wife in town, and captain loves a little sumpin’ sweet, so I broke down and allowed him to have a choice in life bought a package of honey graham crackers at Vons. Lowfat, contains fiber, etc. I gave him two squares and thought that would make him happy. Then I got the idea in my head to make chocolate covered graham crackers. Bad idea. Turned into a major tussle. I had to hide them from both of us, cos we wanted to eat them ALL, but you should REALLY try it. Melt 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. Add about 1 tsp. veg oil and stir to combine for a minute or so with a wooden spoon which’ll temper the choc. I covered one side although you could do both. I placed them in the refrigerator for a bit to speed up the hardening of the choc. They’re so freakin’ good. I know it’s crazy to take on the role of food regulator and then create scenarios that cause these kinds of problems. At least I’m totes aware of the dichotomy here. And at least I didn’t go full-on s’mores, mostly ‘cos the marshmallows at Vons contained gelatin which is derived from cows and we’re vegetarians and don’t eat Jello or anything like that. If we had been at Whole Foods and saw vegan marshmallows, I might not have been able to stop myself…