No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Coconut Granola Bars

Okay, I may have a problem….the combination of chocolate, peanut butter and coconut is to die for. Like really, it is my favorite EVER!  I contemplated making an “all the things” meme, that’s how much I love it.

Deep breath…

Granola bars are so convenient, and quite delicious. It’s tough to find some in the grocery store that aren’t expensive and don’t have dairy or loads of sugar. So yesterday I made a batch of granola bars and individually wrapped them for lunches or snacks or like this morning getting tossed in my purse to eat on-the-go for breakfast.

DF Granola BarsNo-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Coconut Granola Bars

Makes approx. 12-14

Bars:

2 cups oats (gluten-free)

1 cup brown rice krispy cereal

1 cup shredded coconut

2/3 cups brown rice syrup

1/2 cup (heaping) of creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp sea salt

Topping (optional):

1/8-1/4 dairy-free chocolate chips*

 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter

1 Tbsp (heaping) shredded coconut

Combine brown rice syrup and peanut butter, heat in a microwave safe bowl for 30 second intervals until peanut butter is melted, or on the stove in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir well.

Add vanilla, sea salt and cocoa powder to the peanut butter and brown rice syrup, mix well. Add in oats and coconut, once incorporated add in the krispy cereal and stir gently until mixed.

Take an 8×8 dish and line with parchment paper. Spoon the mixture into the dish and pack the mixture down with your hand, spatula, spoon…you get the point.

Melt the 2 Tbsp of peanut butter, just enough that it can be easily spread. Drizzle all over the top of the bars. Sprinkle on coconut and chocolate chips! 

Stick bars in the freezer for an hour or until firm. Remove easily from the pan with parchment paper and then cut into bar shapes. 

Store in an air-tight container or wrap individually.

*I typically use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips, but at a local food coop I found a bag of Equal Exchange 70% chocolate chips and used them for these granola bars. Fantastic!

DF Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Granola Bar

Enjoy 🙂

 

Toddler Hulk Muffins

Have I mentioned that my little is Batman? Well he is…but sometimes he likes to be other superheroes too, like Captain America or the Hulk and now he is totally into Ninja Turtles as well. Anyways, since my life seems to revolve around superheroes, it was only fitting to call these [super] yummy green and purple muffins, Hulk Muffins!

I know, I know, he is no longer a “toddler” but toddlers are sure to love these muffins, just like my…preschooler. I am having a hard time letting go of my little baby who just wanted to be held all day, isn’t three too early to be a big kid? He is such a strong and independent boy who is so full of life and is so adamant about learning new things, and doing everything by himself. He also doesn’t want to be called any of those mushy nicknames, like my baby or boo bear…the list goes on…sometimes I slip up and call him a mushy name, and he reminds me, “Mom, I am not a baby, I am a big kid.”

On to the muffins…

I haven’t made a “toddler” muffin in quite some time, but I really wanted to make something that didn’t have flour and contained fruits and veggies that could easily be tossed into a lunch-pail. I had just bought a big container of spinach and blueberries from Costco, which I immediately washed and froze in individual baggies for smoothies (more on that another day)…but I thought hey, those would be perfeeecccttt for a muffin!

Toddler Hulk Muffins

Makes approx. 30 mini muffins

2 cups rolled oats (not all oats are gluten-free, check the labeling)

2 bananas

2 eggs

1 heaping handful of spinach

1-1 1/2 cup blueberries

1 cup dairy free yogurt (I used coconut yogurt)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp baking soda

Pre-heat oven to 400.

Blend or food process the oats, yogurt, spinach, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and vanilla until smooth, although there will be some texture from the oats. Add in eggs. Once combined fold in the blueberries.

Grease or line muffin tin. Fill compartments 3/4 full. Stick them in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.

P.S. These aren’t just for toddlers, I loved them too!

P.P.S. Go check out my Instagram over there —-> on the right side of the screen. Follow me and stay updated on the daily (or close to it), or if you don’t have an Instagram you can still go check out the pictures!

Happy Baking 🙂

Flour-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

I’ve been experimenting with recipes that are free from flour, because honestly, can it get any easier than that?! Sometimes dealing with alternative flours can be a little tricky, and another plus is that you cut out a significant amount of carbs and extra calories.

As you all know by now, I love me some peanut butter! And it was my mom’s birthday, so basically that meant…CUPCAKE TIME!

PB Cup Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

Yields 6 Cupcakes

Cupcake:

3 eggs

1 medium ripe banana

1/4 cup peanut butter

3 tbsp honey

3 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp almond extract

1/4 tsp baking soda

Filling:

1 tbsp peanut butter

1/2 tsp honey

dash of vanilla extract

dash of almond extract

Icing:

1/4 cup honey

1/8 cup rice milk

1/8 cup Earth Balance

2 tbsp peanut butter

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp almond extract

This recipe uses a good amount of peanut butter and honey, so make sure you have plenty on hand! I first mixed my banana, honey, cocoa powder, baking soda and extracts in my magic bullet so that I could get a smooth consistency and get rid of the banana chunks. I then poured the mixture into my bowl and added the peanut butter and eggs and mixed until smooth.

In a separate bowl, mix up the filling, the extracts are optional, I just poured in a little for some extra flavor. You can always taste test! I mixed the filling until it was a fluffier consistency. Add the batter into the cupcake tin (either greased or lined) until it is 1/4 full. Add 1 tsp dollop of the filling into each of the cupcakes. Add the remaining batter on top, which should be about 3/4 full.

Bake the cupcakes at 400 degrees for 9-12 minutes.

While the cupcakes are in the oven, take out a saucepan and stick it on your stove top over low heat. Add the ingredients for the icing, minus the milk. Stir the ingredients until melted and then slowly add the milk in while mixing. During this part it is beneficial to have a whisk, which I don’t have! GASP! I know it’s silly.

Once the cupcakes are done cooking and have cooled, add the icing on top. Then try not to eat them all in one sitting!

Enjoy 🙂

Chocolate, coconut and peanut butter! Does it get any better?

Wild Friends is a new[er] brand of nut butters on the market, and they have great flavors including Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter, which was my muse for these two recipes.

I have been trying to find a protein bar on the market that is not only is dairy-free but inexpensive, and it has become a trying task. So I decided to make my own. These bars are not only simple to make, but it makes a large batch and only used a fraction of the ingredients that I purchased.

Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Protein Bars

Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Protein Bars

Approx. 20 small bars

2 cups oats

1 cup puffed brown rice cereal

3/4 cup Wild Friends Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter

1/3 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup brown rice syrup (I used Lundberg’s Organic Sweet Dreams)

2/3 cup brown rice protein powder (I used Growing Naturals Brand in Chocolate)

1 tsp vanilla

I combined the peanut butter and brown rice syrup and heated it in the microwave for a few seconds until it was slightly melted and easier to stir, you could also heat it on your stove top over low heat-this step made the process of mixing much easier. Add the additional ingredients and keep stirring until the mixture is uniformly combined.

I took my 16 cup (12.375″ L X 9.125″ W X 3.5″ H) Sterilite rectangle lidded container and lined it with parchment paper. I added the mixture and pressed it firmly and evenly. I snapped on the lid and stuck it in the refrigerator for about an hour or two (I lost track of time); once they were cooled, I removed the bars easily with the parchment paper and cut them into 20 small rectangular bars. Then I tossed them back into the container for storage. I recommend storing them in the refrigerator, however I did have one in my purse that I forgot about…it was in a Ziploc baggy for a day or so and it still maintained the shape and flavor.

I wanted to touch on brown rice syrup briefly. I have heard controversy over this item due to reports of arsenic in rice. For one, it is an ingredient in almost every organic, natural, vegan etc bar, and two I felt comfortable using this Lundberg brand because they are taking precautions and testing the levels of arsenic in their rice as part of their comprehensive food safety plan.

And now for this masterpiece…

Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Pancakes

Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Pancakes

Approx. 4-6 depending on size

2 eggs

1 ripe banana

1/2 cup Wild Friends Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter

2 tbsp chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life minis)

2 tbsp shredded coconut

Optional:

Coconut oil for cooking

A little extra coconut and chocolate chips to sprinkle on top (highly recommended)

Mash the banana, then add the eggs and mix well; add the remaining ingredients and mix until relatively smooth. I heated a pan on my stove top to medium-low and added a little coconut oil to keep the pancakes from sticking.  I put about 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture into the pan; when they have formed bubbles on top that have burst they are ready to be flipped (just like normal pancakes). These don’t take long to cook!

When they are done, grab a plate and stack ’em up. I didn’t add any syrup or additional peanut butter, just a sprinkle of coconut and chocolate chips on top. I’m not even exaggerating, these were like heaven in my mouth. Next time around, I will be making a bigger batch!

Enjoy 🙂

P.S. This post was not sponsored by Wild Friends. All opinions and ideas are my own.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Coconut Granola Bars

I was at the grocery store the other day and I came across a bottle of Bee Free Honee, its texture is just the same as honey but it’s made with apples instead…pretty awesome right?

I knew I wanted to try it out on something other than a peanut butter and honee sandwich, so thus the granola bar was born!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Coconut Granola Bars (V, DF, GF)

No-Bake Peanut Butter Coconut Granola Bars
Yields: Approx. 10

Granola Bars:

2 cups gluten-free oats
1 cup brown rice cereal
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup finely shredded coconut
1/4-1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup bee free honee

Topping (optional):

1/4 cup enjoy life chocolate chips
1/8 cup finely shredded coconut

Combine all of the ingredients, I used closer to 1/2 cup of coconut oil, just make sure that it is coated well and the coconut oil will help to hold the bars together when it returns to its solid state. Place it in an 8-inch square baking dish (larger if you want a thinner bar, and smaller if you’d like a thicker bar) that is lined with parchment paper. Firmly press the mixture into the dish.

Stick the baking dish in the freezer for 20 minutes. While the mixture is in the freezer take the 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and melt them. Once you remove the dish from the freezer remove from the mixture by using the parchment paper.

I put the melted chocolate in a sandwich baggy and cut off a corner and created a zig-zag pattern on the top of the bars. Then I sprinkled on the 1/8 cup of coconut. Once the chocolate hardens, cut them into bar shapes.

Since coconut oil has a low melting point, it is best to store the bars in the refrigerator. Also, if you are packing them to go you may want to keep them someplace cool.

Enjoy!

P.S. I have been posting on my Instagram account, if you have Instagram be sure to follow me, but if you don’t you can click on the pictures that show up to the right and it will take you to my Instagram so you can still see what I’m up to 🙂

PB&J Smoothie

I made this PB&J smoothie for breakfast this morning, and it was a hit for me and the toddler! It was incredibly filling as well. I have been trying to find and make more recipes including PB2, because well…I love peanut butter, but it can be a little fattening eaten in mass quantities.

Yummy PB and J Smoothie

PB&J Smoothie

Makes: 24 ounces or 3 cups

1 1/2 Cups Unsweetened Original Almond Milk

1 Cup Frozen Strawberries

1/2 Banana

2 Tbsp PB2

Optional:

1 Tbsp Agave or Honey

There is nothing too difficult about making this smoothie, just dump all of the ingredients into the blender and blend it up until you reach your desired consistency. I added a little bit of agave to give it some sweetness. Easy-peasy!

I break into song every time I talk about peanut butter and jelly, so here is a lovely video for your entertainment!

 🙂