Though Spring teases us with it’s appearance every few days, it has not been nice enough for me to get out onto my road bike in the mornings. Skinny little tires and slick roads just means an accident waiting to happen. Luckily I have a trainer for my bike. It’s a neat little device that clips onto my back wheel and allows me to ride indoors – at least until nicer weather appears. The problem is locating that trainer.
Some of you might be asking, why not go out later in the day when the frost is no longer a problem? One thing I know about myself, is that if I haven’t worked out by 10:30 am, it probably won’t happen. Less than a 5% chance for sure. It’s important to know yourself after all. Why fight it? I prefer to work with my patterns and this in turn increases my success rate. When I say success, I simply mean I’m successful at moving more.
Back to the trainer…
I was finally able to connect with the gal that I had lent it too and today was the day we were to be reunited!
Today we drove out to the small community she lives in to pick it up. It’s a town that we often forget about when we go about our normal business. She happens to live in Cumberland, a small community that thrives on outdoor activities, local organic food, art and music. At the foot of the mountains on Vancouver Island nestled by Comox Lake, it’s a charming community with a strong belief in supporting your neighbor and local businesses. Those that live there are die hard Cumberland lovers and you can see why.
The community doesn’t have a ton of stores, but it does have a local organic market. We stopped in to pick up spelt flour and some odds and ends. A snack attack occurred while we were surrounded with all this yummy healthful food. Unfortunately (as many of you know), just because your organic market sells it, it doesn’t mean it’s good for you. A quick peruse of the snack bars and their ingredient list left little to be desired. I settled on a LARA bar. The only one with a reasonable list of ingredients. At $2.79 a bar, making protein bars and snack bars at home makes a lot of sense. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, but I didn’t think it was $2.79 great. I was certain I could create something better.
Joshua plans to get skiing for the next couple of days, and though I did make a fresh batch of Maple Spiced Candied Nuts, something more substantial was in order before the week started.
Here is what we’re eating for our snack attacks this week. What have you prepared over the weekend to prevent bad food choices from happening to you?
Chocolate Banana Power Bars
- 1 cup dried pitted prunes (dates can be substitute here)
- 1 banana
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 4 Tbsp honey (vegan substitute: use agave or maple syrup)
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 2 Tbsp Tapioca starch (substitute 1 Tbsp potato starch, cornstarch or Arrowroot powder)
- 3 Tbsp Chia seeds, ground (possible substitute is ground flax seed)
- 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 100 grams dark organic chocolate (I used Camino’s) or 3.5 oz
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a 9×9 with parchment paper.
Put the prunes, banana, coconut oil and honey in a food processor until prunes are well incorporated. Add the remaining ingredients except the dark chocolate. Blend until well incorporated. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan. You’ll need to use your hands or a wooden spoon. Pat down until a nice even surface is achieved, pressing the mixture into the corners of the pan.
Bake for 20 minutes. The baking process here is only to firm up the bars. Don’t worry about testing them with a toothpick, it’s not necessary for these.
Remove from the oven and let cool. Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pot of hot water (not letting the bowl of chocolate touch the water) or use the microwave. Spread the melted chocolate in a thin layer over the bars. Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting into 15 bars.
Calories: 230 per bar
I like to wrap the squares individually and place them in the freezer. We grab what we need before we head out the door or take a bar out before our workout. Alternately they can be refrigerated in an airtight container.
Note: To make your own almond meal simply take whole almonds and process until almost flour like using a food processor. My food processor isn’t of super high quality. The almonds never get quite as fine as the store bought ones but I find it still works just fine for the recipes I make.
Dairy Free Dark Chocolate: There are many brands available out there, just make sure you read the ingredient list before purchasing as they are not all created equal.
One more thing. I know that buying chia seeds can be very expensive, but I don’t want that to deter you from making these because they are REALLY good. First, I bought 200 grams of ground chia seeds for $10.00. I know, crazy right? But in all honesty, we use them quite often and we still have a lot left. I keep them in the fridge and we add a tsp to our yogurt here and there, and occasionally use it in a baking item like this. I absolutely feel that it has lasted us long enough and that we got our moneys worth. Alternately, I think ground flax seed would be a reasonable substitute.
I’m sharing this with Real Food 101, Mangia Monday, Monday Mania, My Meatless Mondays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, A Little Birdie Told Me, Fat Tuesday, Traditional Tuesdays, This Chick Cooks, Cast Party Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Tasty Alternative, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Food Friday, Friday Food Flicks, Freaky Friday, Fight Back Friday, Foodie Friday, and This Week’s Cravings.