No-Bake Almond Coconut Bars

I’ve got such a case of wanderlust right now; I can’t even handle it.  I want to be anywhere else but my hometown.  Has anyone else experienced this?

almond coconut bars

Every couple of months I get an overwhelming desire to move somewhere new.  A few years back in college, I was itching to head to Ireland for a semester abroad.  The experience surely would have been worthwhile but I played it (financially) safe and did not act on my dream.  Recently, though, all I want to do is move out of my hometown.  If you follow my Instagram, you might have heard me mention how I want to move out of California.  I currently live in the same hometown, or county, that I grew up in and I feel stuck.

Just yesterday I came across this article on Medium about how to live the life you want.  It might sound kitschy but inspirational articles and videos are all that get me by.  Anyway, the article’s author, Isaac Morehouse, stated something that really resonated with me:

“There’s something weird about staying in your hometown. It severely limits the definitions you accept for what makes you successful. Oddly, most of the hometown definitions of success have nothing to do with happiness. They have to do with becoming what everyone in your past expects or desires given who you used to be. It’s a sort of tether to a past self that no longer exists.”

 

almond coconut bars

As I read the article, and the above quote in particular, I felt understood like never before.  I really need a change from my same-old, same-old hometown.  It’s easier to say you want something to happen than to see it happen.  I’ve narrowed down where I want to go and have been applying to jobs left and right.  Unfortunately, I rarely hear back from any of the places I’ve put in applications. My guess is either:

A. No one wants to hire someone from out of state.

or

B. I’m oblivious of how under-qualified I am for the jobs that I’ve been applying for.

Ideally, I want to have some hope of acquiring a job before I move to the area I have in mind.  I’ve got some money saved up but not enough to keep me from wanting to play it safe.  (Thus, the reason I squashed my Ireland dreams in college).  Sigh.  It’s not an easy task to move out but I’m slowly working on it.

almond coconut bar ingredients

On a different note, something that is easy and does not require anyone to move (nice transition, right?) are these Almond Coconut Bars!  They are my ultimate favorite homemade snack bar.  They are inspired by the Balanced Goodness Coconut + Granola Go Macro bars but the ingredients are simplified.  You could totally make them into balls if you prefer small energy bites but I prefer larger bars, similar to the Go Macro ones.

almond coconut bars

They are ridiculously simple to throw together so if you make them, let me know! 🙂

No-Bake Almond Coconut Bars
Print
Recipe type: Snacks
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 bars
Inspired by Go Macro Balanced Goodness Coconut + Granola bars. These bars are only four ingredients, naturally sweetened, and don't require any baking.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (about 15 Neglet) sticky, pitted dates*
  • 2 heaping tbsp of almond butter
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, puree the dates to a thick paste. Add the almond butter and pulse.
  2. Take the ¼ cup of rolled oats and add them to a nonstick pan. On a stovetop, lightly warm the oats until they smell/look toasted. Three minutes on medium heat should be enough.
  3. Add the warm oats to the food processor, along with the coconut, and process until combined.
  4. Mixture will look dry and crumbly but, as you pick it up with your hands, it should mash together. Add 2 teaspoons of warm water if the mixture does not mash together and process again (I didn’t need to add any).
  5. Separate the mixture into 4 balls and form into square-shaped bars.
  6. They will keep at room temperature for a day, or store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Notes
*If your dates have been stored in the fridge or freezer, or simply aren't sticky, soak them in hot water to soften. I like to heat up some water in a pot on the stove and let the dates rest in the hot water for 10 minutes.

Live Nomva Smoothie Packs Review

Recently, I got the opportunity to sample several of Live Nomva’s probiotic smoothie packs.  These little packs are pure health pureed into a drinkable form.  I find them perfect for on-the-go and also an easy way to squeeze (literally!) some healthy fruits and veggies into my day.

Live Nomva Smoothie Packs
Photo from Live Nomva’s website

I tried out the following smoothie pack flavors:

KALE YEAH

STRAWNANA

TROPICARROT

APPLESTACK

EVERBERRY

At the time I tried these out, they had not yet release their ISLANDTIME flavor.   Nonetheless, I really liked the flavors I did try!  They’re basically like applesauce in texture but better! The packs are made with awesome ingredients ranging from banana to kale to apples to quinoa.

To begin with, the TROPICARROT flavor was probably my favorite.  It is made of pineapple, carrot, mango, and pear.  Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of how I used that pack because I literally guzzled that baby down in a minute because it was that good!  For all of the other flavors (that I could exercise a bit more restraint with) I managed to take some pictures:

STRAWNANA Live Nomva Smoothie Pack Chia Pudding Parfait

The STRAWNANA flavor went excellently in a coconut chia pudding, granola, and strawberries parfait that I put together.

EVERBERRY Live Nomva Smoothie Pack Chia Pudding Parfait

I also used their EVERBERRY flavor as a layer in yet another chia pudding parfait.  I mixed in some Puffins cereal, strawberries, and kiwi this time.  Super yum!

Admittedly, you could make your own smoothie and use that in a parfait but it’s hard to make just a small amount of smoothie.  So, these packs are the perfect size!!  I love adding the Nomva smoothie packs to parfaits and other concoctions but they are so delicious on their own.  Plus, they are free from dairy, tree nuts, preservatives, or anything funky.  Pure organic fruit and vegetables + vegan friendly probiotics!

Let’s talk about the probiotics for a sec.  As a mostly plant-based eater, I do not consume yogurt regularly.  That used to be my main source of probiotics.  Sometimes I drink kombucha or eat sauerkraut but these Live Nomva smoothies are totally easy and safe to consume daily because they are made with wholesome, organic produce.  Now, I can get behind that.

Live Nomva KALE YEAH: Productivity Fuel

Twice, I tried the KALE YEAH flavor on an occasion when I felt like I needed a pick-me-up but my stomach was feeling a bit off.  All of the nutritious ingredients and probiotics definitely helped me feel reenergized!

Check out the Live Nomva website to see more about their smoothie pack flavors and find out where you can buy them locally.  I believe you can even get a $1 off coupon to try out their product when you visit their website.

Have you guys tried the Nomva smoothie packs?  If so, what did you think?  As always, I’d love to hear your opinions.

Xoxo,

Melanie

 

DISCLAIMER: The Live Nomva smoothie packs were sent to me as a giveaway prize package.  I am not under any obligation to promote or endorse this product.  I truly enjoyed them so I just want to share my review.

5 Minute Peanut Butter Apple Crisp for One

I know what it feels like to get major cravings all of a sudden and desire immediate satisfaction.

I try not to keep unhealthy snacks or desserts around my house because I do not want the temptation.

Sure, I could make myself a healthy dessert but the thought of going through a lengthy process to whip up something is not always appealing.  Plus, what would I do with the leftovers?  Or, more likely, the problem will be that there are no leftovers.

Sometimes I have no self-restraint 🙈

Thus, I have created a treat to satisfy the quick snack cravings in a way that won’t leave you feeling yucky from an overindulgent dessert.

I cover all the sweet treat bases:

Warm

Crispy

Fruity

Peanut-buttery

Crunchy (Wait, is that the same as crispy? Nope!)

The most delicious crisp texture comes from broken down Ginnybakes cookies.  They are very firm, gluten-free cookies.  I  personally like microwaving them for a few seconds to soften them up, if I’m going to eat them on their own, but their hockey-puck like texture is perfect for adding crunch to this dessert snack!

Also, in the recipe, I used half of a large Gala apple but feel free to use an entire apple if you don’t want to leave half of an apple lying around.  Alternatively, double the recipe and share the snack-sized crisp with a friend! 😉

 

I’m aaaall ready to dive headfirst into this easy to assemble snack! Let’s go!

5 Minute Peanut Butter Apple Crisp for One
Print
Recipe type: Snacks
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 serving
A quick and easy apple crisp that is healthy enough for a snack and filling enough to satisfy a sweet tooth for dessert.
Ingredients
  • ½ tsp of Nutiva butter flavored coconut oil or plain coconut oil
  • ½ a large Gala apple or apple of choice, chopped
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Ginnybakes Coconut Oatmeal Bliss Cookies*
  • 2 tsp of peanut butter (I used Wild Friends Pumpkin Spice peanut butter)
Instructions
  1. In a small, nonstick pan, warm up the coconut oil over medium heat.
  2. Add chopped apples and sprinkle with cinnamon. Stir the apples around in the pan until warm. Pour apples into a serving bowl.
  3. Place the nonstick pan back on the stove, turning the temperature down to the lowest heat. On a cutting board, chop up the 2 cookies until there is a mixture of fine and medium-sized crumbs.
  4. Add cookie crumbs to the pan and turn off the flame. Let sit for 1 minute, swirling the crumbs every few seconds. The crumbs should already be crunchy so they just need to warm up.
  5. While the crumbs warm from the heat of the pan, add the 2 teaspoons of peanut butter to the cinnamon apples and stir until coated.
  6. Remove the pan from the stove and pour cookie crumbs over the apple-peanut butter mixture. Pat yourself on the back and eat!
Notes
*You can use another crunchy cookie of your choosing. The classic Nature Valley granola bars are the kind of firm, crispness that you’re looking for. Alternatively, you can sub 2 tbsp of pre-made granola for the cookie crumbs.