I bet you’re hungry. I mean, it’s been a week since I’ve given you a recipe!
I’m not back from vacation just yet so I’m going to keep this short and sweet; I have to enjoy my last day in the sunshine!
Before I go, we must discuss these granola bars. They’re simple, delicious, and full of good-for-you ingredients and healthy fats to keep you satisfied. Plus they are incredibly easy to make!
First we toast the coconut, oats, and almonds in the oven.
Then simply mix honey, almond butter, a little coconut oil, vanilla and cinnamon in a saucepan to heat thoroughly. The wet ingredients are then added to the dry mixture and then tossed to combine. Easy!
If you’ve been reading Ambitious Kitchen for a while, you already know that I’m completely addicted to grocery shopping. It’s just a thing I do when I’m stressed, or even when I need a little creative outlet. It’s simple: I pace the aisles back and forth, looking at different ingredients and coming up with recipe ideas in my head. And of course, I’m always on the look out for fun new products to tell you guys about, especially if they’re healthy! Or if they have brown butter. Hehe.
This past week The Good Bean company contacted me to see if I’d like some samples of their product and do a giveaway. I usually don’t turn down free food, so of course I said yes!
The Good Bean makes roasted chickpea snacks and Fruit & No-Nut Bars. They’re gluten-free and non-GMO, one serving of their chickpea snacks has as much fiber as 2 cups of broccoli, as much protein as an egg, as much folate as 3 cups of spinach, and they are freaking delicious! Their chickpea snacks come in four different flavors: sea salt, cracked pepper, smokey chili & lime, and sweet cinnamon. My favorite were the the sea salt and sweet cinnamon flavors. I found myself munching on the snacks on my way to the gym. They’re also perfect for topping on salads or even sprinkling on your greek yogurt in the morning!
The Fruit & NO-NUT Bars (made with chickpeas instead of nuts) were by far my favorite. Each bar has 40-60% less fat than the leading Fruit & Nut Bars. They have three varieties: apricot coconut, fruit & seeds trail mix, and chocolate berry. The chocolate berry bar is amazing, and they’re actually filling! The reason the bars aren’t photographed is because I ate them all. Seriously like ripped them open and devoured them. Sometimes I have no self control.
I’m getting to the point today. This bread is downright sensational. My goodness, I’m in love with it! I baked two loaves this weekend, and now sincerely hold the believe that it’s a little bit magical.
Honey Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. Doesn’t the name just scream ‘devour me’? The flavor combination is unique: a perfectly moist interior with a touch of sweetness from the honey with the bits of chocolate. Trust me, it cannot be matched.
Most of my banana bread recipes are healthy, use minimal sugar, no butter/oil, and focus on substitutes. I wanted this bread to fall under that category as well; however, I had never experimented with whole wheat flour in banana bread, nor unrefined sweeteners so I figured I would try something new.
The result? A gorgeous, perfectly moist bread with a golden brown crust! And not to mention, it’s now my new go-to banana bread. I just can’t get enough of this gem.
The past week my diet has consisted of chicken noodle soup, saltine crackers, hot chocolate, and popcorn. I was stuck in bed battling a terrible cold; and I think I ate about three giant bags of cough drops. At one point I even went to the grocery store in my pajamas because I was too lazy to change. I don’t know it was weird, I felt like if I didn’t have ginger ale my life would end or something. Clearly my fever made me a tiny delusional and a whole lot of dramatic.
Anyway I’m getting a little sidetracked here. All I really want to do is bring you healthy whole grain muffins to start your year off right.
These muffins are made with whole wheat flour, coconut flakes, carrots, raisins, and walnuts. I used applesauce instead a bunch of oil to save calories; this also keeps the muffins moist along with the almond milk.
I find these muffins necessary during those mornings when I find myself waking up 15 minutes before work. Usually I individually wrap mine in plastic wrap and freeze them so that all I have to do is pop them in the microwave in the morning.
Besides my grocery shopping obsession, I have a couple other little addictions.
One is the internet. Twitter specifically; I just love it! Also now that I’m finally getting an iPhone, (I can’t even talk about it), I’ll probably be bonkers obsessed with Instagram and every app that I’ll more than likely forget what it’s like to function as a real human being. I mean, it’s already tough enough for me to keep up with all of the new blogs I’ve been discovering online lately. My new favorite is A Beautiful Mess, a blog about everything from beauty and fashion, to crafts and photography. You totally need to check it out!
Another favorite is my friend Stephanie’s blog Frest Tart. Her unbelievably gorgeous food photography, recipes, and fun writing style immediately invites you in. Stephanie also photographs Andrew Zimmern’s recipes for Food & Wine Magazine which makes it even more fun to follow what she’s up to! Visit and tell her hello!
Something else that has been taking up a lot of my time lately? Baking! So you’ve probably noticed. Well, let me just inform you now that the sweet recipes will continue to live on this blog. I just can’t stop. I’ve always loved to bake but this is getting out of control. Seriously, did I need to make pumpkin muffins, cookies, AND apple crisp this weekend? Probably not. But you see, somedays I find that there is nothing that I would rather do then bake my heart out; my stress seems to diminish while mixing batter and browning butter. Why yes, I am a weird human being, thank you.
Mmmmm now I’m thinking about brown butter. But wait… these muffins don’t actually have any butter OR oil in them! Whatttt?!?! I know, I must explain.
Today we’re going to talk about a topic that seems to be popping up everywhere: how to get kids to eat healthy. And although, I’m not a parent, I am passionate about the issue and recognize how important it is for children to maintain a healthy, balanced diet in order to promote a positive long-lasting relationship with food.
I could get into the details, and provide you with a million statistics, but really all I’d like to do is to increase your awareness and inspire you to get a little creative with the children in your life. I’d also like to direct you to Lunch Break for Kids, a national fundraiser that highlights ways for parents and kids to come together with chefs and schools to show how simple, good food can make children healthier, as well as build strong family connections.
Below I’ve provided some friendly ideas and suggestions, which are all of course my opinion. I am in no way in expert, I just love kids, so I hope you enjoy. Please feel free to share any tips, ideas, or questions you have in the comments.
Below are a few fun and healthy breakfast suggestions: