Almond Joy Bars

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably chowing down on banana coconut muffins twice a day like they’re going out of style.   I’m guessing you’re in need of a new treat.

You probably want almond meal meets chocolate chips meets toasted coconut.

You probably want something that tastes like a candy bar since us health nuts are all so the candy bar eating type.

Okay, maybe we’re not the candy bar eating type (unless we’re talking peanut M&M’s). We’re the type that take the idea of a candy bar and make it into something socially acceptable for breakfast. Almond Joy oats.  Pay Day oats. Reese’s peanut butter cup baked oatmeal.  Whole wheat Twix muffins.   I rest my case.

Ummmmmm is it Halloween yet?

No, not yet.

Till then, there’s these.

Almond Joy Bars (gluten-free)

-makes 16 small bars, adapted from Daily Garnish’s Morning Mueseli Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut, toasted
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 5 dates, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp canned coconut milk (or regular milk)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray an 8 x 8 non-stick baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Place coconut on a microwave-safe plate and heat for about 1 minute and 30 seconds (stirring every 30 seconds), until golden.
  4. In a large bowl, combine almond meal, oats, cocoa powder baking soda, salt, cinnamon, almonds, coconut, chocolate chips and dates.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extract.
  6. Pour wet mixture into dry and stir to combine.
  7. Press  down mixture very firmly into baking dish so the bars don’t crumble after cooking.  You can line the dish with parchment paper if you have it.
  8. Bake for 12 minutes.  Allow them to cool completely before cutting.

Sweetened with a bit of maple syrup, dates and chocolate chips, these could be breakfast or dessert.  Or both.  Or dinner, because chocolate for dinner is all the noise right now.

My favorite thing about these bars (besides the awesome taste of course) is the soft center, just like the real candy bar version.

In workout news….

I did three rounds of this workout from pinterest with some tricep dips added in.  I definitely broke a sweat even though it was pretty short.  This quickie is great if you’re in one of those “the last thing I want to do is workout” moods but you want something fast and effective.

* * *

3 rounds of:

50 jumping jacks

5 pushups

20 crunches

20 mountain climbers

30 second plank

7 burpees

* * *

Then the roommates and I finished off a row and half of almond joy bars and that was that.

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Banana Coconut Muffins (gluten-free)

Lately when I wake up in the morning for work I’m faced with a serious choice.

Like do I take the time to sit down at the table and eat my eggy oatmeal with hot sauce or use that time to tame my lion’s mane that we call hair?

Do I slap on a band-aid, embrace the blisters and sport the cute cheetah flats?

Do I take the time to dump pumpkin, soymilk, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg into my not-yet-brewed-coffee when I’m already ten minutes late?

Um… yes to the first, second and third question.

The bottom line is that even if I wake up an hour early, I’m never ready on time. This morning I ate my oatmeal in the car in between red lights.  There may or may not have been Frank’s on the dash.  And my chin.

The bottom line is that if I don’t have mini greek quiches or pumpkin pancakes all cooked and ready to go when I wake up, breakfast is a scramble. And if it’s not eggs, I don’t want to scramble. So here is a mildly fabulous muffin recipe that you and me can grab and go for breakfast.

These muffins are super moist, packed with nutrition, low in added sugar and DELICIOUS.  Each muffin has about 165 calories and nearly 5 grams of protein.  You can get almond meal for $3.99 at Trader Joe’s and you can make oat flour by simply blending oats in the magic bullet or food processor.

Cheers to gluten-free goodness.  And getting to work slightly on time.

Banana Coconut Muffins

-serves 12, adapted from this banana bread

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (or butter), melted
  • 1 tbsp applesauce
  • 1 cup mashed, overripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1/2-1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Spray a muffin tin liberally with cooking spray.
  3. Toast coconut by microwaving it on a plate for 1.5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds to prevent burning.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together maple syrup, eggs, melted coconut oil, banana and vanilla.
  5. Add in dry ingredients (including toasted coconut) and stir until just combined.
  6. Pour batter into muffin tins and top with a sprinkling of brown sugar and coconut.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean!

Banana and coconut are a seriously underrated combination by the way.

While we’re on the subject of delicious, does anyone remember that one guy from NSYNC that wasn’t really anyone’s favorite?  The one on the left?  The roommates and I are on a quest to find out his name.