Although I would never trust a skinny baker (just kidding!) how does one enjoy such treats, yet still maintain a healthy figure? Over the past few years my interest in food has lead to an interest in health and the role that our diets play in our overall mental and physical wellness. I’ve tried many different approaches and in the end have often felt rather frustrated and lost with all the health crazes – which do I follow? I think it takes time to find a diet that fits your lifestyle – I’ve been researching avidly for 4 years and still can’t find my perfect balance.

So since it’s almost March, I’ve decided to start a new approach to my diet. Smaller portions, more living foods (fresh fruit and veg), a little less refined sugars, more tea, more fish, lean meats, and limited dairy. I think the key to my overall goal is moderation – I can’t just go cold turkey without my favourites (pizza, sandwiches, etc) but I can eat less of it.

And then there’s exercise… Rock climbing is my go-to. It’s fun, stimulating, challenging and burns up to 700 cals/hour! I love it, and can already see the definition in my arms, but I won’t stop there. The ever-so-feared jogging has been something I am slowly getting back into (I typically don’t run unless I am being chased) So let’s hope I am dedicated to this mighty plan.

Finally, I leave you with a recipe – the main purpose of this blog… it’s a healthy treat that can be made in a jiffy!

Vanola Granola Bars
Makes 16 Bars

These are SUPER easy to make and SUPER versatile.

We’ve all heard of super foods: nuts, grains, flax, chia, salba, etc… so feel free to substitute any of the below!

First, grab a big bowl and a spoon and start to gather your ingredients, I used the following:

2 – 3 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup dried cranberries
½ cup pecans
¾ cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup ground flax meal

Mix everything together (I didn’t measure, just grabbed handfuls of things so please use my measurements to your preference)

Now we need something to bind this all together:

¾ cup crunch peanut butter
½ cup agave syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix below ingredients into a saucepan, until peanut butter is melted and everything is incorporated.

Pour over dry mix and stir until combined – press into 9 x 9 baking sheet and sprinkle with a half cup of mini chocolate chips. Pop into the freezer for a half hour and cut into 16 squares. (if there is not enough liquid to bind together, melt a little bit more of the peanut butter and stir in – if there is too much liquid, add some more oats or dried fruit)

I keep these in the freezer and eat them cold – absolutely delicious and can be great for a quick burst of energy.



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2 responses to “GranOLA!

  1. Mandy Antler

    VAN! I must say, I’m not one to read blogs but I came across yours and I enjoy reading it! I also love baking… well more so decorating! I worked at DQ for 10 years and did the cakes so I am addicted to it… now that I clean teeth.. not much cake deco going on! But I always find a holiday to do so! I just wanted to send my love and say I enjoy reading your blogs! Perhaps one day we could have a business.. you bake, I decorate! Have a great weekend! xo

    • Thanks Mandy! I actually am going to take some night classes next fall to brush up on my culinary skills and then I do hope to, one day, own a bakery! I would love if you showcased some of your deco skillz lol. Take care xo

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