Do you like to have easy grab and go breakfast choices? As much as I love to cook, I don’t want to cook first thing in the morning so these healthy bars are the perfect make ahead solution. Not only are they tasty (which is always a priority) but they are filled with antioxidants, oatmeal, nuts, seeds and fruit including Goji Berries. Go ahead and make a double batch as they freeze well and then you can be sure to have plenty on hand for the next couple of weeks.
When I make a double batch I still prefer to bake them in two separate pans. When I baked a double batch in a 9 x 13 pan they didn’t turn out as well – the bars in the middle of the pan were too soft and mushy.
This is the type of baked good you can feel good about eating. They are just the right size to eat before my morning walk when I want a little something in my tummy but not too much. Great with a cup of coffee (which I am in the process of giving up) or a cup of hot tea. Once cool, I cut the bars and wrap them individually and freeze half. These are a soft moist bar – not like a crunchy granola bar.
Goji Berries are available at health food stores, Whole Foods and some grocery stores. They are nutrient dense dried berries that are rich in protein, essential amino acids, vitamin A and vitamin C. One ounce of Goji Berries contains 100 calories, og Fat, 75mg Sodium, 21g Carbs, 3g Fiber and 4g Protein. They can be used in hot oatmeal, baked goods, stews and soups, trail mix. They have a flavor all of their own – a little sweet and a little tart!
Costco sells these large containers of California Medjool Dates which are large soft and super sweet. These are used in place of refined sugar when following a nutrient rich plant based diet. Dates contain natural fiber and a higher vitamin and mineral content than other sweeteners. That doesn’t make them a “free” food as they are dense in calories and carbs but they are beneficial in adding sweetness to recipes. Be sure to use a sharp knife to cut the date open and remove the pit before using. Dates can be found in the bulk bins at health food stores and other varieties can be used. Trader Joe’s also sells dates. Sometimes my Sam’s club has dates but not always.
Go Berry Breakfast Bars
- 1 medium ripe banana
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/8 cup pomegranate juice
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped dates
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon Goji berries
- 1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a fork mash the banana, add remaining ingredients, stir until well mixed. Spray an 8 inch square pan with non stick spray or lightly oil. Spread mixture evenly into pan and bake for 25 minutes. Let cool before cutting into 8 bars.
Yield: 8 bars
*Estimated Nutritional Information
Per Serving; 118 Calories, 2.2g Fat, 23.5 g Carbohydrates, 3.3 g Fiber, 2.7g Protein, 2mg Sodium, WWPP 3
Recipe adapted from Dr Joel Fuhrman’s Super Immunity Book page191, also called Antioxidant Rich Breakfast Bars (with only 6 servings) on pg 259 in Eat For Health.
*The nutritional information and WW PP values posted on Nutmeg Notebook are my best estimates based on the brands of products I use and the software programs used to calculate them. If you rely heavily on the nutritional information and WWPP values I encourage you to double check the values given, using the brands of products you use. If you find big differences feel free to email me or leave me a comment letting me know.
Over the weekend I got to take my new bike out for another spin – on Saturday we rode 29 miles of the American River Bike Trail. It was outstanding! Then Sunday morning we had the itch to hit the bike trail again but only had time for a short 13 mile ride. We soon discovered that our muscles were still sore and tired from the day before so a shorter ride worked out well.
Eating out on a nutritarian diet.
The Mexican food chain Chipotle has rolled out a new soy based product called Sofritas – so far it is only available in Northern California and we are lucky that our local Chipotle restaurants have started serving it. The non GMO Tofu is marinated in a hot and spicy mixture and chopped up and served hot on their salads, tacos or burritos. It is high in sodium but for an occasional quick meal I can fit it into my food plan. I get the salad with vegetarian black beans, sauteed peppers and onions, sofritas and salsa. Sometimes hubby Tom and I will split a side of guacamole that we put over the top – no chips for dipping for us! The salad with sofritas comes in around 330 calories and half an order of quacamole adds another 75 calories. Not bad! If all goes well Chipotle will be rolling out sofritas in more areas.
Whole Foods grocery store has an incredible salad bar filled with tons of healthy options for all types of food plans. Sunday we hit up the salad bar for lunch. I filled my to go container with lots of healthy greens, beets, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, grilled tofu, garbanzo beans and topped it all off with a side of the avocado tofu dressing. So healthy and satisfying.
“Eat The Way Nature Intended” is their motto at Baagan a local vegetarian restaurant I discovered a year or so ago. One night last week hubby Tom and I were having dinner there and at the same time they had a class going for people who were moving towards a plant based diet. We got to listen in while we ate and it was interesting. There were about a dozen people in the class – mostly middle age folks. I didn’t learn anything new – I guess all of my reading has been beneficial! Anyway back to the food – they have a sandwich that I always get, It’s whole grain bread with hummus and fresh vegetables – it’s about 2 inches thick with veggies and so yummy. Hubby Tom and I shared a millet salad that was amazing and the soups and salads I have had have all been delicious. They serve Chocolate Banana Soft Serve – just bananas and natural cocoa – so good and even better when someone else has to do the clean up! You can check out my homemade version of Banana Soft Serve. Of course I will now be making it minus the yogurt just ripe bananas and cocoa like they do at Baagan.
Hubby Tom is at his goal weight and working on figuring out how much he can eat for maintaining. He is finding it difficult to get more calories in as the food we are eating is so low calorie but yet so filling! Kind of a nice problem to have right? I will be adding more nuts, seeds and avocado to his salads in order to up his calorie intake with healthy nutrient dense food.
I continue to lose weight albeit slowly – I am down another pound and have 9 more to go to be at my happy weight! Even though the weight on the scale isn’t shifting so much, my body is changing. The bike riding is really firming up my leg muscles – love that! I am wearing some smaller size jeans and capris that didn’t fit just a couple weeks ago. Plus I just feel so much better since we have changed our food plan.
When we first started eating a plant based diet I experienced some fatigue, headaches and itchy skin – so did hubby Tom. Those are all normal side affects according to what I have read. At this point all of the side affects have vanished. We are working on cutting down on our morning coffee. I have gone from 1 1/2 cups to about a 1/2 cup. I would rather break this habit slowly than go cold turkey. I am almost there! I think the ritual of my morning coffee causes me to drag later in the day after the caffeine wears off so that’s why I want to eliminate it from my food plan.
Healthy Vegetarian Blogs
I have discovered some wonderful blogs that have vegetarian recipes. My list of things to make is growing faster than I can keep up! You don’t have to be vegetarian to enjoy some healthy plant based side dishes or if you want to incorporate some meatless meals into your food plan check out these blogs.
Helyn’s Healthy Kitchen Helyn is a chef and she is an amazing writer and photographer as well.
Carrie On Vegan Carrie also has an app for the iPhone and iPad called Vegan Delish with recipes, photos and shopping lists – it’s very useful.
Susan at Fat Free Vegan Kitchen has so many amazing recipes. I have made several of her recipes and have been very happy with the results. All of her recipes are not fat free – rather she uses healthy fats in her recipes.
Vegetarian Times is another good place to look for recipes and inspiration for meal planning.
Happy Herbivore is a popular blog among vegetarians, flexitarians and nutritarians. I just purchased a couple of her cookbooks and have several things bookmarked to try. So many recipes – so little time.
This past week I cooked up an amazing stir fry with tofu, curry vegetables, split pea and yam soup, black bean soup, banana oat bars, lentil loaf, lentil burgers, baked beans, kale/broccoli slaw, and a banana walnut soft serve. Our nutritarian food plan is absolutely delicious and satisfying. I want to post the above recipes – but I just seem pressed for time these days and don’t want to be sitting at the computer so much. That’s not a bad thing right?
I’m glad you are here. Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment or ask a question.
What do you eat for breakfast?
Most mornings I have a smoothie – almond milk, protein powder, frozen fruit and that holds me over until my mid-morning snack. It’s definitely nothing exciting, but I can easily throw it together in the morning and drink on my way to work.
I also haven’t had any super fast weight loss, but I recently acquired an elliptical and although I hated it at first, it is really kicking my behind and I mean literally kicking it! My husband has commented more than once about my smaller backside and my pants are definitely fitting different even though I haven’t lost a lot of weight. I am definitely watching what I eat and I only wish I had 9 pounds to go! Congrats to you!
These look delicious, can’t wait to try!
I have to share a funny story. My husband has that same book right now from the library. He, less of a cook even than I am, decided to make the vegan brownies the other night. I was eager to taste them as well, having always wanted to try black bean brownies.
He tasted them. He disliked them. He said “there’s something hard in here… do dates have pits?” Sure enough, dates have pits. And he didn’t know to take them out!
Footnote – I liked the brownies myself. DH disliked them so much he said he wouldn’t eat them and that I could throw them out if I wanted. He NEVER throws out food!
Too funny Karen! What a bummer that he didn’t like the brownies – but yeah for you! I haven’t tried Fuhrman’s black bean brownie recipe but I tried a different one about a year ago and it was terrible! Since you two are on two different food plans do you each cook your own food?
We pretty much fend for ourselves. I try to cook dinner for us both a few times a week. Last week I made a yummy greek flavored lentil dish and a bean dish. Both had cheese so if DH decides to really cut back on dairy more, those will be out too. I admit I am evolving towards less meat now, maybe partially influenced by DH, what I’ve read and seen, but also partially so we can find a middle ground. But the ground seems to go towards him not me!
You made me laugh with that last comment about the ground going towards him not you! It does make meal planning easier and more enjoyable if you both can eat the same thing. My hubby is eating a little more animal products than I care to have so he just adds something to what I have cooked if he wants meat, cheese or eggs. Most of the time he is content with the vegan meals, it seems to be working for us so far. It is however a learning curve for me – figuring out what to make as we love having a variety of ethnic meals. Hope that middle ground is found soon for you Karen!
Jody - Fit at 55
Those bars look delish!!!!!! Send one my way cause I am too lazy to make PLUS buy the ingredients! 😉
I love how you are embracing this & loving it! All abut finding your way & what is right for you AND hubby too – a great thing that you eat the same. Me & hubby do not. 😉
It does make it easier if we eat the same meals – and since I do the cooking it’s a lot less work for me.
I usually prefer savory breakfasts, but once our weather warms up, plan on doing a 30 minute walk before work – that would be the perfect fuel!
Have a wonderful weekend!
I have never tried goji berries but I keep seeing them in stuff, I would totally try them in those breakfast bars though, they are right up my alley!
I really like the flavor of goji berries I have seen them in the bulk bins which is a great way to try a small sample to see if they appeal to you.
Hi Tami, This plan seems to be working so well. I’m happy for you and Tom! Great recipe too, thank you! Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
The bars look really good. I usually have a smoothie (banana, lots of greens, hemp seeds, & some frozen fruit) for breakfast, but it’s nice to have some bars around for hectic mornings.
I’m glad that you are feeling so well on your plant-based diet. Since I did a cleanse in January, I have been eating mostly plants, but I still eat fish, yogurt, and once in a while a little meat. It works at this point.
I started drinking warm lemon water when I stopped drinking coffee, and I still love it.