Almond Butter Bars

Almond Butter Bars

(from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals)

Andrew’s sister, Abigail, gave me this cookbook for Christmas one year and I discovered these bars while on a quest to find something to make with oatmeal.  I’m an almond butter fan, but wasn’t sure Andrew would be as taken with the flavor, so I was surprised to hear he loved them!  I’ve been making them in bulk ever since…  You don’t even need the sugar; they’re plenty sweet on their own.  Also, I decreased the puffed rice cereal from 1 C to 1/2 C.

1 C old-fashioned oats

¼ C slivered almonds

¼ C sunflower seeds

1 tbsp flax seeds

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1/2 C unsweetened puffed whole grain/rice cereal

¼ C currants

¼ C dried apricots

¼ C golden raisins

¼ C almond butter

¼ turbinado sugar (optional)

¼ C honey

½ tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp sea salt

  1. Toast oats, nuts and seeds (not cereal) on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 for 5-7 minutes, stirring once.  Let cool.
  2. Mix toasted oats and nuts, cereal and dried fruit in a large bowl.
  3. Combine almond butter, sugar (if using), honey, vanilla and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until mixture starts to bubble.
  4. Immediately pour the warm sauce over the dry ingredients and, using an oiled hand, press into an 8 x 8 square pan.
  5. Allow to chill for about 30 minutes.  Cut into 12 bars.  Store at room temp for one week, or in the freezer.

125 cal each (without sugar)

recovery morning

I had every intention of spending this Monday morning like every other Monday morning: getting up with the dog around 6 a.m., having coffee while making our breakfasts and Andrew’s lunch, then heading to the gym for pilates/yoga and swimming.

Until we didn’t go to bed after our day at the “beach” until well after 11.  And Hadrian woke me up at 3:50 to go to the bathroom.  (To which I replied, “It’s not time to get up yet, go lie down” and he promptly crawled back onto his bed.)  And then he woke me up again, this time at 5:30, and I relented and took him out.  When I ended up sleeping-in until 7, I still thought I might just fit in a quick run, but my body was telling me I needed a rest day.  Between 13 miles on Saturday and an easy elliptical workout and long day yesterday, I was tired!

That, and I needed to get organized for the week before picking Andrew up to see houses with our realtor over his lunch break.  It’s my routine; I hate being super busy on Sunday night or Monday morning and not feeling prepared for the week.

So, I’m calling this my recovery morning, filled with:

-a big steaming cup of coffee, sweetened with creamer and coconut milk

-two loads of laundry

-downloading yesterday’s photos

-catching up on blogs and email

-making the bed

-adding “to-do” items to the planner

And, of course, my “recovery” breakfast:

One banana, cut-up strawberries, 1/2 C plain yogurt, 1/4 Wegmans granola with raisins, flax seeds and flaxseed meal.  YUM!  Today will be filled with lots of water and nutritious foods to make up for yesterday’s steak sandwich and mindless munching.  Overall, I think I did very well for someone watching what they’re eating while being surrounded by chips (I took it easy), beer (I refrained, mostly because I just wasn’t interested) and burgers (I ate what I packed–leftover quinoa and an orange).

On the docket for the afternoon:

-beach-photo post

-blog work–new page and updated “About Me” page coming soon!

-emptying the dishwasher

-writing contest entries

-“clips” portfolio work

– Ellie Krieger’s Sloppy Joes  for dinner!

chocolate-covered cherries

I felt like having oatmeal this morning.

I should have photographed it BEFORE I mixed it all up, but I hadn’t been planning on blogging about it until Andrew urged me to.  So, instead of being pretty, it looks like brown mush.  But it was good!

I used instant oats (I know, I know, not my favorite, but I have a bag of them here in the hotel and I want to use them up!), half a banana, a few frozen cherries, 1 tbsp chocolate chips, 1/2 tbsp flaxseed meal, slivered almonds and a splash of milk.

I knew I was going to swim today, so I wanted something that would fill me up, and I just wasn’t in the mood for a smoothie and toast.

For my first time back in the pool, I did a simple “build” workout: a 100, 200, 300, 400 and then a 500-yd swim.  That adds up to 1,500 yds, which is just shy of a 1-mile swim.  I took it nice and slowly; it took about a half-hour.  It was nice to be back in the pool; there is just something about putting on goggles and blocking out the rest of the world for awhile.  I feel good and am looking forward to future pool workouts.

Happy Monday everyone!