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prana & boomi bars

I am headed up to Maine this morning for a fun girls weekend on the lake!  While I am away, I wanted to leave you with a product review.  Enjoy!

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I received a very generous sampling from Divine Foods a few months ago and have been working my way through their line of Prana and Boomi bars.

I was sent their line of Prana Bars, Super Charger Prana Bars and Boomi Bars to try out.

[Disclaimer: I did receive these products for free, however, the review is my honest opinion.  If I did not like the products, I would tell you!  I only accept samples of items that I know I will like and that fit into my eating plan.]

All of their bars are made with organic, simple, easy to pronounce ingredients, which excites me right away.  For example, the Pear Ginseng Prana Bar contains the following ingredients: Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Date Paste, Organic Almond Butter, Organic Almonds, Organic Pears, Organic Sesame Seeds, Organic Puffed Amaranth, Organic Ginseng, Sea Salt.

Not too shabby!

Prana Bars have a very smooth texture.  Like Larabars, they are made from a base of dates, but they also contain puffed amaranth, which gives it a different (and great!) texture from a Larabar.

My favorites are below.  I really enjoyed these bars.  The flavors are so interesting and they all really worked together!  I was very impressed.

Super Charger Prana Bars have the same texture as the Prana bars (above), but contain some ‘superfoods’, such as goji berries and maca, which make them super!  I loved all 4 of these flavors and really cannot decide which I liked best, although the Blueberry Coconut was awesome!

Boomi Bars were my favorite of all of the bars due to the texture.  They were chunkier than the Prana bars which I enjoyed.  I like chunks of nuts and fruit throughout, which these definitely had.  In addition to the amaranth, these bars also contain crisp rice which definitely makes the texture.  Normally, I try to stay away from white rice, but in a product like this that I am not going to eat every single day, it is okay with me.  Plus, it makes the bar!

I had a really hard time deciding on favorites because tha majority of flavors were great!

Overall, I really liked all of the Prana and Boomi Bars that I tried.  I would definitely buy these products when I was in need of a snack and would use them as just that – a snack.  Their website says that they can be used as meal replacements, but I don’t agree.  They don’t have nearly enough fat, calories or protein for a meal.

Enjoy!

juice to-go

Another beautiful day here in Boston!  Sunny, warm and very windy!

I started my day with a huge fresh-squeezed juice to take with me on my morning walk with Benny.  Benny’s parents come home tomorrow!  We’ll miss the little guy…but, not all the dog hair everywhere! 🙂

In the mix were carrots, celery, apple, orange, kiwi, lime and ginger.

Then, I took the crazy dog for a walk.  Trust me, he was crazy this morning!

After our walk, I snacked on 1/2 a homemade Tropical granola bar, then headed out for a run.

I ran around Castle Island in Southie.  I finished 6.5 miles in 60 minutes and felt great!  I guess that 2 week running hiatus didn’t hurt me too too much.

My post-run snack/2nd part of breakfast included a Strawberry-Banana Chobani (my absolute favorite flavor!) mixed with ground flaxseed and topped with the other 1/2 of my tropical granola bar.

With some Chai Tea.

Time to enjoy this beautiful day!

another try

Good morning!  Happy Saturday!

It is a gorgeous morning here in Boston, so we are headed out for a long bike ride.  But, first I thought I would leave you with some goodies!

Last week, I took a stab at making some more granola bars, hoping that they would stick together better this time.  Well, I ended up making 3 batches because I wanted different flavors, and they were not coming out the way I wanted them to.  (Please someone, please tell me the trick to getting these guys to stick together!)

All of the bars are SOOO tasty, and I need to remember the proportions myself, so I’ll leave you with the recipes regardless of the stickiness/etc.

Batch #1 – Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars

*these are my favorite of the group!  They stick together just fine, and are not too gooey.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried unsweetened cherries
  • 3 T dark chocolate chunks
  • 2 T brown rice syrup
  • 2 T unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 T raw almond butter
  • 1/4 cup sucanat
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t salt

Directions:

  • Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl (#1-6).
  • Mix wet ingredients in a saucepan over low heat until melted (#7-13).
  • Pour wet over dry and mix.
  • Spread mixture on parchment lined baking sheet and press down firmly until you have a solid sheet of 1/2 inch bars (or thicker if you prefer).  Make sure everything is sticking together (see photo above).
  • Refrigerate for 2-4 hours until firm (I left them overnight).
  • Flip over onto a cutting board and remove parchement.  Cut into bars!  Makes 12 bars.

Batch #2 – Tropical Granola Bars

*The combination of flavors in these is amazing!  I love them, but I added too much sauce, so they do not stay together well and are a little gooey.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup brown rice cereal
  • 1/4 cup chopped macademia nuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried pineapple. unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 2 T ground flaxmeal
  • 2 T raw honey
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 2 T unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup sucanat
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t salt

Directions:

  • Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl (#1-7).
  • Mix wet ingredients in a saucepan over low heat until melted (#8-14).
  • Pour wet over dry and mix.
  • Spread mixture on parchment lined baking sheet and press down firmly until you have a solid sheet of 1/2 inch bars (or thicker if you prefer).  Make sure everything is sticking together (see photo above).
  • Let cool, then drizzle with coconut butter!
  • Refrigerate for 2-4 hours until firm (I left them overnight).
  • Flip over onto a cutting board and remove parchement.  Cut into bars!  Makes 12 bars.

Batch #3 – Maple Ginger Granola Bars

*Love the maple and ginger combination!  But, again – too sticky!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/8 cup ground flaxmeal
  • 1/8 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (the real stuff)
  • 2 T unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t salt

Directions:

  • Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl (#1-8).
  • Mix wet ingredients in a saucepan over low heat until melted (#9-14).
  • Pour wet over dry and mix.
  • Spread mixture on parchment lined baking sheet and press down firmly until you have a solid sheet of 1/2 inch bars (or thicker if you prefer).  Make sure everything is sticking together (see photo above).
  • Refrigerate for 2-4 hours until firm (I left them overnight).
  • Flip over onto a cutting board and remove parchement.  Cut into bars!  Makes 12 bars.

So, there you have it!  Three delicious varieties of granola bars!

But, I am still trying to figure out what went wrong.  Batch #1 stuck together and firmed up great.  No gooey-ness at all.  Just straight up heaven in a bar!  Batches #2-3 are gooey, I’m not going to lie.  Maybe too much applesauce?  Too much liquid?  Not enough almond butter?  Was that the trick to the first batch?

Well, I will not know until I try again!  Until then…let me know if you have any tips! 🙂

coconut almond granola bars

The weather is looking great all week.  Hopefully I can get outside for some workouts!

This morning I took the time to make Steel Cut Oats.  I like them so much more than rolled oats, but they take a lot more time to cook.  Since I decided to study this morning instead of going for a run, I had an extra 30 minutes for my oats to simmer on the stove.

I kept the oats really plain today – no flax or banana in the mix, but I did have a banana on the side.

Topped with maple granola, 1 tbsp of homemade chocolate almond butter and a drizzle of coconut butter.

One of my baking projects yesterday included making homemade granola bars!  I have been wanting to make them for awhile, but have been trying to eat up the store bought bars we have.  I seem to have a problem with wanting to make homemade everything, even though we have loads of other stuff – like, granola!  A few weeks ago, I made 2 types of granola, however I had also just been sent Galaxy Granola to sample, and haven’t even opened 2 bags of my Kaia Foods samples.  Good thing granola will last for awhile in an airtight container…

Anyways – we were in need for some granola bars, so I was psyched to whip some up.  I looked at a few different recipes, but ultimately decided to just make up my own so that I could throw in whatever I wanted to.  This recipe definitely needs perfecting because the bars do fall apart a bit (maybe I need more liquids??), but they taste really good!  They would be perfect as a granola topping. 🙂

Coconut Almond Granola Bars

makes 12 large bars

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • 1.25 cups brown rice cereal (for added crunch)
  • 1 cup raw almonds, lightly chopped
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas
  • 3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter
  • 1/4 cup sucanat
  • 2 tbsp raw almond butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Mix most of the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl: oats, brown rice cereal, almonds, pepitas, coconut, raisins, chia seeds.

Then, add the following ingredients to a small pot on the stove (brown rice syrup, coconut butter, sucanat, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, almond butter), and heat on low until sucanat, coconut butter and almond butter are melted and mixed well.

Then pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix well.  You may have to use your hands!

Lighty spray a baking pan with oil of your choice, I used coconut oil, and spread out the granola mixture.  Press down firmly to make sure everything sticks together.

Then, refrigerate until cold and firm.  Once chilled, cut into granola bars!

I made these into 12 larger bars, but they could easily make 18 squares.  I wrapped them individually in syran wrap for easy grab-and-go.  Does anyone have other recommendations instead of syran wrap for storage??

Each bar (if you cut them into 12 bars) has about 270 calories, if I typed the ingredients correctly into FitDay!  The bars are on the denser side, but that is how I wanted them.  More of a small meal than a snack and great to eat 1/2 at a time before and/or after a workout.

I’ll try one out before my run tonight!

granola bars

I decided to have a little more fun while my fruit was dehydrating, so I whipped up some homemade granola bars that I found on another blogger website: Katheats.com

They were super easy to make.  I substituted some of my own ingredients in the bars, since I had them on hand.  You could basically use any type of dried fruit and/or nuts you have on hand!

Homemade Granola Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 3/4 cup dried fruit (I used 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 cup craisins, 1/4 cup apricots)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1.25 cups skim milk
  • 1 egg or egg substitute
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Directions:

    1.  Preheat oven to 350°.

    2.  Mix dry ingredients.

    3.  Mix wet ingredients.

    4. Pour wet into dry.  Stir to combine.

    5.  Pour into a 9 x 9 baking dish either coated in cooking spray or lined with parchment.

    6.  Bake for 40 minutes.

    7.  Cut into 9 squares.  Wrap individually and freeze for an on-the-go treat!

    These smelled delicious while they were cooking!  Upon taking them out, I dug right in to try a piece and I was a little disappointed.  I would like them to be a tad sweeter.  Next time I will add some agave or honey or brown sugar!  My husband doesn’t agree though, he loves them!