Homemade Clif Z Bars

HAPPY JULY!!! How is 2013 already half over?!?!?

After having a child, I now understand why people try to buy a lot of organic foods. I did some research on the pesticides used on fruits and vegetables and it is kind of scary.

I try my best to buy only organic produce, especially for Gabriella. Sometimes it’s pretty pricy, so if I can’t buy everything organic I at least buy the ‘dirty dozen’ organic.

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Have you guys ever tasted the difference between organic apples & regular apples? It is UNREAL! The organic ones are SO much sweeter! I found that the regular apples sometimes taste very bland, and then I switched to organic. So much better! And when they are in season the price really isn’t bad at all.

One thing that Craig & I have enjoyed doing is going to the local farmer’s market on Sundays. I get all of our produce for the week, and we enjoy showing Gabriella all of the sites & sounds. She also usually gets to play at the park and with the ducks when we are finished, so it’s a win win for her. Smile

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Did you know that getting the ‘USDA’ organic recognition is pretty expensive? So most of the produce sold at farmer’s markets is actually organic (or they use organic controls), they just don’t have the money (or don’t want to spend that much) to get the ‘USDA’ organic label. Just ask the people that have the produce while you are there. I did that this past weekend and was told that most of the items were actually organic, and those that weren’t only had VERY minimal pesticides. (Just pesticides to keep the worms away when they first start growing the produce.)

While I was making her food this week (& smoothies- she LOVES smoothies!) I got to thinking that I can’t wait to make her ‘big girl food’ too. I started looking around for different recipes to ‘pin,’ just for different ideas. Since I volunteered for snacks for Bible study last week I got to find one of the recipes that I had pinned. It happened to come from one of my very favorite Mom bloggers- Mama Pea!

When I saw that she had a recipe for ‘copy cat’ Clif Z bars, I knew I HAD to try it!

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Not only does this recipe use all natural & pretty healthy ingredients, I also found it VERY easy to make!

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I figured the kids at Bible study would enjoy them, because what kid doesn’t like chocolate?! Smile And they were something that I would want to feed Gabriella in the future. They are healthy, but the kids don’t have to know it! As long as they taste good, that’s all that matters!

Copy Cat Clif Z Bars

(Adapted from Mama Pea’s recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups oat flour (old fashioned oats ground in a food processor)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 & 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 & 1/4 cups unsweetened Almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup chocolate chips, divided
  • 2 tsp coconut oil

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or spray an 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine oats, oat flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  • In a smaller bowl, combine applesauce, vanilla and milk.
  • Add applesauce mixture to oat mixture and stir until just combined. Add brown sugar. Fold in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.
  • Pour mixture into baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until bar is set and pulling away from edge of pan.
  • Allow to cool completely before cutting into kid-sized bars.
  • For chocolate drizzle, place 1/4 cup of chocolate chips in a resealable plastic bag and microwave in 30 second increments, kneading bag until chocolate has melted.
  • Add coconut oil to melted chocolate and knead again.
  • Snip a tiny corner of the bag with a pair of scissors. Pipe chocolate across cooled bars and stick bars in fridge or freezer to allow chocolate to set, if desired.
  • Store remaining bars in the fridge.

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Easy, peasy!! And you know what?? I thought they tasted EVEN better than the actual Clif Z bars!

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They were a hit with the kids and the adults! I kept taking little bites of the extra bars that I made, I couldn’t keep my hands off of them.

From now on I’ll be making my own Clif Z Bars! They are freezer friendly & perfect for a snack on the go!

If you like Z bars, you MUST make these!!

I hope that most of you have a short week this week, or at least a break in the middle of the week! Smile My boss actually gave us a half day on Wednesday & off both Thursday & Friday! We are planning a trip to Jacksonville for the long weekend- we have LOTS of people to visit & things to do. I can’t wait!!

Any fun plans to look forward to for the 4th of July?

Favorite granola bar??

Recent Obsessions

I feel like I go through phases with foods and beauty products. I am definitely my father’s daughter because I will get ‘stuck’ on a certain thing & buy it non stop, but then one day I’ll just be completely sick of it. Eventually I come back around & like it again, but it often takes a while.

Today I thought I would tell you about my recent obsessions. I think some of these have to do with the summer season, since it’s SO stinking HOT outside here in Florida. You can’t even step outside without sweating. GROSS!

1. Fruit Salad

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I can’t stop eating it. Especially the pineapple. I will make a big batch of it in the beginning of the week, and then eat it for breakfast, with my lunch & then often before dinner. Fruit is just SO good right now. Nature’s candy Smile

2. These two coffee creamers

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Salted Caramel Mocha & Vanilla Brown Sugar. I mean really?! Is there even a better way to start your morning than with these flavors?!? Mmmmmm. And since it is summer time, I actually only drink iced coffee. (of course I’ll drink hot coffee if that’s the only thing available, I just prefer iced in the summer) I get a TRENTA iced coffee from Starbucks with NO ice, NO sweetener & NO cream. Just black iced coffee. (If you like iced coffee, try it! Saves money & you don’t have to go out every day to get it! Win win.) Then that will last me for three mornings. The people at Starbucks know me & always have my iced coffee ready to go when I get there. Smile 

3. Summer Nail Polish Colors

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They are just so fun! I was only buying Essie for a while, but that’s pretty expensive ($7- $8 a bottle). So I tried the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri & I LOVE it! It lasts for a while, just as long if not longer than Essie, and it’s about HALF the price.

4. Quest Bars

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You guys, I have a problem. Do you see the stash above? That’s 20+ Quest Bars. It’s ridiculous. But I promise I have a good reason for having so many. I eat one everyday for breakfast, I’ll just stick it in the BOB & eat it once I’m done running. Gabriella is usually still snoozing & this is the perfect on the go breakfast. I also have water with me, and sometimes I’ll eat a banana too. I don’t know if other people are like this, but I really don’t enjoy eating a huge meal right after running. I have to wait a while and then I’ll have a bigger lunch. My stomach is just NOT into the idea of stuffing my face once I’m done with a run. And the chocolate chip cookie dough flavor is a MUST try if you haven’t yet. You can thank me later. Winking smile

5. Green Smoothies

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That’s usually my lunch. A HUGE smoothie full of spinach, protein powder, unsweetened almond milk & usually a big bowl of fruit. DELISH! Open-mouthed smile Another ‘summer thing’ I’m assuming, since cold drinks sound ideal right now.

6. Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 Workout DVD

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I do this DVD a few days a week before or after a speed workout. (so my run is a bit shorter) And I must be crazy because it KILLS. I don’t know if it’s because I’m already tired from running, but I DEFINITELY feel it! Of course I had to start with Week 4, because when I do something I have to go all out (good or bad thing…not sure Winking smile ) & I was hurting the next day. A good burn! This is actually the DVD Jillian recommends for at home workouts, she has said that she does NOT recommend the 30 Day Shred anymore. She said it is outdated. I only know this because Jillian & are pretty much best friends. No, I kid, (although I would like to meet her!) I am obsessed with her podcast.

And one thing that NEVER gets old is…

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Did you guess it?!?! I’m sure you all know my too well by now, and I must have a G picture in here somewhere.

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My big blue eyed girl. Stole my heart right from the beginning. ❤

Any ‘obsessions’ that you have right now? Please share, I may just have to try something new. Smile

Favorite summer fruit?? I’m torn between pineapple & watermelon. I could eat both of them ALL day every day. I would eat 1/4 of a watermelon nearly everyday while I was pregnant with Gabriella, and she would go NUTS! I figured she must love it, so I gave her some the other day. She COMPLETELY refused it. Turned her little head all the way to the side. Weirdo! Who doesn’t love watermelon?!?! Maybe she overdosed in my belly Winking smile