> Mom Knows Best ~ Healthy Recipes, Fitness & Parenting.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Nutsola DIY Superfood Bar

Want to make your own superfood bars?

                I was sent samples of Nutsola to facilitate this post.

 I love superfood bars and admit that I buy them more often than I make them. While I enjoy making my own plant-based granola bars, I don't always have the ingredients in my pantry to make them. Then there is the problem of buying all the superfood ingredients like chia seeds, coconut, and dates in large quantities. Then after making the granola bars, you have leftover ingredients that sit in your pantry until the next recipe of granola bars. Also, most superfood bar recipes state that the bars have to be stored in the fridge. So how do I make delicious granola bars that I can pack for a snack when I am outdoors for the day on a long bike ride? Sure I could buy the prepackaged superfood granola bars but some of them contain way too much sugar or ingredients that I don't like.


With NUTSÓLA, you know exactly what you're putting into your body



  Now you can have the best of both worlds with Nutsola Do It Yourself Bar. This cool Kickstarter has reached its goal and has launched. So that means you can buy an awesome kit to make your own fresh all natural superfood bars at home. The Nutsola DIY kits come with pouches of ingredients that you can spell and want to put into your body. You also get the bar maker to make perfectly formed bars. Then you can select from different options on how to dry the delicious granola bars.


  I was sent some samples so I could try the finished product and they are quite tasty. I was hoping that I could try out the DIY kit so I could make my own superfood bars but by watching the video on their website, they seem simple to make. I could make enough bars for my snacks after dinner and by morning the bars would be ready to eat. I really like this easy option of making healthy snacks for my kids and the boys would enjoy all the flavors. The best part of these yummy superfood bars is awesome nutrition. The bars are dairy-free, gluten-free, have no added sugar, and are also vegan. The GMO-free ingredients also are high in fiber and antioxidants. 

Easy No Bake Dairy Free Peanut butter Chocolate Granola Bars

You will be amazed at how easy it is to make granola bars

        I received a sample of coconut oil and a cute apron to facilitate this post.

 My family loves granola bars. My boys love to pack granola bars in their school lunches and also eat them for after school snacks. So we buy a lot of granola bars and that can be costly. The store-bought granola bars can also be high in sugar and have dairy in them. I hate when we go shopping and my boys offer me a granola bar and after reading the ingredient list, I discover that I can not enjoy a granola bar. The trouble is dairy is in so many foods. So I now make a lot of my food at home since discovering that dairy was the cause of my severe allergy and asthma symptoms. With a few simple changes, most of my favorite recipes can be made dairy-free. My favorite allergy-friendly recipe was the amazing chocolate pretzel pie that I made for the holidays. These delicious granola bars are made with plant-based ingredients that are also vegan. The granola bars are also gluten-free and could be made nut-free by swapping out the peanut butter with a nut-free spread like homemade sunflower seed butter. Check out my recipe for no-nut butter cookies which are allergy friendly cookies.

Homemade granola bars taste amazing



 I decided to make some homemade granola bars for my kids. I found an easy recipe and loved that it was lower in sugar than the store-bought granola bars. I also love that I could use healthy coconut oil in my dairy-free granola bars. Since I am all about nutrition, I added sunflower seeds to my delicious DIY granola bars for some added protein. Of course, I added chocolate to my recipe as everything tastes better with chocolate. I am so glad that Enjoy Life, an allergy-friendly company, makes yummy dairy-free and vegan chocolate chips. Using oatmeal as an ingredient makes the granola bars gluten-free. For those that have kids with peanut allergies, just use sunflower seed butter instead of the peanut butter.

Skinny Coconut Oil is the only 100% RAW, sustainably sourced, small batch, chemical free, preservative free, never heated and handcrafted coconut oil in the world.

Healthy granola bars are great for snacks



Coconut oil makes the granola bars so good and healthy!


 You could omit the coconut oil in this recipe but I do not recommend it as it not only gives it a great taste but it really helps the ingredients bind together so the granola bars are not crumbly. You mix in the coconut oil while it is melted but then the coconut oil goes back to a solid form after you place them in the fridge and that keeps all the tasty ingredients together. Skinny Coconut oil is vegan, paleo, keto, gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and 100% raw!

Tip: place a sheet of wax paper over the granola bars for mess-free pressing

I remembered to wear an apron!


    I always forget to wear an apron when I am cooking and then I always have to change my clothes. I think the problem has always been that most aprons hurt my neck or they never fit right. So when I discovered a cute reversible apron that came in different sizes, I knew that I had to have a Mad Made apron as I do a lot of baking. I really love the wide shoulder straps that never tug on my neck. The apron even has pockets! This apron comes in so many cute designs and makes me look so cute while I am in the kitchen. 

Designed and Made in the USA

So easy to make


  These No Bake Dairy Free Peanut butter Chocolate Granola Bars were so easy to make and are so easy to pack in a lunch box. I just wrap them in wax paper and then store them in a container in the fridge. That way my boys can grab one for when they make their school lunch. These yummy granola bars will be perfect for my boys to bring to school for parties. I think the next batch that I make I will add some chia seeds or flax meal so they are superfood meal bars.



Check out this DIY Superfood Bar Kit that includes pouches of all natural ingredients HERE

Yield: 12 Bars 

Easy No Bake Dairy Free Peanut butter Chocolate Granola Bars

ingredients:

  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup  peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds, optional

instructions:

  1. Combine the oatmeal, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and melted coconut oil in a medium-size bowl. Stir until well combined.
  2.  Stir in chocolate chips and sunflower seeds.
  3.   Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to fall over the edges.        Press the oatmeal mixture into the pan.
  4. Place in the refrigerator for1 hour, or until firm. Remove paper from pan and then cut the large square in half. Then cut each half into 6 rectangles. Wrap bars individually with plastic wrap or wax paper and store in the refrigerator.
  5. Note: To make these granola bars healthier, add two tablespoons of chia seed, flax seed, nuts, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds. Just add 1 tablespoon more honey for each addition.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Monday, February 18, 2019

Plant based & Dairy Free Avocado Chocolate Pudding


This pudding will satisfy a chocolate craving without the guilt 


  Are you following a plant-based diet or choosing to be vegan? Then you know that the struggle is real when it comes to chocolate. Chocolate is one of my favorite foods and the hardest to give up when I discovered that I was allergic to dairy. I still crave chocolates and once in a while, I will sneak a piece of milk chocolate, thinking that I can eat it. Then about 2 hours later, I am having a coughing fit and having troubles breathing. I need to stop being in denial about my dairy allergy but it is so hard as I was fine with chocolate up until a year ago or maybe longer. I think that my allergy medicine was helping with my milk allergy or my body just became more sensitive. People can develop food allergies later in life. My daughter ate peanut butter all the time until she became an adult and now is allergic to peanuts plus all other nuts. So much that she carries an epi-pen after she had a bad asthma attack. While I am glad that a dairy elimination diet helped me discover that all milk products were making me sick, it is tough being dairy-free. So I am glad for a Facebook group that I belong to that shares plant-based recipes.


Avocados are the answer to creamy plant-based pudding

 Someone on the Facebook page posted this recipe for a pudding that is made with avocados and they also included a picture. I was instantly drooling and I knew that I had to try this healthy dairy-free recipe. I love avocados and eat a whole one several times a week. My favorite way to eat an avocado is with sea salt sprinkled on top. I am a salty person and love sprinkling it on everything. The sea salt that I use has minerals in it and does not cause any blood pressure issues. I discovered this delicious sea salt three years ago at a food conference and it is the only salt that I use. Did you know that most table salts have sugar in them? Real Salt has no added sugar in it so I also use it in my son's homemade toothpaste. I make toothpaste for my son because he is allergic to SLS and glycerin. I discover his allergies after he tried a sample of a natural toothpaste called Earthpaste and his mouth sores went away. When he used regular toothpaste, the mouth sores came back. The poor kid can't even chew gum as that has glycerin in it and he brings his toothpaste with him to the dentist as they use regular toothpaste. My son does give into gum once in a while and the mouth sores come back.

Check out my recipe for dairy-free caramels HERE


  So I have been making my sweet treats at home and learning how to adapt recipes. I have also been discovering when restaurants are allergy-friendly. I used to love going out to eat but it has become complicated. I also have not been attending food conferences as it is hard to be a foodie with food allergies. This was the first year that I missed the big restaurant food show as I didn't want to be tempted by all the unsafe food. Once my body adjusts and I get more familiar with ingredients in common food products, then I will attend that food show again. So enough rambling and on to the delicious Avocado Chocolate Pudding recipe that brought you to my website. This recipe is so simple to whip up in a blender. When avocados go on sale I stock up on them to make this healthy pudding. You can make ripe avocados last longer in the fridge. After the avocados ripen, place them in the fridge and they will last for about 2 weeks. I like to buy my avocados in the non-ripe stage and ripen them at home.


Check out another delicious dairy-free avocado dessert HERE



Enjoy this delicious pudding for breakfast by adding a scoop of chocolate protein powder.



Plant-based & Dairy-Free Avocado Chocolate Pudding 

Serves one-two people
Ingredients
2 ripe avocados
2 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder
1/4 cup plant-based milk, I like cashew
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple or agave syrup
sea salt

Blend all ingredients, except sea salt together in a blender until creamy. Place the pudding in a dish and lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Enjoy!
Tip: Make this pudding even healthier by adding chocolate protein powder for some amazing protein. I like to add 1/2 to one scoop of my favorite chocolate protein powder and that adds 12-25 grams of plant-based protein so I can enjoy this delicious creamy pudding for breakfast. Add 1 tablespoon chia seeds for fiber and wondeful omegas.

++ Discount does not apply to MacroNutrition packages-United States orders ONLY!

Make sure to sprinkle some salt on top of the chocolate pudding for amazing flavor!



Alternative Hot Tub Chemicals for Those with Sensitive Skin


  Owning a hot tub comes with a variety of health benefits and the ability to relax in the warm, soothing waters whenever you please. Some hot tub owners might find that they’re skin is easily irritated by the waters of their hot tub, particularly with regular use. However, it isn’t the water or the heat that irritates the skin, but rather, it is the chemicals used to ensure that the water remains safe and clean. While chlorine and bromine are the most popular chemicals for sanitizing your hot tub and the water within it, these are not the only options available to clean a hot tub. For those with sensitive skin that is easily irritated by hot tub chemicals, the following products are ideal alternatives to traditional hot tub chemicals.

UV Light

  One of the best alternatives to hot tub chemicals is to avoid chemical use altogether. The sun has amazing powers to eliminate bacteria that irritate sensitive skin. Now, a simple solution here would be to ensure that your hot tub is positioned such that it absorbs direct sunlight on a daily basis. However, that’s not always possible. You may not be able to move water lines and electrical around or physically move your tub. Additionally, indoor tubs are hard to position where direct sunlight can be effective long enough.
Fortunately, there is an alternative. UV light systems can be used to cleanse water in your hot tub. The ultraviolet purifiers work by passing water through tubes with UV bulbs where the radiation produced by the bulbs helps to kill everything in the water that can cause irritation.

Ionizers

  An ionizer system releases copper and silver ions into the water in your hot tub. The ions have the capacity to kill bacteria and algae in the water to ensure it remains safe for you to use without irritating sensitive skin in the process. As an added bonus, ionizers make it easier to balance the acidity in your water. However, if you want to ensure your water remains clear you’ll still have to shock the tub on a regular basis to avoid clouding. Ionizers require regular replacement as the supply of copper and silver ions depletes with time.

Ozonators

 An Ozonator system takes the science behind the Earth’s protective ozone layer and uses it to protect your hot tub water. Ozonator sanitizers have been shown to be far more effective than traditional chemicals such as chlorine and bromine. You can find Ozonators for sale in various shapes and sizes ranging from those capable of cleansing a hot tub to larger Ozonators that can cleanse an entire pool.

Biguanides

 Known technically as polyhexamethylene biguanide, it’s much easier to refer to these chemicals simply as biguanides. This alternative hot tub chemical is known to be extremely gentle on eyes and skin, but still effective as a sanitizer for your hot tub. Like other alternative chemicals, biguanides won’t prevent cloudy water so you’ll still need to shock the hot tub from time to time. One important note, biguanides and chlorine/bromine don’t mix. You’ll have to shock the hot tub with a non-chlorine and non-bromine based product. Fortunately, those are readily available as well.

Common Examples of Skin Irritation

 The most common form of skin irritation reported from hot tub use is known as hot tub folliculitis, or hot tub rash. The rash develops from a common organism found in soil, on plants, and in almost all sources of water. The organism is also commonly found in man-made environments. Hot tub rash is identifiable as small bumps on the skin that are red, itchy, and tender. In most cases, hot tub rash occurs on portions of the body covered by swimsuits and results from chlorine and bromine breaking down the enzymes that prevent hair follicle irritation in the first place. Given this is a common skin irritation, those with sensitive skin are well-served by alternative hot tub chemicals.
Additionally, the chlorine and bromine chemicals you’re using to clean your hot tub can actually be the direct source of irritation for your sensitive skin. Itching and dry skin can result from too much chlorine and bromine in the water.

Additional Benefits of Alternative Hot Tub Chemicals

 Beyond helping you avoid skin irritation, switching to alternative hot tub chemicals can also help reduce the occurrence of eye irritation and the thick smell of chlorine or bromine. If you’ve found that traditional hot tub chemicals are bothering your skin, it may be time to switch to alternative hot tub chemicals for a more enjoyable soak the next time you use your hot tub.


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