When I turned thirty I knew I would have to start making more changes in my life. Up until that point I have been one of the lucky ones to eat whatever I wanted, ignore exercise, and live a very unhealthy lifestyle without looking it. After turning thirty, not so much.
Better Food Choices
I have noticed just in the few weeks we have been eating cleaner, and making better food choices while out and about how much better my skin is, my hair feels and overall how much better I feel. My nails are growing faster and I used to get bloated stomach a lot and I haven’t even been doing anything extreme. It was more like little changes here like switching to soy milk in my cereal and coffee. Switching to decaf coffee. Having more seeds, nuts and dried fruit mixed together for a snack instead of crisps or a digestive. Along side my casual juicing and kettlebells I can see the difference. While I haven’t lost any weight, (I have actually gained it) muscle weighs more than fat remember, I feel better. I think this is the only reason I didn’t get really sick when both kids and hubby did in France a few weeks back. If you know me I am usually the first person that gets that pesky cough and stays coughing forever! If you saw me at Mumsnet or heard me you can vouch for it. I truly believe it was my diet that saved me. Now, don’t get me wrong I haven’t completely flipped a switch when pizza was offered last week I ate it. When a chocolate bar was floating around the house, I ate that too.
It’s a learning process, I never do well with diets so I say just change little things here and there and little choices and then it’s not falling off the bandwagon when you want something bad. It’s treating yourself because you have been so good. That’s my thinking anyway.
Healthy Oat Bars Recipe
So I am sharing one my easy and scrumptious oat bar recipes. I used to make this a lot with chocolate chips inside it and lots of sugar or have made it with melted white chocolate on top as a treat. On my eating healthier I decided to try it without the sugar and without the chocolate in or on top of it. To be honest it still tastes like a treat! I am a huge fan of coconut so to me anything with coconut is a dessert. Yum!
Perfect For Packed Lunches
I can just see me whipping these up for my kids in their packed lunches for school (be aware if your school has a no nut policy). Or handing them one for breakfast on the go. I love how much goodness is packed in them. My kids love a handful of nuts and fruit so they really love this recipe. The oats and nuts will keep them fuller for longer and since there is no added sugar they won’t hit that dreaded slump after a sugar come down.
Healthy Oat Bars
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup grated coconut
- 3 cups large oats
- 1/8 cup Truvia sweetener
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup melted coconut oil
- ¾ cup honey
- ½ cup Tesco 4 seed mix sunflower seeds, golden linseeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds
- 1 cup chopped mixed nuts walnuts, almonds, pecans
- 1 cup chopped mixed dried fruit
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (140 C)
Line deep cookie sheet with parchment paper
In large bowl mix flour, sweetener, oats, baking soda, salt, grated coconut
In small bowl mix nuts, seeds, fruit
Add small bowl mixture to large bowl and mix
In a saucepan, melt coconut oil and add honey, mix well
Add to large bowl of ingredients and mix well with your hands
Press combined ingredients firmly flat on top of parchment paper on your cookie sheet
Bake for 12-15 minutes
Turn oven off and leave bars for another 10-15 minutes
Allow to cool on counter top and cut into bars or squares which ever you prefer
To sweeten this up: substitute 1/4 cup of sugar instead of sweetener and add chocolate chips to mixture before baking. Or why not drizzle melted white chocolate on top for a tasty treat?
Have you made oat or granola bars lately? Would love to hear what you put in yours? Are they healthy or a deserving treat?? If you happen to try mine, tweet or instagram me and I will share it. Always love when someone else loves one of my recipes as much as I do. Don’t have time to try this pin one of the photos to your pinterest board for later!
Easy Healthy Breakfasts
I have always been a small breakfast kind of girl so a healthy oat bar and decaf soy latte or spinach and kale smoothie is my breakfast most days. If it’s not in oat bars its crumbled over some fresh greek yogurt and fresh berries, or on top of my overnight oats. These make the best summer time breakfast combinations. Your options are endless.
If you are anything like my family these oat bars will be gone in seconds. We don’t keep things I bake in the house very long. I usually wrap a few different containers up for the neighbors too. I am not sure if they love me for the goodies or hate me for their new waistlines but I love to share!