Healthier Treats – Muddy Buddies and No-Bake Cookies

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Tonight I have a few yummy sweet things for you – with healthy variations (which you could obviously alter to make a bit less healthy – but, really, these tasted pretty great.)  I have been meaning to give a running update, and today, since I ran for the first time since Monday, I had a very motivational running day.  It felt pretty easy, even on the road (as opposed to just the parts run on the sidewalk.)  It felt free, and it felt right.  I try not to take running for granted, since running through pregnancy and injury make me thankful to run when I’m just normal.  But since the bombings in Boston, I will not take running for granted.  Ever.  It does something for me, and for others, that other things just can’t.  Today I was thankful for my legs, my feet, and my freedom.  I ran three miles, with the second two miles clocking in at 8:04/mile and 8:05/mile.  I think I’m getting used to this whole “barefoot” thing finally!  Monday morning I squeezed in 2.5 miles before some new friends came over to visit – and I had my first barefoot mile with a 7 in front of it:

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As you can see, my first barefoot mile is always a bit of a “shake-out” mile because I need to go slowly to work out the kinks.  Today’s first mile was 9:49/mile, so I clearly am getting better without my shoes.

I’ve been meaning to post these recipes for a while since I resorted to them earlier this year when I was trying to break my chocolate addiction.  (I say “trying” because, although I feel I have been mostly successful with the “chocolate issue,” I know it is still somewhat of a challenge to me to keep from going back to it as a crutch.)  They were found online, and then I may have modified them slightly.

No-bake cookies with protein powder

No-bake cookies with protein powder

I did a bit of experimenting in these recipes with Stevia in the Raw’s baking blend.  I have all sorts of reasons for not using “Stevia in the Raw” on a regular basis (and just sticking to stevia in its liquid form) as well as not regularly going for the Baking Blend, but in this case I made an exception just to see how it worked out and what the kids and I would think of the taste.  The Kitchen Stewardship blog did a great job of comparing sugar alternatives in a series (She has AMAZING series from fats, to grains, to kitchen organization,) which included a discussion covering different brands of Stevia.  Seriously – check out her blog, and you will have enough reading material to click from link to link for days, never growing tired (but, however, growing successively more hungry.)

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It was January, and I had made myself a deal to help get “off of chocolate.”  If I made the chocolate item myself – using cocoa powder – then I was allowed to have it.  Since I felt my addiction to chocolate also led me to depend on the sugar used in the various chocolate lovelies I was consuming, I wanted to try to stay away from sugar as well late at night.  Enter the stevia.
I found this recipe for the traditional “no-bake cookies” by googling “stevia” along with the recipe name – and was pleased to find a recipe incorporating chocolate protein powder as well.  Click HERE for the original recipe from the Skinny Mom blog, and what follows has been modified to suit my needs. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 Tbsp chocolate protein powder
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup Stevia Baking Blend
  • 1/2 cup Agave
  • 1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 3 cups quick oats
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Melt coconut oil in a saucepan and add milk, protein powder, Stevia, Agave, and cocoa powder.
  2. Bring to a boil for no more than a minute or until thick.
  3. Remove from heat and quickly add in the oats, coconut, peanut butter, and vanilla.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Using a pan lined with wax paper, press mixture into cookies or using a fork, add mixture to wax paper to make cookies.
  6. Let cool and enjoy
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mixed together in the pot, ready to form into cookies (or eat by the spoonful)

mixed together in the pot, ready to form into cookies (or eat by the spoonful)

I needed to make some Muddy Buddies as well because I wanted lots of snacks for late night Downton Abbey viewing. 🙂  Notice – the ingredients are pretty similar.  Do you think I like chocolate and peanut butter?
Muddy Buddies
Original recipe here.
3 cups rice Chex (I used half rice Chex, half multi-grain organic squares from Cascadian farms)
1/3 cup chocolate*
3 T peanut butter
1 T coconut oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup powdered sugar** (half of this was sucanat for me, the other half Stevia baking blend.  Original recipe called for coconut sugar.)*First make the chocolate by melting 2 T. coconut oil then add 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1 T. honey, 1/2 tsp. vanilla stir until smooth.Then microwave the 1 T. coconut oil and 3 T. peanut butter add the chocolate mixture and vanilla, pour over rice Chex and mix well. Add to a ziplock bag and pour powdered sugar over and shake. Refrigerate. (You can see that by combining the making of the chocolate with the making of the recipe you can just skip a step and change the amounts to: 3 T coconut oil, 1 T honey, 1 tsp vanilla, and 3 T peanut butter, then with the 1/4 cup cocoa blended into this mixture.)
**To make powdered sugar add the sucanat and 1/2 tsp. cornstarch or arrowroot starch to a food processor and pulse until very fine.  I mixed mine 1/2 and 1/2 with a Stevia baking blend in the food processor (Vitamix in my case.)

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I made the “chocolate” separately in the left-hand bowl and melted the peanut butter together with the coconut oil in the right-hand bowl, as the recipe suggested.
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A few more pictures, then I need to get up to make dinner (at 8:09pm?) – mussels cooked in Guinness.
For some reason my run, shower, and piping wore me out today, and I have been “crashed” on the couch with the laptop for about the last 90 minutes, forcing my husband and kids to rely on almonds and cheesesticks until I finish this blog post….
stirring in the chocolate mixture

stirring in the chocolate mixture

bagged up in 1-cup portions to be able to share with friends who needed to know the nutritional information per bag

bagged up in 1-cup portions to be able to share with friends who needed to know the nutritional information per bag

Don’t forget about the GIVEAWAY! This is the 207th post — so if I’m going to give ANYTHING away, we need more shares people!! Like – over 100 more shares!! Good luck with that (hahaha)!

When you SHARE one of my posts in order to help us get up to 200 shares, you must COMMENT on the post so that I know who has entered the contest!! 🙂

I WILL DO A RANDOM DRAWING from amongst the people who participate.  IF we make it to 200 shares before I reach 210 blog posts, THEN I will draw for a winner, but we must all band together to get there!  You can pick ANY post from my blog and share it on Facebook or somewhere else in a way that is verified (any time someone shares one of my posts it shows up on the blog details for me), and then COMMENT on that post as well to tell me that you’ve shared it.  Just my “normal” readers sharing it won’t get us to 200, but if you share it with someone else who will share it, then we can make it!  I will update the share totals each day on the blog to let you know how it’s going!  I’m only doing this to “celebrate” sticking with “blogging” for this long (I just started at the end of last May), to hopefully have one helpful post – a recipe, a running tip, infant potty training, pictures of a levitating Yoda in Edinburgh [those could be helpful to someone, right?] – shared with a person who might find it useful, and to say “Thank You!” to everyone who shares our lives reading this blog.  Makes me feel “affirmed” a bit on days when my little army of minions is lacking a bit in the “positive feedback” category and insists on giving me a run for my money. 🙂

WHAT AM I GIVING AWAY?  Well, that depends on where you live.  LOCALS: 1st place will receive three things from me in the way of baked goods or meals – just take your pick from things I’ve mentioned on my “Recipes” page.  I’ll work hard before the day comes (if we get 200 shares) to update the page so all my recipes are represented.  2nd place will receive a baked good or two of my choice. 🙂  NON-LOCALS: I don’t want to give you something better than the LOCALS (because what if it made them sad to hear I was giving you a Starbucks card or something?!!?) so I’m thinking it should be some sort of healthy food item.  Depending on where you’re based, I will figure out how to get you a gift card to either a store like Whole Foods or a restaurant like Great Harvest Bread Company.  We’ll wait to find out if there is even a winner, and then where the winner resides to finalize that.  It would be $20 for first place and $10 for second in that case, to an aforementioned healthy joint.  Good night!

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2 thoughts on “Healthier Treats – Muddy Buddies and No-Bake Cookies

  1. Wow 7:55 mile…you’re so fast! I feel like I’m just getting slower and slower. Ran 6 miles last night at an 11 min/mile pace. I’ve NEVER run that slow since I started keeping track back in 2010. Not sure what’s going on, but super excited for your speed. Good job 🙂

    • Thanks Leah! I don’t know what happened either – but can tell from the last time I had a 9 month old baby that 8:** minute miles were about the norm. I never got any faster – just one or two sub-8 minute miles – and then I broke my toe, moved to England, and got pregnant hahaha. So I’m curious to see where this goes. Yours might be partly due to the time of day you’re running. Just a thought –

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