Sheryl Jesin


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Recipe – Mixed berry oat bars

I often find myself looking for a quick snack during the day or just before a run.   Something that doesn’t take any time to prepare and something that I can eat with one hand while I’m holding a toddler or chasing a four year old.

In the past, I used to buy granola bars or other snack bars to have on hand.  One of these bars that I used to purchase is the Nutrigrain bar by Kelloggs.  I haven’t eaten one of these in years, but I decided to look up the ingredients.  I was curious, and here’s what I found:

CRUST: WHOLE GRAIN OATS, ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, VITAMIN B1[THIAMIN MONONITRATE], VITAMIN B2 [RIBOFLAVIN], FOLIC ACID), WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, SOYBEAN OIL, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, SUGAR, CALCIUM CARBONATE, WHEY, WHEAT BRAN, SALT, CELLULOSE, POTASSIUM BICARBONATE, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, SOY LECITHIN, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, WHEAT GLUTEN, NIACINAMIDE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, CARRAGEENAN, ZINC OXIDE, REDUCED IRON, GUAR GUM, VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE), VITAMIN B1(THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE) , VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN), FOLIC ACID. FILLING: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, GLYCEROL, APPLE PUREE CONCENTRATE, SUGAR, STRAWBERRY PUREE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BLUEBERRY PUREE, SODIUM ALGINATE, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, RASPBERRY PUREE CONCENTRATE, CITRIC ACID, MALIC ACID, METHYLCELLULOSE, DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, RED 40, BLUE 1.

I cringe now when I look at that list.  A few things stand out – high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavour, Red 40, Blue 1.  I can’t believe I used to regularly ingest such awful ingredients.  And how many times can sugar be listed in the ingredients?  I counted 5.  That is atrocious.

Here is my answer to the Nutrigrain bar.  It is free of refined sugars, refined flours and also free of gluten (if using GF oats), dairy and soy.  It is quick and easy to make and it is something you can feel good about eating.  Oh yeah – it’s also delicious.

Recipe – Mixed berry oat bars 

Adapted from Choosing Raw

Preparation time – 10 minutes

Baking time – 30 mins

Makes 8 squares

Ingredients:

1 cup oats, ground into flour using a food processor, magic bullet or Vitamix

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 tsp. baking soda

pinch of salt

1 tsp cinnamon

3 tbsp. maple syrup

1 medium apple, cored

1 tsp. vanilla

3 tbsp. shredded dried coconut, unsweetened

10 almonds

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. water

1 organic egg

1/4 cup blueberries

1/4 cup raspberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together ground oats, rolled oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Blend the maple syrup, apple, vanilla, coconut, almonds, olive oil, water and egg together in a food processor or Vitamix until smooth.
  4. Mix together wet and dry ingredients.  Stir in berries.
  5. Place in a 8×8 glass baking dish lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake at 350 for 30-35 mins, until edges are turning golden brown.
  7. Cool on a rack and cut into squares or bars.
  8. Eat and enjoy, knowing you are nourishing your body with healthy, whole foods.  Be thankful that you are not eating a Nutrigrain bar.


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Recipe – Hemp coconut blueberry muffins

A few weeks ago I went to an amazing cooking class given by Marni Wasserman, a holistic nutritionist.  I have been following Marni’s blog for a while, and have learned so much about healthy eating from her.   The class was informative, interactive, and a lot of fun.   I liked it so much, that I have signed up for another one of her classes in December – Indian cooking.  Can’t wait!

Amongst other tasty dishes, we made delicious hemp loaves in her class.   The recipe can be found here.  Hemp is really a superfood!   Marni explains it:

The protein present in hemp is complete -containing all 10 essential amino acids which makes it ideal for vegetarians, vegans or anyone seeking an alternative source of protein. Hemp also contains balanced healthy fats – both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. This makes hemp an excellent natural anti-inflammatory as well as providing the body with healthy oils for skin, hair and nails. If this isn’t enough already… hemp is also easy to digest (because it contains it’s own natural enzymes), contains a high levels of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, fibre and chlorophyll.

Marni’s recipe is delicious in its original form, but I switched it up a bit.  Don’t let some of the uncommon ingredients scare you off – they can all be purchased at Whole Foods or your local health food store.  Here’s what I did:

HEMP COCONUT BLUEBERRY MUFFINS (Gluten free, and vegan)

Ingredients:

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour OR brown rice flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup hemp flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinammon

1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water (or 1 egg)

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup apple sauce

1 large ripe banana, mashed

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil

3/4  cup blueberries

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Mix together the hemp flour, Bob’s Red Mill all purpose gluten free flour (or brown rice flour) and coconut flour.  Mix in baking soda, baking powder and cinammon.

The dry ingredients

2.  In a separate bowl, mix together flax and water (or egg), vanilla, apple sauce, mashed banana, maple syrup, oil and blueberries.

The wet ingredients

3.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until blended.

4.  Put into prepared muffin tins (greased, or lined with muffin cups).

5.  Bake for 15-20 mins.  The muffin tops should just be just turning brown.

6.  Cook on a wire rack.  ENJOY!

The finished product

This muffin is full of protein and healthy fats and will provide you with lots of energy to make it through a busy day.  You won’t crash and burn with these, like you would with most traditional muffins containing white flour, white sugar and unhealthy fats!  This is a muffin you can feel good about eating.