Super Vitality Truffles

Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.
— Arthur Schopenhauer

So, whenever Todd and I fly we usually bring a lot of yummy, travel-friendly vegan food. I am sure you do too. Vegans in the house raise your hands to the heavens and can I get a soulful "Uhhhh Huhhhh!" You know what I mean. Good Buddha, there just ain't no tasty food to be found! Unless you want to be buying a severely under or over ripe $6 banana, you better be packing food yourself. It's a shame. I know there are some exceptions though. I even heard LAX has it's very own vegan restaurant! 

We aren't flying through LAX...poo... 

Thus, I made us some super healthy & nutritious Vitality Truffles! Normally our goto travel snacks are my Birdseed Cookies and banana chips. But this time, I wanted something a bit more healthful. These little guys have no added sugars or sweeteners, no added oils, and use only whole food ingredients. They have the texture of a coarse fudge and they're fun to customize too. I made mine an "Apple Spice Cinnamon" by adding in half a tea bags contents. 

Produce On Parade - Super Vitality Truffles

This is a great recipe for substituting in what you like and what you have on hand. If you don't like a particular nut, seed, or fruit...just use what you do enjoy! Be adventurous!

Produce On Parade - Super Vitality Truffles
Produce On Parade - Super Vitality Truffles

Will you take a gander below? Look at all those amazing, nutritious little beasties who are going to somehow seriously pump you up to be squeezed into a middle seat with two nine foot Texans on either side of you, a surly teenager incessantly kicking your seat from behind, and a booger-flinging-eye-staring-contest-bratface turned around, bug eyed in front of you. I know it's going to happen. I'm prepared. "Om, om, om...*munch munch*"

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Super Vitality Truffles
Bites of super vitality! These little guys have no added sugars or sweeteners, no added oils, and use only whole food ingredients. They have the texture of a coarse fudge.
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup whole walnuts
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans
  • 6 whole Brazil nuts
  • 1/3 heaping cup ground flax seed
  • 1/3 cup cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup dried goji berries
  • ¼ cup dried blueberries
  • ¼ cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • ¼ cup cocoa nibs
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • Half the contents of an Apple Cinnamon Spice teabag (optional or ½ Tbsp. of favorite tea leaves)
  • 6 (about ½ cup) pitted dates
  • 6 (about ½ cup) dried figs
  • ¼ tsp. xanthan gum
  • Dash of kosher salt
In a food processor, add the pecans through and including the tea. Process until granular and the sides begin to stick and turn heavy. Now, add the remaining ingredients and process for about five minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. The dough should be very well combined and sticky. It should hold together when pressed.Form into bite size balls. Some oil from the nuts might be expelled onto your hands, and if you put tea in the dough, it will be colored! Store in the fridge or freezer. I put mine in the freezer because I like them super firm.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 30 Balls
Just my little animal foodie friends,  hanging out and jammin'.

Just my little animal foodie friends,  hanging out and jammin'.

Produce On Parade - Super Vitality Truffles

German Word of The Day

Vitality --> Lebensfreude (Lee-beens-Freud-eh)

Good Deed of The Day

Did you guys see this article on a vegan cheese project that aims to replicate cheese from cow's milk by using caseins? So weird! Kudos for finding a way to replicate cheese without harming cows (kind of similar to those test tube burgers I suppose) but casein really isn't that great for us. Read up on The China Study, if you haven't already. As an animal advocate this makes me happy, but as a consumer I think I might pass. What about you? What do you think of this innovation?

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie Bars

So dessert won last night. Well, kind of. 

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie Bars

Todd and I are going on The Ski Train this weekend! It's an all-day train party ride (like a legit, real life train) that goes over 130 miles one way from Anchorage, past Talkeetna to Curry Ridge where it will stop and myself and hundreds of other cool cats will ski their little hearts out. Then we'll all pile back on, eat a bunch of food, drink a bunch of adult beverages, and enjoy the scenery on the way back home. Photos to come!

I am so psyched you have no idea. It's usually sold out instantly and you can only get tickets if you happen to be a member of the nordic ski club...which we are. Oh! And there's a polka band too! Yes, a polka band. We'll be playing lots of Apples to Apples and Carcassonne and probably polka dancing as well. I dunno, I hear it's a thing. My brother and sister-in-law will be joining us! It will be epic.

Anyways, I realized I needed to make something to bring with us and I knew these brownie bars would be perfect. They've got oats and black beans, flax seed too along with hazelnuts to keep us fueled up for the big ski. Plus they're freaking delicious, man. I only allowed myself to one yesterday, so we can take the rest with us! Picture me, on a train, in a corner scarfing down these bars with a mouth-fulla chocolate. 

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie BarsThese fudgy bars are reminiscent of brownies, not too sweet and packed full of healthy goodies. A nutritious energy bar that tastes like a brownie but boasts ample protein and complex carbs to keep you fueled throughout the day. Plus, they're done in a cinch and easy peasy. 

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie Bars

Serves 10 

  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 6 Tbsp. water
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 old-fashioned oats, dry
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • flake salt for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 F and roughly chop the hazelnuts. Spread on a baking sheet and toast at 400 F for about 3 minutes or until fragrant. Be sure they don't burn! When done, remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven to 350 F.

Produce On Parade - Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie Bars

Meanwhile, whisk together the flax and 6 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie BarsIn a food processor, add the chocolate chips and the oats. Pulse until roughly chopped, about 30 seconds. 

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie Bars

Now, add the remaining ingredients excluding the flake salt. Don't forget to add the flax mixture! Process until fairly smooth, scraping down the sides as needed, about 3 minutes. Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie BarsAdd the toasted hazelnuts and pulse to combine. 

Coat a bread pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour in the batter and spread it out so it's smooth and even. The brownie bars will not rise at all in the oven. Bake for 60 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. 

Remove from oven and allow to sit in pan until completely cool. Then, transfer to a cutting board, sprinkle with salt and additional hazelnuts. Carefully cut into 10 slices. Keep wrapped in saran wrap. 

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie BarsHealthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie Bars


Is it Saturday morning yet?

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German Word of The Day: Hazelnut --> Hasselnuss (pronounced: hahsell-noose) Brownie is...just brownie, so I couldn't use that obviously. 

Good Deed of The Day: Um, so this petition is to stop the horrific dog meat trade in china and demand that they make animal cruelty laws. Yea. You'll definitely want to be a part of this one. Trust me. Imagine if your dog was stolen and caged, treated horrendously, then slaughtered and consumed. That's what I thought...sign this. 

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Birdseed Cookie Dough Larabars

Happy Valentine's Day! If you think that you don't have a special someone in your life, I'm sorry to inform you that you're wrong. You have yourself. *smile* If you're a single gal (or guy) this Valentine's Day, take it upon yourself to...

Produce On Parade

Watch a bunch of Parks and Rec episodes (especially if you haven't seen funny). Enjoy your favorite movie, eat your favorite food, cuddle with your favorite non-human friend, buy yourself a little treat...or just maybe make yourself some of these delicious homemade Larabars? Pretty soon V-Day will be your favorite holiday too.

Anywho, onto these bars. Remember the Birdseed Cookies I made a few weeks back? Well, I made cookie dough "Larabars"...but Birdseedized! What's more awesome than that?

Produce On Parade - Birdseed Cookie Dough Larabars

I don't know why I seem to suddenly have an aversion to making actual, proper dinners. Poor Todd. Or maybe not? Excitedly, I had him taste these bars thinking he might not like them (I thought perhaps there was too much nutmeg) and his face lit up with, to my shock, sheer joy. "These are really good!" I was thrilled! 

These homemade date and cashew cookie dough larabars are studded with millet, sesame and sunflower seeds. Sweet, crunchy, chewy and sure to give you a boost of energy!

Birdseed Cookie Dough Larabars

Makes 8 bars

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 13 dates (about 1 cup tightly packed), pitted
  • 1/2 -1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • small grating of fresh nutmeg
  • scant 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp. millet, dry
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds

In a food processor, pulse the cashews and sunflower seeds until they are large granules (medium chopped).

Produce On Parade - Birdseed Cookie Dough Larabars Produce On Parade - Birdseed Cookie Dough LarabarsAdd in all the remaining ingredients except for the chocolate chips, millet and sesame seeds. Pulse until well combined. 

Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the last three ingredients. 

Press firmly into a 9x9 inch baking dish and freeze for about 15 minutes. 

Produce On Parade - Birdseed Cookie Dough LarabarsSlice into eight bars. Wrap in plastic wrap if you like and store in freezer. The bars tend to break apart if not frozen. 

Produce On Parade - Birdseed Cookie Dough Larabars Produce On Parade - Birdseed Cookie Dough LarabarsSwaying to,

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[yumprint-recipe id='79']