Happy Monday, everyone! Hope your week is off to a great start — can you believe that it’ll be Christmas Eve one week from today?! Craziness!
After a weekend full of sugar and a rest day, I was ready to hit the gym this morning. I came out strong and got in 3.8 miles in my 30-minute HIIT treadmill workout, and then I headed into the cardio room to do a quick full-body circuit.
All of the sudden, I had nothing left. Don’t you hate when that happens?! Somehow I managed to squeeze in three rounds of my 50-40-30-20-10 circuit (be on the lookout for it later this week!) although I was about to peter out at any time. Luckily, someone joined me for my last round of burpees, which is probably the only reason I got through them. Whew! Hopefully, tomorrow will be better!
On a happier note, I spent last evening recreating Trader Joe’s Sweet, Savory, and Tart Trail Mix Granola Bars as a little Christmas gift for my mother-in-law who just loves them! She buys multiple boxes at a time, and last time I was home, I snapped a picture of the ingredients and challenged myself to recreate them. My first attempt was pretty successful if I may say so myself!
Sweet, Savory, & Tart Granola Bars
Serves about 16
- 3/4 c. brown rice syrup
- 1/4 c. honey
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. raw sugar
- 1/4 c. natural peanut butter
- 2 c. oats (I used old fashioned.)
- 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 . sunflower seeds
- 1/2 c. raisins
- 1/4 c. dried cranberries
- 1/2 c. sliced almonds, peanuts, and cashews
- 1/2 c. crispy rice
- Preheat oven to 350 and line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper for easy removal.
- In a small saucepan, combine brown rice syrup, honey, vanilla, salt, raw sugar, and peanut butter and melt on medium-low heat.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients except the chocolate chips.
- Once the wet ingredients are melted together, slowly pour them over dry. Mix until everything is well combined. Once it feels cool enough, add the chocolate chips.
- Pour into pan and press down until spread evenly.
- Place in oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until edges are slightly brown.
- Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack or fridge. Once cool, cut into squares and enjoy!
How to “level up” this recipe:
- Feel free to swap in whatever “trail mix” ingredients you like — chia seeds, flax seeds, macadamian nuts, toasted quinoa, etc.
- To cut down on the sugars, take out the raw sugar and/or the dark chocolate chips. Personally, I don’t think these bars need them; they’re already pretty sweet!
How to “level down” this recipe:
- For a lighter bar, use 1 1/2 c. oats and a full cup of crispy rice.
- Use M & Ms instead of chocolate chips (or in addition to!).
- Feel free to swap out whatever you don’t like.