No Bake Oatmeal Bars

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If your heading to the beach this weekend and want to make a quick, healthy snack that doesn’t require turning on the oven, take a few minutes to get some ingredients out of the pantry and turn them into some sweet or savory treats. Use these ingredients or feel free to add some new ones of your own and let me know how you like them!

No Bake Oatmeal Bars

This recipe was adapted from Food 52’s Five Minute, No-Bake Vegan Granola Bars.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup organic dry roasted peanuts

1/2 cup raisins

3 tablespoons chia seeds

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Dash of salt

2/3 cup creamy organic peanut butter

1/2 cup local honey

Directions:

Mix oats, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, raisins, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt together in large bowl with wooden spoon.

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Use a double boiler and gently heat the peanut butter to soften.

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Pour in honey and whisk together.

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Pour into oat mixture and stir until well combined.

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Press into an 8×8 glass baking dish lined with parchment paper.

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Cover with plastic wrap (preferably BPA free) and press into dish.

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Refrigerate at least 4 hours to let the bars set. Cut into bars and store wrapped in the refrigerator.

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Easy Slow Cooker Green Lentil Soup

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Lentil soup has been on my mind for the past couple months. For some reason, the thought of cooking lentils was intimidating, since my family didn’t eat them growing up and I was never taught how to cook them. To my delight, an article showed up in my email inbox entitled, “Lentil Soup Without a Recipe”. This was just the motivation I needed to start thinking about actually making this soup. While cooking soup on the stove-top is my usual go-to cooking method, I wanted to use my slow cooker to be able to leave it alone and bring that heavenly homemade soup aroma into my apartment while I worked. After browsing a few recipes, I was confident I’d be able to conjure up the exact soup I was longing for. I must admit, this was one of the easiest recipes and requires minimal prep. Feel free to experiment with adding your favorite vegetables and spices!

Easy Slow Cooker Green Lentil Soup

Inspired by Food 52 and these two recipes

Ingredients:

4 cups water

4 cups vegetable broth

2 cups green lentils, rinsed

1 sweet potato peeled and chopped

3 carrots peeled and chopped

3 ribs of celery, chopped

1/2 large yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely grated

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

1-2 bunches kale, washed and chopped

3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley

Directions:

Add all ingredients to slow cooker except for kale and Italian parsley. Wait to add these until the last 10 minutes before serving. Set heat at low if heating for 7-8 hours, or set at high if heating for 4-5 hours. Serve warm with your favorite crusty bread or a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and fresh cilantro!

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Food for thought: Which is your favorite color lentil to cook with?