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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‘Tis the Season for Farmers Markets! #1

It is officially summer. This may be my favorite time of the year. Not only do we have sunshine for over 12 hours, but the opportunities for in-season, local, fresh produce are almost endless. From farmers markets to roadside stands to CSA’s, each week we can be sure to find a mouthwatering summertime favorite.

As part of my practicum project, I have the opportunity to make it a point to visit farmers markets outside the Raleigh area. This makes me happy, as I get to drive to new places, meet farmers from various counties and most importantly…..EAT! Eat real, wholesome, locally grown food. Anyone who knows me will agree that I absolutely love grocery shopping. It doesn’t get any better when you actually get to MEET the farmer who grew your food. When it comes to waking up early on a Saturday for a market, I’ll be there.

I decided I will start a series of posts of farmers markets I visit over the course of the summer, which will very well lead into fall and winter. I’m so grateful for those farmers who brave the weather all year round! (Thank goodness I live in the South!)

The first ‘non-Raleigh’ market of the year started with a trip to Columbus County. After a drive through back-country roads to meet Elena, not knowing what to expect, I ended up at the pavilion.

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After speaking with a few farmers and buying cucumbers, beets, and turnip greens, grown mostly pesticide free, I was extremely ecstatic when I found a farmer from Higher Ground Gardens selling rhubarb!! Yes, North Carolina grown RHUBARB!!! Being from WI, this was a treat. I have not once found a farmer who was able to grow rhubarb in this state in the past 4 years I’ve lived here. Every time I asked about it, I received the same response: “It’s too hot for rhubarb to grow here.” Well, this farmer has proven that he is able to grow some great looking (and tasting) rhubarb!

The Columbus County Community Farmers Market is surely one I would recommend to anyone who is looking for good quality, wholesome food who lives south of Fayetteville, near Wilmington or even close to the eastern South Carolina border. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

Carrot, Beet, Rhubarb Smoothie
Serves 1

1 cup water
½ cup sliced raw carrots, frozen
¼ cup sliced raw red beets, frozen
¼ cup chopped raw rhubarb, frozen
½ tablespoon Coconut oil
Sprinkle of Ginger
Handful of Goji berries

1. Slice and chop carrots, beets and rhubarb after getting back from market. Freeze together in 1 bag for convenience.
2. Pour water into blender, add frozen ingredients and blend to break up.
3. Add coconut oil and ginger, blend. Taste. If the flavor is too earthy, add Goji berries to sweeten.
4. Enjoy!

I thank Elena for inspiring me to add beets to my smoothies and drink them out of blue mason jars!

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 Read more about my ‘Discovering North Carolina’ project here

Food for thought: What is your favorite summertime food or favorite smoothie ingredient?