Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars

Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars are a quick superfood-packed snack. These bars come together in minutes, are no-bake, and are a guilt-free alternative to those packaged grocery store bars. 

Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars // gluten free, vegan // treatswithatwist.com

Like I mentioned on Monday, I’ve been on quite the cleaning spree. With this cleaning also came a surge of meal prep and ideas for meals to stock our already-overflowing freezer with when I actually get time to do so. Note to self: buy a second freezer.

Anyways. I promised granola bars!

But these aren’t just any granola bars!

These are my Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars. I’d be all obnoxious and call them “Superfood Granola Bars” but I’m pretty sure you’d be all “stop that this instant and tell me what they actually are”…yeah.

Anyways. These are super simple to make and come together quite quickly. They’re packed with dried mulberries, chia seeds, flax seeds, creamy cashew butter and more! I love that their taste is super fresh and subtle, thanks to the hint of cardamom.

If you don’t have dried mulberries, you can easily grab some off Amazon, but I also saw them in Target! Target always has everything (ie my money).

If you’d rather, you can always swap the cashew butter for almond butter, but I had an abundance of cashew butter on hand from said food prep mania. It’s my jam. But, butter. You know.

The recipe follows the same rhythm and procedure as Angela’s Glow Bars, but I’ve truly made them my own by throwing everything under the sun I love into them.

Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars 1

Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars 3

Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars 4

These Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars are a perfect snack, so keep them in the fridge, and in the morning throw one in your bag to snack on later. Also, I’m betting your kids will love them, so here’s a healthier alternative to that boxed granola bar.

Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars // gluten free, vegan // treatswithatwist.com

 

Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars 2

Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars
Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars are a quick superfood-packed snack. These bars come together in minutes, are no-bake, and are a guilt-free alternative to those packaged grocery store bars. (8-12 bars)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 ½ cups old fashioned oats
  2. 1 cup crisp rice cereal
  3. ½ cup unsweetened desiccated coconut, toasted
  4. 1 Tbs. pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  5. 2 Tbs. hemp seeds
  6. 1 Tbs. flaxseeds
  7. 1 Tbs. chia seeds
  8. ¼ cup dried mulberries
  9. ¼ tsp. cardamom
  10. 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  11. ½ cup brown rice syrup
  12. ¼ cup cashew butter
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Pour in the vanilla, brown rice syrup and cashew butter. Use a wooden spoon to stir it all together (it will be a very thick, sticky mixture).
  2. Line a 9x9” pan with parchment and spray with nonstick spray. Pour the granola bar mixture into the pan. Wet your fingers and press it all into an even layer in the pan. Press it in until it is VERY compact.
  3. Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes (or a few hours). Use the overhanging parchment to pull up the granola bars from the pan and use a sharp knife to cut (into 8-12 bars).
  4. Individually wrap the bars in plastic wrap. Store them in the fridge.
Notes
  1. Bars will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks (I honestly haven’t met their “expiration” date). Bars can be kept in the freezer indefinitely.
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/

Watermelon Agua Fresca

Watermelon Agua Fresca is such a fun, refreshing, delicious summer drink! Ripe and sweet watermelon is blended with bright citrus for a naturally sweet way to beat the summer heat. 

Watermelon Agua Fresca // treatswithatwist.com

I feel like I’m caught up in a whirlwind!

I recently read this cult-following book on organizing your space (and I’ll review it in my next book review post), and it came at the perfect time in my life. I am in full on “nesting” mode which translates to: throw everything away!

I have spent 4 days in a row, at least 5 hours a day, going through every single item I own, throwing away with abandon, and magically finding space for everything that was cluttering my home. I feel so refreshed and amazing!

With that came this surge of good, healthy feelings. I have felt more in tune with my workouts (Body Pump, yoga, speed walking), and I went on a food prep spree. I made amazing granola bars, which I’ll share with you later this week, and this crazy refreshing Watermelon Agua Fresca!

Watermelon Agua Fresca 1

Watermelon Agua Fresca 2

Traditionally, agua fresca is made of fresh fruit and sugar. But I feel like when you’re dealing with watermelon, you already get that nice, natural candy-sweetness. So, no sugar.

Watermelon Agua Fresca 3

Watermelon Agua Fresca 4

Watermelon Agua Fresca // treatswithatwist.com

I absolutely adore this juice. Cough. I mean, agua fresca. It is so refreshing, light, tastes like Sour Patch Watermelons and lets me bathe in summer for awhile longer. 

Watermelon Agua Fresca
Watermelon Agua Fresca is such a fun, refreshing, delicious summer drink! Ripe and sweet watermelon is blended with bright citrus for a naturally sweet way to beat the summer heat.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 small “personal” watermelon, rind discarded, cubed (~8 cups)
  2. 1 lime*
  3. 1/2 lemon*
Instructions
  1. In a blender combine all of the fruit. Turn the blender on, gradually increasing the speed to high (you may need to tamp down the fruit so the blades scoop it up) and blend until smooth, approximately 30 seconds depending on your blender strength.
  2. Pour the juice through a mesh strainer, catching the juice in a pitcher, using a silicone spatula to stir and press the juice through. Discard the thick pulp (or eat it!).
  3. Pour your juice into glasses filled with ice! Enjoy!
  4. For a fun twist, pour the cup 2/3 full with Watermelon Agua Fresca and 1/3 full of sparkling water!
Notes
  1. *After you make your drink, taste it! Need more tartness? Add another lime or the other 1/2 a lemon! Adjust it to your taste preferences.
  2. Watermelon Agua Fresca can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days but it tastes the best the day you make it. You can freeze it in bottles to thaw and drink later if you don’t plan on drinking it all right away.
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
Note: this is not a sponsored post. I own this blender and this one and love them both! Feel free to email me if you ever have blender questions! 

Watermelon Agua Fresca 6

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons are perfect for all of you homemade pantry fanatics who make your own almond or nut milk! Never throw away the pulp again when you could be making cookies out of it. These Macaroons are healthy, lightly sweetened, and keep you from wasting anything from your homemade nut milk. 

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons // gluten free, vegan // treatswithatwist.com

I’ve been so inspired lately by several cookbooks I ordered not too long ago. I started jarring all of my nuts and grains to ensure their freshness. I ground a fresh batch of cashew butter and coconut butter. And I have made several batches of fresh almond milk too.

Do you make your own nut milk? I have for years, but I also get sucked into the carton variety when I accumulate coupons. But, honestly, nothing beats the homemade.

Sarah Britton’s cookbook, My New Roots, really helped me up my game. I didn’t realize how easy it would be to pop the almonds out of their skins after they had soaked overnight. I had always just went straight from soaking to the blender, but not anymore. I love skinning the almonds, and you end up with such sweeter, purer almond milk in the end. It’s totally worth it.

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons 4

What do you do with the pulp, though, after you’ve made almond milk, strained it, and really squeezed it all out of the pulp that’s in the cheesecloth? I tend to bag or jar mine and put it in the fridge or freezer…but then I have no clue what to do with it.

I just let it pile up…and although my intentions were to put it in banana bread or muffins, I just never do, and then it goes into the trash. Well, not anymore!

Sarah inspired me because she makes raw macaroons out of her nut pulp! Well, I’m game!

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons // gluten free, vegan // treatswithatwist.com

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons 2

I tried her recipe, and although it was good, I decided to up the game. I added chocolate straight to the dough, which allowed me to lower the maple syrup and Lucuma (a natural sweetener) that she uses. I also added more coconut, because that’s the taste I want the most when I bite into a macaroon!

Never throw away your nut pulp again! I promise, you’ll be even more motivated to make your own almond or nut milk after you’ve tasted the yummy cookies you can make with the leftovers!

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons 3

 

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons
No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons are perfect for all of you homemade pantry fanatics who make your own almond or nut milk! Never throw away the pulp again when you could be making cookies out of it. These Macaroons are healthy, lightly sweetened, and keep you from wasting anything from your homemade nut milk. (makes 18 cookies)
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Ingredients
  1. ½ cup nut pulp (from making nut milk*)
  2. ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  3. 1 Tbs. Lucuma (or granulated Stevia, or coconut sugar)
  4. pinch sea salt
  5. ½ tsp. vanilla bean paste
  6. 2 Tbs. cashew butter (or coconut butter)
  7. 1 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  8. 3-4 Tbs. melted dark chocolate
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl, working it with a wooden spoon until it comes together (it will resemble a very very thick dough).
  2. Use a tsp. cookie scoop to scoop into even cookies, placing them on a piece of parchment as you scoop. I ended up with 18 macaroons.
  3. Let the macaroons set (I let mine set overnight) on the counter or move them to the fridge for quick setting. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Macaroons should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to a week.
  2. *Save nut pulp from making almond or nut milk. After it is squeezed through the cheesecloth, you can save the pulp in the fridge in a jar for up to a week. Use up that pulp by making cookies!
Adapted from Sarah Britton's macaroons
Adapted from Sarah Britton's macaroons
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes

My Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes are an amazing way to start the day! They’re actually gluten free, happen to be vegan and are really healthy, but these pancakes will let you feel like you’re having a treat in the morning, which you totally deserve! 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes // treatswithatwist.com

So, if you live in the south, you’re probably boiling over by now. I know I am! Turning on the oven is just plain out of the question in my house (at least, the cutoff time is 9am…before we even realize how hot it is that day).

But, chocolate chip cookies always seem like a great idea! In fact, they’re pretty much always on my mind.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes 4

So we’re making Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes! Because they’re cooked in a skillet, are still warm and chocolate-studded and soft on the inside while being crisp on the outside.

These pancakes are gluten free (like I note in my “About Me” section, use gluten free oats if you’re severely sensitive to gluten) and made mostly of oats and banana! They’re vegan because they don’t contain the typical egg and milk that pancakes usually call for. They’re actually very healthy. Just look at those ingredients.

Because they serve two people, you’re each basically eating a bowl of oatmeal with banana and some sweet chocolate chips, which we all deserve a little more of! I’ve made the batter only slightly sweetened because I feel like a lot of sweetness comes from the overripe banana. Also, I assume you’re drenching them in maple syrup or honey. Right? I mean, we are friends, right?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes 2

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes 1

Right! So let’s do this!

Oh, and just to let you know, you don’t need to pass up this recipe if you don’t have someone to share them with. I assure you, they taste amazing reheated the next day [you’ve basically meal-prepped! Go you!] and they also taste pretty darn good cold (like banana bread), so making them just for yourself is more than acceptable!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes 5

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes // treatswithatwist.com

I’ve included some fun topping suggestions in the directions and notes too, so go ahead and give them a try! We all need to start our day with cookies, especially if it’s too hot to bake cookies to end our day. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes
My Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes are an amazing way to start the day! They're actually gluten free, happen to be vegan and are really healthy, but these pancakes will let you feel like you're having a treat in the morning, which you totally deserve! (2 servings)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup oat flour
  2. 2 Tbs. quick oats
  3. ½ tsp. baking powder
  4. ¼ tsp. baking soda
  5. 1 tsp. maple sugar or coconut sugar
  6. 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  7. 1 overripe banana
  8. 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  9. ½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
  10. 3-4 Tbs. mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and whisk together.
  2. In a separate bowl, mash the banana until finely mashed. Add the vanilla, almond milk and vinegar and stir together.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir. Set aside the batter while you heat your skillet.
  4. Heat your skillet over medium-low heat (and grease the skillet with butter, coconut oil, or cooking spray). Use ¼ cup measuring cup to spoon the batter onto the hot skillet (I cook 3-4 at a time, depending on the size skillet). Cook for 3 minutes, flip, and cook until golden on the other side (2-3 minutes).
  5. Continue to cook pancakes until the batter is gone.
  6. Enjoy the pancakes still hot from the skillet, stacked up and drizzled with maple syrup or honey! They’re also amazing with a smear of coconut oil, a blob of Greek yogurt, or a mound of whipped cream!
Notes
  1. These pancakes also taste amazing cold (they taste like chocolate chip banana bread when they’re cold)! You can grab and eat your leftover pancakes straight from the fridge, with a smear of yogurt or peanut butter!
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
 Oh hey August! It’s my birthday month! Did you see my Birthday Wish List? It’ll help you find gifts for those fab friends in your life (or give you ideas for your own wish list). 

Banana Almond Smoothie

My Banana Almond Smoothie is an extremely simple, 4-ingredient smoothie that will conquer your sweet tooth without sweeteners, nourish your body and keep you cool in the summertime. Its simplicity may seem elementary, but this smoothie will be your new best friend.

Banana Almond Smoothie // treatswithatwist.com  

How has your summer been going?
I live in one of those “heat warning” zones you’ve been hearing about on the news, so to say I’ve been living indoors is an understatement. Walking from my car to the entrance of Target practically gave me heat stroke the other day. I’m not a fan of being pregnant in the summertime!

I’ve been keeping really hydrated and yet I still feel like I can’t keep up. One of my favorite staples this summer, besides loads of iced tea, water and La Croix, has been this creamy, simple Banana Almond Smoothie.

I made a small (yet huge) decision to really watch my sugar intake. I don’t mindlessly snack on sugary treats, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t taking in any more sugar than I should be. Thought out treats are one thing, but sauces with sneaky sugar and handfuls of m&m’s instead of one good piece of cake just aren’t ok.

Banana Almond Smoothie 1

So when I devised this smoothie, I had to keep it super basic, and not over-think it. It doesn’t need a glob of honey or maple, it doesn’t need a sprinkle of Stevia or even a few dried dates.

Bananas are naturally sweet when they’re perfectly ripe. Almonds are full of nourishing, healthy fats. And almond milk (unsweetened) is the perfect liquid to pull it all together, keeping the smoothie simple and tasting of bananas. I can’t resist a splash of vanilla, and you shouldn’t either, because it transforms the taste into an almost milkshake-like flavor. The whole thing is divine.

Banana Almond Smoothie 2

I, of course, add a handful of ice to make it colder and a bit thicker, but that’s a matter of preference.

Use whatever blender works for you, but I highly recommend a high powered blender like a Vitamix or a Blendtec. If you haven’t used one, you seriously should (or go watch a demo because they tend to do those in random grocery stores). They’re a game changer. You can even buy a refurbished model, making it more affordable and you get all of the amazingness of the machine!

Banana Almond Smoothie // treatswithatwist.com

On to the recipe! Enjoy! 

Banana Almond Smoothie
My Banana Almond Smoothie is an extremely simple, 4-ingredient smoothie that will conquer your sweet tooth without sweeteners, nourish your body and keep you cool in the summertime. Its simplicity may seem elementary, but this smoothie will be your new best friend. (makes 1 smoothie)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 banana
  2. ¼ cup raw almonds
  3. ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
  4. splash of vanilla extract
  5. ice (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a blender, combine the ingredients (except for the ice) and blend until smooth. Then add a handful of ice and blend again until smooth.
  2. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. I rimmed the glass with a bit of honey and cinnamon, but this isn’t necessary (it’s just adorable).
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
 Another fun, simple banana recipe is this one! You’ll love it!