Healthy vegan pancakes- u won’t believe the secret ingredient :)

I love me some dense pancakes, not the airy – barely there pancakes, but real thick and dense pancakes. Since I am trying out the diet outlined in The 4 Hour Body, I cannot have fruit 6 days a week which knocks out my everyday pancake. However, I found a way to adapt it, and make it fit this current meal plan I am on. Instead of the base of my pancake being a banana, the base is now a half a cup of beans! I know it sounds weird, but beans have a very neutral taste and will take the flavor of the other ingredients you put in with them.

The pancakes taste great and are very healthy 🙂 They are also grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan!

Healthy pancakes

1/2 cup of cooked beans (any type will do, and I use canned)
2 tablespoons almond flour
2 tablespoons hemp protein powder
2 tablespoons raw carob powder
1/4 cup almond milk
Stevia to taste
Cinnamon to taste
Coconut butter, almond butter, or other various toppings

Makes one large pancake

Rinse cooked beans in water then mash with a fork. Then add the rest of the ingredients, in no particular order, until incorporated into a thick batter or dough. Add more or less almond milk in order to reach your desired consistency. Cook as you would a regular pancake. I like mine very unbaked, and so I often pull mine off of the pan in pieces and re-piece the pancake together on my plate. If you like a more done pancake you can cook it longer, and I recommend making a few small pancakes , if that’s the case, instead of one big one. Finally, top with whatever you desire. I like to put some coconut butter and almond butter on mine 🙂

Another bonus is that each pancake has over 20 grams of protein in it 🙂

If you try it out, let me know what you think 🙂

Day 6: Amrita

20140518-145151.jpg

I just recently discovered Amrita bars at this year’s NYC Green Festival, and I loved them instantly. The bars are vegan, gluten-free, raw, non-GMO, and nut-free. There are currently 6 different flavors which include: Apple cinnamon, apricot strawberry, chocolate maca, cranberry raisin, mango coconut, and pineapple chia. All of the bars are made mostly of sun dried fruits, seeds, and organic brown rice protein. My favorite is the pineapple chia and its ingredients are as follows: dried pineapple, desiccated coconut, date paste, cranberries, Himalayan pink salt, chia seeds, brown rice protein, sunflower seeds, and maple syrup.The bars vary in calories from around 200 to around 300.

Amrita bars are a little harder to find because they are made in small batches in NYC. However, there is a store locator on their website that will guide you to a store closest to you, or you can purchase them online from their website. Their website is amritahealthfoods.com. There is a variety pack on their website that includes one of each flavor and it costs $15 with only $2 shipping. Or you can buy a box of 12 bars of one flavor and that will run you $27, unless you purchase the chocolate maca box which runs $32. I do not know why there is a price difference. As far as I know you cannot purchase individual bars online, but you can in stores.

What do you think of Amrita Bars?

Day 5: Go Raw Bars

20140517-182400.jpg

Go Raw bars are vegan, gluten-free, kosher, nut-free, organic, non-GMO, and raw. There are five different flavors of these bars which are: banana bread flax bar, live granola bar, live pumpkin bar, real live apricot bar, and spirulina energy bar. My favorite is the spirulina energy bar, but they are all great. The ingredients in theses bars consist mostly of various seeds and dried fruits. For example, the live granola bar, pictured above, contains buckwheat groats, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, raisins, and dates.

Each large bar, they have mini ones too, runs around 200 calories. Theses bars are by far the most expensive to buy, but are good if you are nut-free and strictly raw. I enjoy them when I can find them on sale 😉 Each bars runs anywhere from $3-$4 depending on where you but them. You can also buy a box of 20 bars from their website, goraw.com, which runs $43, but I have never seen the boxes for sale in stores. The individual bars can be found at whole foods and other various healthy food stores, as well as online.

What do you think of Go Raw bars?

Day 4: Kit’s a Organic Fruit and Nut Bars, and Fruit and Seed Bars

20140516-145251.jpg

I actually just discovered these bars, and loved them immediately. These bars are gluten-free, vegan, organic, non-GMO, and are made of various nuts and dried fruits. However, if you are nut free, there are also Kit’s Organic Fruit and Seed bars. Kit’s Organic Fruit and Nut bars and Fruit and Seed bars were actually created by the makers of Clif bars. However, Kit’s Organic bars are my choice of the Clif bars, not only because they are vegan, but also because of the ingredients used in them. Both types of bars run around 200 calories a bar.

There are four flavors of the fruit and nut bars, which are: berry almond, cashew, peanut butter, and chocolate almond coconut. I have not had the pleasure of trying all of them yet, but I have tried the berry almond bar which I thoroughly enjoyed. The ingredients in that bar, pictured above, are dates, almonds, barberries, bilberries, and sea salt. Nothing else.

There are also four flavors of the fruit and seed bars, which are: apricot and sesame seeds, cherry and pumpkin seeds, coconut and sesame seeds, and lemon vanilla and chia seeds. The only bar I have tried thus far out of these flavors was the apricot and sesame seeds, which I thought was very good. The ingredients in that bar are dates, toasted sesame seeds, apricots, apples, sea salt, and rosemary extract. The sesame seeds provided a slightly different texture than the fruit and nut bars, and added a more consistent crunch since you get more seeds throughout the bar versus a few giant nuts in the bar.

The bars run around $2 a bar, and that varies from store to store and what part of the country you are buying them in. I know you can find them in some whole foods stores and various other health food stores. You can also buy them online in boxes of 12 bars, and those run around $24 a box, unless a sale is being run.

Both types of Kit’s Organic bars are worth trying in my opinion, and I love them both equally. You will just have to decide for yourself which type you prefer, or simply enjoy both as I do 🙂 What is your opinion on Kit’s Bars?

Day 3: Two Moms in the Raw Granola Bars

20140515-170830.jpg

Two Moms in the Raw Granola bars are more like your traditional granola bar. They are very crunchy and packed with nuts seeds, spices, and various dried fruits. The bars are gluten-free, kosher, organic, vegan, non GMO, and raw. They are around 200 calories each and there are five different flavors- blueberry, cranberry, raisin, golden berry, and goji berry. I think they are all delicious, and so I don’t think I could even pick a favorite 🙂

These bars are more expensive. They come four to a box and the boxes are $10 which makes them about $2.50 a bar, but they are nice if you are looking for a really crunchy bar (my mom likes really crunchy bars, not chewy ones as she would say ;)). You can find them online at twomomsintheraw.com or at various health food stores.

The flavor, pictured above, is blueberry and it’s ingredients are agave, oat groats, sunflower seeds, buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, blueberries, millet, apples, sesame seeds, flax seeds, pecans, almonds, cinnamon, and sea salt. They’re bars are loaded with ingredients and flavor 🙂

Day 2: Lara Bars

20140514-212341.jpg

Lara bars are another one of my main go to bars. They are the cheapest bars out of the ones I use and the most readily available. The bars themselves are gluten-free, kosher, non GMO, and vegan. However, they do not claim on their labels to be vegan because some of the bars contain chocolate chips that are made in a facility that produces chocolate chips that contain milk products even though the ones they use in their bars do not. They cannot be sure that cross contamination has not occurred so they chose to not state vegan in their labels. Their claim to fame is that all of their bars are made from 2-9 ingredients each.

Each bar contains around 200 calories and is made mostly of various dried fruits and nuts. For example, their carrot cake bar, pictures above, is made of dates, almonds, walnuts, raisins, pineapple, unsweetened coconut, carrots, and extra virgin coconut oil. The bars are chewy and contain chunks of whole nuts and seeds, similarly to the raw revolution bars. These bars are simpler, with less ingredients than the raw revolution bars, but are as equally delicious.

There are 19 different flavors, however, I do not eat all of the flavors because some of them contain juice concentrates over the real fruits, and so I try to avoid those. Some of them also contain chocolate chips which contain sugar, which i generally try to avoid as well. All of that said, there are still 11 flavors available that do not have added sugar or juice concentrates in them. A few of my favorites are peanut butter and jelly, cherry pie, and pecan pie 🙂

You can buy them online or at various stores such as trader joes, whole foods, Dillons, and many others. Like I stated before, they are the easiest to get a hold of. Depending on what part of the country you are in, the bars generally run between $1 and $1.50 per bar or you can buy boxes of them online for around $25 for 16 bars. What do you think of Lara Bars?

Day 1: Raw Revolution Bars

20140513-192220.jpg

Raw Revolution bars are one of my favorite bars to have handy when I am on the go. They are organic, vegan, non GMO, kosher, gluten free, and, for the most part, raw. Not to mention the fact that they are delicious! Each bar contains about 230 calories, some are a little more and some are a little less. They also each have around 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. The bars consist of ingredients such as cashews, dates, sunflower seed kernels, agave, coconut, almonds, sprouted flax seeds, and other dried fruits, nuts, and seeds, depending on the flavor.

There are currently 14 flavors such as coconut delight, chunky peanut butter chocolate, Apple cinnamon, golden cashew and many more. The only sweeteners used in the bars is agave and dates, with the exception of the bars that contain chocolate chunks because the chunks are made with cane sugar. However, there are plenty of options that do not contain the chocolate chunks if you are trying to avoid cane sugar, as I generally am. The bar itself is chewy from the dates and fruits holding it together but it has full nuts and seeds incorporated in it that add a nice crunch. I love all of the flavors, but my favorite is the spirulina dream. It is actually a nice dark green color which makes it look kind of weird, but, trust me, it is delicious 🙂

They are available to order online from their website rawrev.com, or they can be found at various health food stores. Online a box of 12 goes for $20, or individually the bars usually run between $1.50 and $2 a bar. I have found that one of these bars can keep me full for around 2 hours which works nicely to tide me over until my next meal if I am just wanting something small, or if I am trying to eat a lot of small meals every 2-3hrs. If you decide to give them a try let me know what you think!