Ladies & Gentlemen, fall is officially here..and I kinda like it. During the day it’s a solid 20-23C and come nightfall it’s comfy sweater weather.
I had to go out and buy some sweaters and comfy winter clothes since my collection was next to none. In Oman, I’d wear long sleeved button downs, but the kind you’d buy in the summer where they’re made of light materials. My wool collection was next to none. Alongside the sweaters, I got a pair of fall boots. I’m really starting to dig the fall look; I forgot how fun and stylish cool weather could be. It’s a nice change from suffering from the heat in Oman.
Besides the fashion, fall brings hockey which Im super stoked to begin. It’s been years since I’ve been able to go out to a pub and watch the game, or kick back at home with friends. This recent realization that it’s just around the corner is exciting. The only worry is that Chloe and I will be rocking a red and white jersey in a sea of blue.
We actually had this conversation yesterday; we were walking all over the city, post our Pho-Sunday’s soup tradition we’ve set in stone, and talking about the upcoming months. I mentioned how I’m psyched for the Habs season to begin. Agreeing, we wondered how it’ll roll over being a Habs fan in Leafsville. We came to the conclusion that it’s safer to be a Habs fan in Toronto than it is to be a Leafs fan living in Montreal. Thats just wouldn’t fly in our city. Which I’m not saying is a good thing. Montrealers are very…committed..emotionally and have been known to single those out who cheer for the opposition. Not all Habs fans..but there are quite a few.
Although the season hasn’t begun just yet, we’ve had numerous conversations with people here in TO in regards to hockey, and Torontonians have had nothing but nice things to say when we mention we’re Habs fans. Shocked every time, Chloe and I always give each other a look like, ‘this would never go down in Montreal if the tables were turned.’ Then again, Toronto is still riding the Jay’s train hard, so once hockey season comes around maybe they’ll be singing a different tune. Time will tell. 😉
So for months I’ve been eyeing puffed quinoa at the grocery store. Now when I write it like that it sounds like some whole foods rapper name. I decided last week to go ahead a buy a bag and experiment with it at home.
I’m not entirely sure why it intimidated me in the past, or why I avoided it like the plaque. I suppose since I’m not one to eat many sweets, I wasn’t completely sure how I’d even use the ingredient in my everyday cooking.
Once home, I opened the bag of quinoa to give the little guys a try. I mean, the name is pretty self explanatory; the texture is exactly how it sounds. They’re not crunchy like popcorn but instead they sort of melt in your mouth.
I spent a little time researching puffed quinoa and how it’s made. I discovered that it’s actually an easy process that you can make it at home, like popcorn, using a big sauce pot and a lid. Will definitely have the give that a try in the near future.
These Not-Your-Average Energy Bars are made using all natural ingredients, making it easy for your body to digest. Have a square or two before you exercise for a boost in energy, or enjoy it as a dessert. They won’t leave you feeling full and heavy like most power bars do.
- 1.5 cups puffed quinoa
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
- 50ml almond butter
- 1 cup medjool dates, soaked 15 minutes in warm water
- 3 heaping tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- Begin by removing pits from dates and place dates in a bowl. Boil 1 cup of water and pour over dates. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- In a small sauce pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Place a small metal bowl overtop the pot, creating a double boiler to melt the coconut oil. Melt coconut oil in bowl and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine puffed quinoa, melted coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, seeds, maple syrup, desiccated coconut, and almond butter. Mix well.
- Drain date water. In a blender or processor, blend dates with a couple teaspoons of warm water to loosen them up. You're looking for a paste-like consistency. When reached, add dates to bowl with other ingredients. Mix well.
- In a 9" square pan lined with parchment paper, scoop mixture in and, using a fork, spread evenly into the corners. Place in fridge for 20 minutes.
- Using the double boiler method again, heat 3 heaping tablespoons of coconut oil. When melted, remove from heat and add cacao powder. Mix well.
- Remove bars from refrigerator. Drizzle coco-cacao mixture overtop. Place back in fridge for 20 more minutes.
- Slice into bars and enjoy!
- Feel free to use less coconut oil than I did. Although they were delicious, I would use 3 tbsp instead of 1/4 cup next time.
- These bars will last for over a week when refrigerated in an airtight container.
- Keep bars frozen for last minute dessert options!