Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Bars

Chocolate. Cherry. Gluten Free AND Healthy. Almost too good to be true!

Many brilliant recipes arise out of sheer necessity, and these Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Bars (“CCO Bars”) are no exception!

Over the past few weeks, my morning routine has included many more early-morning Client calls, workouts and workshops, which forced my all-time-favorite protein pancakes to fall out of rotation. (I’ll choose sleep over pancakes, thank you very much!)

I had to find other options to fuel myself to fuel and energize others.

To quote Top Gun, I had a need for speed… speedy breakfast options, that is, and I was tired of relying solely on hardboiled eggs, pre-made bars or to-go cups of homemade protein drinks that I shook like a martini on my way out the door.

CCO Bars were the perfect solve and complemented the on-the-go, early morning hardboiled eggs or leftover salmon!

Low sugar, high fiber, packed with antioxidants and straight-up delish, these are now a staple in my breakfast routine!

In fact, these CCO Bars received the “ravest” of reviews among my go-to baked goods by a very discerning group of taste testers 🙂

Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Bars

Yields 8 two-inch bars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. gluten free flour of your choice (My fave is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour)
  • 1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar OR 1/2 c. monk fruit sweetener OR heaping 1/2 c. date sugar
  • 1/4 c. olive oil OR half-stick of butter OR 1/4 c. ghee
  • 1/4 c. milk (cow’s, nut, pea, etc.)
  • 1/4 c. dried dark cherries (unsweetened or otherwise without added sugar)
  • 2 Tbl. cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Optional: 1/3 c. chocolate chips, couple of handfuls walnuts, a tablespoon of chia seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F degrees.
  2. Blend all ingredients except for GF Flour and cherries.
  3. Once blended, stir in flour and cherries. DO NOT OVERMIX.
  4. Pour into greased 8 x 8 pan.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until almost fully baked (you want the fork to come out with a little bit of batter still on. GF baked goods are easy to overbake, then they become dry or dense).
  6. Remove from heat, let cool, cut into 2-inch bars and enjoy!

If you have a go-to healthy breakfast, I’d love to hear about it, and if you have a friend who would enjoy this healthy take on chocolate and cherries, share this article!

 

 

 

‘The Struggle is Real’ Rice Pudding

Fast breakfast of Rice Pudding in a white porcelain mug on top of a dark wooden table with goji berries and a drizzle of date paste syrup.

Named accordingly, this healthy-carb’d, protein-packed, deliciously fast dish is the perfect breakfast for those mornings when you want to eat well, yet you have NO TIME to make anything that would resemble a breakfast of champions, if you eat breakfast at all! The struggle is real, right?

Well, first things first, put down that Pop Tart and Double Soy Unicorn Latte (not a good breakfast, girls!), then check this out.

"The Struggle is Real" Rice Pudding

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups cooked rice (brown or black is the best!)
  • 1/4 cup milk (almond, soy, organic cow, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup egg whites or one egg
  • 1/8 tsp ghee, coconut oil or grass-fed butter

Optional Ingredients

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon, ginger, cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbl raisins or Goji berries
  • Drizzle of honey, date syrup or brown sugar; go easy if your milk is sweetened

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a microwave-safe non-plastic bowl (plastic leeches chemicals into the food when cooking).

  2. Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes. If you prefer the stove, bring the ingredients to a boil, then simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking.

  3. Stir.

  4. If still runny, add another minute. Continue doing so until the eggs are cooked.

  5. Enjoy!

As you see, there are yummy & healthy options available to you in a pinch (particularly if you’ve been using your healthy shopping lists). All you need is a few minutes, and you’re good to go with a breakfast that will keep your brain sharp, your belly full and you at your peak. Now, THAT is a Breakfast of Champions!

As always, we love to hear your thoughts, your breakfast best practices, your tips, tricks and techniques – and so does our community! So please share them below, and if someone in your tribe, network, company needs a little morning overhaul, please feel free to share this post!

Chia Seed Pudding | A Sweet Treat for Kids of All Ages

(beautiful photo cred: EverydayGourmet.com)

Looking for a fun, easy and satisfying snack or dessert for a Sprout in your house? Here’s a KID-FRIENDLY RECIPE for a tapioca-like pudding. Kids love the texture, and they can help make it, too! Spoiler Alert: It’s also a delicious snack or dessert for adults!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ c agave or honey, OR a few tablespoons of powdered stevia (check the container for equivalents, particularly if you opt for liquid stevia, which is not a 1:1 ratio!)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or almond if you’re nut-safe)
  • ½ c chia seeds (read about the benefits here!)
  • Optional: raisins, goji berries, cinnamon, cocoa… Get creative!

*Additional Note: Use a 4:1 liquid to chia seed ratio, so if you’re looking for only half of a cup of pudding, then use 1-2 Tbl of chia seeds.

Directions

  • Warm the milk until it’s above room temperature
  • Whisk the other ingredients into the milk (No whisk? Grab a fork!)
  • Cool until pudding-like consistency
  • If the pudding is too thick for your, or your Sprout’s, taste, whisk in a little more milk even if it’s cooled; if it’s too runny, warm it just until it steams, then whisk in a little more chia and let it cool.
  • If you’re running short on prep time, grab a mason jar or sealable plastic container, add the above ingredients, shake and let it sit. You’ll get the same result, but it takes a little longer to gel.
Enjoy!