Rice Crispie Treats – the healthier version…

IMG_1504I was watching Unwrapped on the Food Network one night and they started talking about Rice Krispie treats… I remember making them as a kid – remember how awesome they were as soon as you poured them into the pan but before they were completely cool? Yeah – I wanted THAT again!

However, I wondered if there was a way to do them healthier… of course there is!

I immediately took to the internet and found a few recipes that met my criteria for: organic, whole ingredients + as few ingredients as possible. Here’s what I came up with:

The basic ingredients:
1 Box Puffed Brown Rice Cereal (easily found in the Organic Section of your grocery store)
1 1/2 of a cup of Brown Rice Syrup (either in the Organic Section, or the international foods section)
3/4 of a cup of Peanut Butter
Cinnamon to taste

The process:

Combine Peanut Butter and Rice Syrup and heat on low/medium until melted – this is going to go quick, so don’t leave it. It took mine about 3 to 4 minutes to melt. Add Cinnamon once everything is melted and stir well.

Pour hot ingredients over Rice Cereal and mix until well combined. Pour into a baking dish (the smaller the dish, the thicker your bars, and the more cooling time you’ll need). Press mixture down with the back of a wooden or plastic spoon. Allow to cool. Serve. Enjoy!

Modifications:

I also attempted this recipe with Chocolate Puffed Rice Cereal – DELISH!!!!! I’ll definitely do that again. Those are what is pictured above…

IMG_1500I made a version substituting maple syrup for the brown rice syrup. Tasted fab – never hardened as it cooled. So basically I had a big bowl of Rice Crispy Treat – but not an actual treat. It’s hard to see in that photo to the left, but that was my big mush of Treat.

You could really do quite a few substitutions – Almond Butter instead of Peanut; add chocolate chips; add nuts of some sort… the recipe is such a nice canvas to build on – there’s a ton you can do. Just make sure if you’re substituting the sweetener (Rice Syrup) you choose something that will harden up nicely – honey might be a good choice.

If you try this recipe, or you try a modification – I’d love to hear about it – leave a comment below.

Eagle Pose – unwiding stress by twisting yourself up?!? Yup.

{Blended Yoga Video below…} Yoga always mirrors what’s going on for you. Always. Either you come to class with a mood already in place, or, a particular pose will put you right in touch with whatever it is you’re feeling and trying to ignore.

Eagle pose is definitely one of those poses… at least for me anyway. Eagle Pose can be so freakin’ maddening.

When I came back to yoga, I saw one of my teachers do this pose, and it looked so graceful… so beautiful. Which is what inspired me to want to master it. Little did I know what Eagle had in store for me.

Through lots of trying, lots of falling out, lots of cursing, lots of forcing, lots of willing my body to just get into the pose already dammit… I still couldn’t get it. And if I was having a particularly tough day – forget it. Eagle was almost completely inaccessible.

What finally allowed me to even start getting into the pose was – relaxing. Not fretting. Not forcing. Not “trying.” And NOT willing. Just… relaxing (isn’t that frustrating?!? You spend all that time stressing, and straining and get ZERO results… Pffft!).

The keys to Eagle Pose are – first – don’t worry about twisting yourself completely up. To this day (and you’ll see in the video) I can’t completely wrap myself around myself. For me – it’s a combination of the way my hips are built, and the way my thighs are structured (thank you large, strong thigh muscles!).

The second key to Eagle is B-R-E-A-T-H-E.

Instead of just launching yourself into the pose and hoping for the best (and then cursing, straining, forcing, and willing…) take a moment, let go of any thoughts or worry about what it’s supposed to look like, and just breathe.

I especially love this pose when I’m stressing. Being all twisted up, of course, mirrors how I feel – but then – when you unwind – aaaaaaahhhhhhhh… you remember that, just like the pose, this too shall pass. And, again – Eagle totally calls me out when I’m worrying, fretting, over-stressing, or obsessing. If I can’t get into it at all – it’s a sure sign I’m all up in my head.

Alright – ready? Let’s give this a go… See where ya are today, see how you do, see what comes up for you – and most of all – B-R-E-A-T-H-E…

Rich, Decadant Chocolate Pudding (it’s healthy too ;) ).

Confession – I am a sucker for all things chocolate. Well, actually, I’m a sucker for almost anything sweet… So when I find recipes that are decadent, but are also healthy – Winning!!

This pudding is one of those things. It’s super simple, REALLY Chocolatey, and has uber healthy ingredients that you can’t even taste.

Ingredients:

1 Avocado (pitted and without the skin)10002921_718616224846133_4205591525302003478_n
1/4 – 1/2 Cup of Milk (any milk is fine – I use Coconut milk)
About 1/4 Cup of Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
1 Tablespoon Ground Flax
Vanilla Extract
Cinnamon

Process: Throw everything in a food processor, whir until smooth. Transfer to a bowl – indulge!

Now – I know – Chocolate and AVOCADO?? REALLY??? Yes. Really. You can’t even taste the Avocado – seriously. But, it imparts a creamy smoothness that makes this dessert even more delightful.

That picture is my good friend Coleen’s photo. I ate mine so fast, I didn’t get a shot of it… She tried it, and was obviously able to control herself better than I, so she snapped that lovely photo. Perhaps she will share her recipe with us in the comments below – she did her’s slightly different than mine.

Both of us served this up to our families. It passed the Tween Girl test with flying colors… the boys… meh… they weren’t sold on it. However – I encourage you to make this, don’t tell anyone what’s in it, and see what sort of reaction you get. If you do that – do share in the comments below – I’d love to hear about it!

Blended Yoga Class – Riffing Off Sun Salutation

I love Sun Salutations… and I’ve taken a few classes where the teachers have riffed off Sun Salutations and added to them, or re-created them. This is my interpretation (at least this time…). This class includes Sun Salutation A, Sun Salutation B… a little Awkward Chair, a little Warrior 3, a lot of sweat, a bit of challenge, and a whole lot of Aaaaaahhhhh…

Enjoy!

 

 

Spciy Southwest Fries – without the guilt!

This, is Celeriac, or Celery Root. IMG_1495It’s got a bit of an ugly beauty about it, eh? I saw these at the Coatesville Farmer’s Market  last week, and I thought I’d give ‘em a shot.

They also included a great Recipe for Celeriac Fries in their newsletter, so I tried it – with just a little bit of tweaking.

Here is the Recipe I created:

Ingredients:

2 Celeriac Roots
About 1/2 cup of Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Southwest Seasoning to tasteIMG_1497

Slice the Celeriac into thin Fry-like slices as seen to the right. Pop ‘em in a bowl. Coat with Olive Oil. Add salt, pepper, seasoning, mix well. Spread them in a single layer onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes. Watch them, because once they’re done, they’ll burn fast (don’t ask about that… *ahem*).

These were delicious. They don’t have a very heavy celery flavor… it’s subtle. But that adds a nice background to whatever you’re seasoning it with. I used the Southwest Seasoning, here, but you could really do anything you think might go well with Celery. The original recipe used Cajun Seasoning. I’ll be trying that next because that sounds Divine.

If you try these – let me know what you think!