Core Bar Give-A-Way (10 Pack!!!)

Yes, ladies and gentleman, it is time for another give-a-way. I had such an AMAZING experience with these bars that I felt inclined to share the wealth with all of my readers out there. I’m not one for deprivation, I want real, good food that fills me up and nourishes my body. These bars did that. They also helped me to slim down prior to my half marathon, run better with less food in my stomach and gave me energy when I really needed it. These will continue to be my go to morning bar. For all of you out there who are new, or didn’t read my review of these bars, let me give you a little information. They are completely raw, vegan and filled with only stuff from the earth. Bare minimum ingredients, all that are good for you. No syrups, no sugar, these are not candy bars pretending to be good for you. They are real deal athlete and normal people approved food. Wanna try them out? Then enter this give-a-way and you could win a box of 10 bars! This box includes the three flavors offered and will be delivered fresh to your door.

To enter:

1) Like us on Facebook

2) Follow us on Twitter

3) Follow our blog

4) Share this post on Facebook (make sure you comment to let me know you did this)

Every item gives you an entry! What’s better than that!?!

I will be announcing the winner on July 4th, not a lot of time, so get your entries in. Once announced, the winner will get their box is about 48 hours. These are made of real food, so they will go bad, once they get to your house, throw them in the fridge. For more information on these wonderful bars go to: www.corefoods.com

Good luck everyone!

xoxo, Jenny

Core Foods: A raw bar, I actually want to eat.

I’m always looking around for two things:

1) Raw food that I can actually ingest that won’t make me want to punch everyone in the face as I’m eating it (Also known as, actually enjoyable food)

2) Portable food that I can take on the go when my toddler is having a morning melt down and I barely had time to wash my vagina.

As a “mother runner” or a generally swamped busy individual, anything that makes my life easier while being healthy and sustainable is a huge plus. And sometimes, I have time to make these items myself. I have really conjured up some highly enjoyable granola bars and protein bars that work well for keeping me full while maintaining my effort to lose weight. But lately, I just haven’t wanted to touch my oven for any reason what so ever. I don’t even want to look at it. The itch to bake just isn’t there. So, I thought, maybe it’s time to go on a world-wide web search for someone who will do it for me. Google led me to CORE Foods, a website that specializes in producing these bars which are completely raw, vegan and arrive right to your door in a neat little package. Their website has all sorts of amazing information on a healthier lifestyle: shopping lists, activities and reasons why their product is actually good for you. There are three flavors: Raw Almond Raisin, Raw Cashew Cacao, and Raw Banana Walnut. I was already sold but then I kept reading only to find out that these bars are meant to be a meal when consumed with two glasses of water. Pssssshhh. I thought. Impossible. With an appetite like mine and the running I’m doing, no deal. So I decided to put these little bars to the test. I ordered them and they arrived in literally two days; and that was only because I waited till after the morning deadline. They arrived cold, in little express package which I promptly placed in my fridge. The first one I thought, I would try before a 10 mile run. There’s no better test than that as far as I can see.

So the morning of my very early run I consumed the Banana Walnut which tasted like yummy, slightly spicy in a good way, banana bread. I gulped down my water, grabbed my running buddy and we hit the road. I kept waiting mile after mile for my stomach to grumble. But it didn’t. In fact, my run began at 7 and I wasn’t hungry till almost noon, where I consumed a big bowl of fruit and felt completely satisfied. Not only that but when my run was over, I felt as though I had enough energy to keep going. I didn’t because that would have been craziness but if someone was chasing me, I would have done alright. After that, I made these bars a normal part of my morning routine, sometimes adding a banana to the mix if I was feeling especially hungry that morning. Until the ultimate challenge came: my half marathon. I only consumed half, yes half, of the Cashew Cacao because my nerves were shot but that little guy kept me going for 13.1 miles. I didn’t stop for anything but water and a little Gatorade. Sure, I was a smidge hungry at the finish line but I think that’s pretty good considering.

Truly, it’s rare when a product is completely transparent and I have to say, these little guys definitely are. The label could not be anymore straight forward. The product holds up to all of its promises. And additionally, it actually looks like the ingredients it lists. There is no funk in these bars. No sugar. No crap. They are not candy bars pretending to be healthy. (Cliff Bars, Luna Bars, any bar they produce at the grocery store) Next time you are shopping, read some of the labels of these other bars you are buying: LOADED WITH SUGAR. And it comes in all sorts of interesting forms. Stop eating empty calories. Nourish your body the way it was meant to be nourished. Support this company and buy lots of bars. And don’t even go on about the price, your body is an investment. It’s time to start putting the money where it matters. Good food costs more. And by good food I mean, raw, sustainable, healthful, whole food.

Go check out this site: CORE FOODS, they will be a part of my morning and training permanently.

Raw+Vegan Snickers Bars

I’m not a vegan. I could never be, a vegan. I think people who “GO VEGAN” are beautiful creatures. I mean, seriously, vegans have gorgeous skin, flowing hair and a peaceful way about them that is just so enticing. I’ve tossed around the idea of converting but I’m pretty sure my husband would suffocate me in my sleep with a pillow. He’s already having  insurmountable troubles with what is currently inhabiting our cabinets. I received the coconut oil lecture last night and my response was: “That’s why my immune system is top notch and you currently have strep throat.” The past few months, I have really tried to incorporate some vegan principles into my diet and I have tried to focus on consuming more raw foods. Your diet naturally should be about 60% raw. Our bodies are not made to digest so much processed, cooked foods and once in a while, it’s worth it to give your colon a break. For real. The past week I have bit a little bit lazy in the salad department, eating mostly turkey sandwiches for lunch but generally a generous salad fills my body five days a week at noon with lots of fruits for snacking. Vegan inspired or raw desserts really let you have the best of both worlds, they are typically made with rich items such as raw cocoa, avocado and agave nectar so you get the sweet without all the sugar. This recipe surprised me with its authentic taste. I would have never guessed it wasn’t a snickers bar, outside of the slightly different texture. And the chocolate is so deep that half of one was more than enough for me to feel like I indulged.

A food processor is a must for this recipe as dates are really something to blend. My food processor fought me a little bit initially but in the end, the dates transformed into a rich, amazing “caramel”.  I found Medjool dates on sale at Whole Foods last night so that was a plus, the first time I purchased them I almost fainted when I saw the price. Eating healthy is an investment, I will definitely say that. You have to be ready for that total at check out. You could certainly buy a cheaper kind and truthfully, I’m not sure there would be much of a difference.

I found assembly to be a dream. When my hands got sticky from the “nougat”, I simply washed them and kept them a little moist to help form the bottom later. For the “caramel” I spooned it into a piping bag and piped thin layers on top of the “nougat” layer. It had a beautiful texture that was easy to work with. Then, I sprinkled some raw peanuts on top to add some much needed texture. The amount you use is completely up to you, I just did enough to cover.

The only problem I ran into and I wouldn’t even really call it a problem, was with the chocolate. It came together like a dream, producing this silky product that tasted divine. However, when it came time for spreading the chocolate, I found that it was quite difficult. Patience is a must because it is pretty thick. Basically, you have to make sure your snickers bars (the nougat and the caramel/nuts) are pretty frozen, then one by one you have to carefully smooth this chocolate over the entire thing. Time consuming, a little, but the end result is completely worth it.

The finished product may not be the most perfect looking little guy but it sure was good and to me, that is what matters the most. These can be kept at room temperature but I like them a little on the cold side. I also used the freezer to speed up the hardening of the chocolate. Give these to your kids as a treat and don’t feel bad about it because the ingredients are top notch and good for you.

RAW & VEGAN SNICKERS BARS

NOUGAT LAYER
1/2 cup almond flour
1/3 cup raw agave nectar
1 cup sliced almonds

CARAMEL LAYER
1 cup medjool dates and enough water to cover them
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

FOR THE PEANUT TOPPING
1 cup raw peanuts, divided (3/4 for topping on caramel, 1/4 for crushed on finished product)

FOR THE CHOCOLATE COATING
1/2 cup lite agave nectar
3/4 cup raw cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

DIRECTIONS

To make the nougat: pulse the almond flour, agave nectar and sliced almonds in your food processor until relatively smooth. The almonds will remain a little chunky, that’s perfectly fine. Shape into small logs on parchment paper and put in the freezer.

To make the caramel: pulse all ingredients together in your food processor until creamy and thick, adding the least amount of water you can. Fill a piping bag with the caramel mixture, pipe onto the tops of each nougat log. Top with peanuts and place in the freezer.

To make the chocolate coating: pulse all ingredients together in your food processor until nice and smooth.

Spread chocolate over each one, place in the freezer to harden up and then enjoy!

Raw Vegan Brownies

My husband says that he doesn’t recognize most of what is in our pantry/fridge anymore. I’m not really sure what that means. Truly, there has been a bit of an evolution so to speak in our cabinets since I have starting running again last June but nothing so shocking that it could be life altering. In my food adventures the last year, I have learned A LOT about what good food really is and what raw food does to our bodies. It started with being horrified by Food Inc, where I threw away everything in our home, and gradually reformed to a more normal learning adventure: lots of reading, lots of looking at labels, lots of thought about what we put into our mouths. Every one in the food industry is looking for shock value with all these documentaries, I’m just looking for a better way to feed my family, especially my children. My snack cabinet was the very first thing to be reformed and little by little, it has been downsized. Anything in a box, really isn’t that good for you, there is a reason it can sit on the shelf for so long. I want my children to learn that fresh is better, for taste and for overall long-term health. I still want them to have treats, I don’t expect them to not be children, but if they want an oreo cookie, I’d rather make it for them myself.

My traditional brownies, are not so good for you, these are my attempt at brownie reform. They desperately needed a makeover. Or perhaps this would be called a “make-under.”

RAW VEGAN BROWNIES

BOTTOM INGREDIENTS:

1 cup pitted medjool dates
1 cup mixed raw walnuts & almonds
1/4 cup raw cocoa powder

TOP INGREDIENTS:

2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
4 tbsp raw almond butter
4 tbsp honey

DIRECTIONS:

  • Mix together all bottom ingredients in a food processor until well blended.
  •  Spread bottom ingredients in a large glass baking pan until evenly distributed
  •  Mix together top ingredients in a food processor until well blended.
  •  Spread top blend over bottom layer base until evenly distributed.
  •  Place in freezer for 30 minutes.
  •  Cut into 16 squares, serve and enjoy!
  •  Re-freeze whatever you don’t eat and enjoy at a later date!