Monday, March 15, 2010

Coconut Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

i had the most wonderful stretch and mash session with K today. we didn't have yoga because of spring break, but she just finished her 1st level of ki-hara training and she is good! it's kind of what dara torres does after each training session.

according to the flexible warrior website, "Ki-Hara Resistance Stretching is a comprehensive and innovative approach to flexibility training. By contracting the muscle as it is lengthened, tension and torque is taken out of the muscles and joints. The results are more powerful, explosive and core stable movements, protection from overstretching, effectively addressing muscle imbalances which are at the root of most injuries. It is a balanced and integrated approach to well-being and creates lasting change."

head on over to the flexible warrior wesbite to find out more. if you live in the baltimore area i highly recommend trying a session with Karen Dubs. she is a double-threat now. not only my a fabulous yoga instructor (my favorite, in fact) but now a trained "masher."

after some interval running on the treadmill, i made another batch of granola bars. i tweaked the recipe a little more and this time made them coconut chocolate chip. check out my first batch of maple chocolate pecan granola bars.
so, like i said, i changed these granola bars up a bit. in this batch i added unsweetened shredded coconut, slivered almonds, a blend of ground flaxseeds and chia seeds, and used coconut butter for half of the called for butter. i also cut back a little on the sucanat and left out the brown rice syrup this time. they turned out really yummy! i also used the 9x13 pan for thinner bars. they turned out crunchier too - more like traditional granola bars.
check out the texture of these bars! seriously, you need to try this recipe and don't be afraid to play around a bit with it. it's fun!

Coconut Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
(makes 12 bars)

1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
1/3 cup oat flour (1/3 cup oats, finely ground in a food processor or blender)
1/3 cup sucanat
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup raw slivered almonds
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbs melted butter
3 tbs melted coconut butter
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tbs water

preheat the oven to 350°F. line an 9x13 pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over the sides so it forms a sling. spray paper with non-stick cooking spray.

combine dry ingredients (first 6 ingredients). in a separate bowl, whisk together remaining wet ingredients. add wet ingredients to dry and stir thoroughly until mixture is completely coated and crumbly.

pour into baking dish and press down firmly, packing mixture into pan. (i used a smaller pan coated with cooking spray to really pack it down.)

bake for 25-30 minutes. you want the top to be lightly golden and the edges to be a darker brown.

allow to cool on a wire rack. remove from pan using parchment paper sling and allow to cool even more until set. cut into desired shapes once completely cool. store in airtight container or wrap individually in plastic wrap if sharing.

 for dinner i made my trainer G's favorite pork tenderloin with spicy cinnamon rub. i have made this for G lots of times but have never actually tried it myself. i have no idea why i waited to long. this rub was amazing! i "grilled" it on the stove with a grill pan and it created a wonderful crust. it tasted sweet and spicy at the same time. sooo good. if you like pork tenderloin, you have to try this rub. it's so quick and easy and super flavorful.
i served it with seeds of change caribbean red beans & brown rice (first time i made this, not our favorite but i do like a lot of their other rice combination) and garlic green beans. perfection!

Spicy Cinnamon Pork Tenderloin Rub

2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder

combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir well to combine (this is enough rub for 2 tenderloins). rub mixture over entire tenderloin and let sit it fridge for 1-5 hours to let the flavors seep into the meat.
remove from fridge, let pork come to room temp, then grill or sear until internal temp reaches 150 degrees (medium - it will be slightly pink inside). let sit for 5 minutes. then slice and enjoy.

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