homemade larabars!

i love larabars -- they're healthy, delicious, and all-natural.
they're also kind of expensive, so considering they only have 3
ingredients, i thought i'd make some on my own! so this weekend
while i was at home with access to a beautifully large food processor,
i made two varieties -- cranberry almond bars & banana bread bites:

{recipe sources: 1 2}

cranberry almond bars:
makes 10 bars
  • 1 cup nuts (i used almonds)
  • 1/2 cup medjool dates (without pits)
  • 1 cup dried fruit (i used dried cranberries)
  1. grind the nuts in a food processor until they are finely chopped.
  2. add the dates and dried fruit and process again until you have a sticky glob and the almonds have been mixed into it.
  3. place your mixture (it might be a little crumbly! don't worry) onto a piece of parchment paper, and put another piece on top. use your hands or a rolling pin to flatten the mixture into a rough rectangular shape. slice into bars and put in the refrigerator to set and store.
banana bread bites:
makes 10-12 bites

  • 1 cup nuts (i used almonds - i bet peanuts would be FAB)
  • 5-6 medjool dates (without pits)
  • 1 small banana, sliced*
  1. grind the almonds in a food processor until they are finely chopped.
  2. add the dates and banana and process again until you have a sticky glob and the almonds have been mixed into it.
  3. roll the mixture into balls and place on parchment paper in the refrigerator to set & store.
*a lot of the recipes i saw for the banana bread larabars recommended dehydrating the bananas first (basically putting them in the oven at low heat for like 4 hours) but ain't nobody got time for that so i just used the raw bananas and fewer dates than the recipes i saw for dried fruit and they turned out fine :)

feel free to get creative with using different fruits and nuts and even fun things
like coconut flakes or chocolate! these took maybe 20 minutes to make, including
cleaning the food processor between batches, and you can make them in whatever
flavor you want! these are a great snack for me to have in class or before dance and
now that i know how easy they are to make, i'm sure i'll be having lots more of them :)

i hope you've all enjoyed your long columbus day weekend! 
much love from my home sweet home,

maria <3


trader joe's haul!

some of you may already be aware of this, but i love grocery shopping. i am borderline obsessed with grocery shopping. i love planning out my meals and figuring out the most efficient ingredients to buy to make everything! one of the reasons i moved off the meal plan at school this year was so that i could have more control over what i ate, which means more grocery shopping! luckily, my school provides weekly shuttles to various grocery stores so i don't have to find someone with a car [a rarity] or lug lots of grocery bags on public transportation. i used to always shop at a normal supermarket, shaw's, but this year i've decided to start shopping at trader joe's! i had heard great things about their food, and loved how lots of things looked healthy and organic. so, last weekend pratibha and i did some darjeeling style grocery shopping! as we were waiting for the shuttle to go back, we decided to document our spoils:

[not shown in video: greek yogurt, bananas, black beans, oatmeal, chicken noodle
soup, chickpeas, kind bars, feta cheese, eggs, grapes, pita bread]


$0.19 each. and huge!

feta cubes in brine.
this is sold in a really clever container so the feta is in a little basket which you can pull out to get your portion of cheese, and then lower it back in so it can soak in the brine. perfect for throwing on salads or in pita pockets!

cuban style black beans.
these are SO delicious and much easier than getting plain black beans and having to add all the spices separately. and only $0.99 for a can!

pita bread.
i LOVE pita for its versatility - you can make pita sandwiches, put it in the oven with some olive oil for pita chips, or even spread with tomato sauce and cheese for little pizzas! the trader joe's version is the perfect size for yummy little pita pockets.


pomegranate seeds.
don't get me wrong, i love pomegranate seeds. but these were one of the most expensive things i bought and i only got to have a few because for some reason they went bad after just a couple days even though i kept them in the refrigerator :(

as i mentioned in the video, i don't really like turkey, or meat in general......i should probably just stop buying it? oops. not your fault, tj.

meals & snacks:
some things i've eaten over the past week with these ingredients.

*pita pocket with turkey, havarti, spinach, & hummus.
*baby spinach salad with feta, dried cranberries & walnuts.
*greek yogurt with granola and grapes or pomegranate seeds.
*baby carrots with hummus.
*oatmeal with sliced bananas and peanut butter.
*scrambled eggs with spinach and feta.

i had a super crazy week academically, so i didn't eat a whole lot of defined meals - lots of small study snacks! this week i'm planning on making something yummy with the brussels sprouts - maybe a pesto pasta with brussels sprouts and mushrooms! we shall see.

<3 maria (& pratibha)

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