Chocolate PB Bars and Superbowl Snacks

Chocolate PB Bars and Superbowl Snacks | Life Healthfully LivedWhile I don’t take a HUGE interest in football, kind of hard when your team is the Bears…. but I do enjoy watching games and I really like watching the big game.  Ok, ok, I’m mostly watching for the commercials and the halftime performance, BUT I still like to watch.

I’m also in it for the food.  Come on, does that one shock you?  Chips and dip, pizza, wings, snacks of all shapes and size, the Superbowl isn’t just super because of the football players.  The Superbowl comes right at a time when you have been working hard to make eating healthy a habit.  It feels like it’s there to test your willpower and you’re a horrible human being if you slip up and eat a chicken wing…. or fifty.Chocolate PB Bars and Superbowl Snacks | Life Healthfully Lived

You should never feel guilty for eating food, even if it isn’t the healthiest.  You made a choice and that’s fine.  Eat the food and move on.  To help yourself feel a little better of eating a super bowl during the Superbowl (see what I did there?), try making real food snacks and appetizers for your party.  Instead of buying your chips and dip, make your own.  Create a build your own pizza bar and provide plenty of fresh vegetables for toppings.  Or do a taco bar!  Mmmmmm tacos….. There are plenty of ways that you can make your party food taste indulgent and healthy.

Which is why I made this treat for you guys!  I love my salted caramel chocolate swirl bars from Christmas and I wanted to see if I could make something with my favorite combo: chocolate and peanut butter.  I mean really, is there anything better than chocolate and peanut butter?  No.  The answer is no.  Chocolate PB Bars and Superbowl Snacks | Life Healthfully Lived

These are gluten, dairy, and egg free so they can cover a variety of diets, allergies, and intolerances.  If you can’t or don’t do peanut butter just sub in your favorite nut or seed butter, crunchy almond butter works really well!  You can also make these a few days in advance and that is one less thing you have to prepare.

So make these and be the hit of the party and enjoy the comm… I mean the game!

Chocolate PB BarsChocolate PB Bars and Superbowl Snacks | Life Healthfully Lived

Chocolate Cookie Crust

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 6 tbsp solid coconut oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350.  If your coconut oil isn’t solid, measure it out and then stick it in the freezer for a few minutes.  Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients in a blender and pulse until fully combined.
  2. Add in the coconut oil and pulse until the mixture is all crumbly.  Lightly oil an 8 x 8 pan with some coconut oil and line with parchment paper with a little hanging over the sides.  Press the cookie crust into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes.  It will look like it isn’t set, but don’t freak out. It will all be ok!
  3. Once it’s done let it cool for a few minutes and then place it in the freezer to harden while you get the filling together.

Peanut Butter Filling

  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seed and 3 tbsp water mixed together)
  • 1 tsp baking soda combined with 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chunky peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips/chunks
  1. In a medium bowl, mix flax egg, baking soda mixture, peanut butter, vanilla, and coconut sugar together.  Make sure it is really well combined.
  2. Stir in the coconut shreds and spread the filling on the cookie crust.  Bake for about 8 minutes.
  3. Pull it out and sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and then bake for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and let it cool completely before you cut them into bars.  The bars may seem a little gooey, but they will firm up as they cool.  Keep them stored in the fridge or the freezer until you’re ready to eat them.  Chocolate PB Bars and Superbowl Snacks | Life Healthfully Lived

5 Reasons I Don’t Miss Processed Food

When5 Reasons I Don't Miss Processed Food | Life Healthfully Lived people hear the way I eat, they usually ask, “But don’t you miss such and such food?”  Such and such food most often being some type of processed/junk/convenience food.

In the beginning, I would say yes.  I did miss the ease of ready to go foods.  I missed the taste of the sugar and salt and fat of those foods.  I missed what I thought was the cheaper option of food at the grocery store.  Overall, I missed the comfort of what had been my eating habits for the majority of my life.

Now, I don’t miss it at all.  I don’t even think about the food I’m not eating because I’m too busy enjoying all the food I am eating.  Here are the reasons that I don’t miss processed food anymore.

1. Real food tastes better5 Reasons I Don't Miss Processed Food | Life Healthfully Lived

“But Katie, have you tasted a Reeses/Twinkie/Doritos/whatever lately?  They are delicious!”  To be honest I haven’t tasted any one of those things in a very long time, but that is a good thing.  It has allowed my tastes buds to realize how good real food tastes.  Processed food is chemically altered to make it tastes as appealing as possible, real food just grows that way.  It doesn’t need anything added to make it better.  I like that.  It does take some time for your tastes to adjust, so if you have been living primarily on processed food you’re probably raising an eyebrow right now.  There is no way that a piece of broccoli tastes better than a candy bar.  Give your taste buds and your brain a chance to adjust and you’ll realize real food is pretty delicious!

2. I’ve learned to cook5 Reasons I Don't Miss Processed Food | Life Healthfully Lived

I’ve known how to cook for awhile, but I really grew confident and adventurous in the kitchen when I stopped using processed food.  Rather than boiling some pasta and throwing a store-bought jar of sauce on top, I now had all these ingredients that had to turn into a meal.  There was a learning curve, but I got the hang of it and now I come up with my own meals and recipes and enjoy the whole cooking experience.  I wonder how certain foods would taste together, or if one technique would work better in a certain dish, and I can test all those things out.  I never did that with boxed or packaged food.  I like the creativity real food lets me have.

3. I’ve become more aware5 Reasons I Don't Miss Processed Food | Life Healthfully Lived

I never used to wonder what happened to create the package of food I bought in the store.  It tasted fine and I didn’t need to worry about that.  Now I am a firm believer in reading all labels and really understanding what is in the food you eat.  There are certain ingredients that we don’t need to put in our bodies and the more we are aware of these things, the better off we’ll be.

4. I feel better5 Reasons I Don't Miss Processed Food | Life Healthfully Lived

After I’m done eating, I don’t feel the need to take a nap (fact: I’m always ready for a nap).  But seriously, food doesn’t make me feel like I need to slip into a coma after I’ve eaten it.  I don’t feel sluggish, my stomach doesn’t hurt as much, my skin has gotten clearer, and I have more energy to do the things that I like doing.  Now some of that is the result of living a healthier lifestyle overall, but a lot of it is the food I choose to eat.  Food plays such an important part of your daily functioning and you should choose it with care.

5. I have never felt restricted

When I first started, I worried that there would be nothing left for me to eat but salads and celery.  I would never really enjoy food again, it would just be something to fuel my body and move on.  Nothing could be farther from the truth!  I love food and savor every bite.  I never feel like I’m missing out on something and I love finding a healthier way to enjoy old favorites.  So much of our culture is centered around food and we forget to enjoy the experiences going on away from the table.  It’s nice to place the emphasis on people and making memories rather than worrying about what I’m going to eat.

Do I think that all packaged and processed food is the devil?  No.  There are many things that I still buy myself and use in my kitchen.  I’m just more conscious of my decisions and do my best to choose things that are as close to their natural state as possible.  If you’re trying to step away from a highly processed diet, do it slowly.  Take baby steps towards eliminating old foods and introducing new ones.  You’ll start to see the positive effects in your life and you’ll wonder why you haven’t switched sooner!5 Reasons I Don't Miss Processed Food | Life Healthfully Lived


Vegan Fish Nuggets and Dipping Sauce

Before you turn up your nose or totally dismiss this recipe because there is no way you’re eating some vegan meal, give this a try!  I promise it isn’t as bad as you’re imagining.

If you’re tapped into the vegan blog world or are a vegan yourself, you’ve probably heard of crab cakes/fish sticks made with hearts of palm.  And if you’re like me, you were probably skeptical that a vegetable could transform into a fish dish.  Unlike me you probably went about your day and that was the end of it.  I on the other hand had to try it out myself and see if it actually worked.

Much to my surprise, it did work.  I won’t say that it is exactly like fish and will fool fish eaters, but it does mimic the taste and texture of fish sticks.  It was nice and flaky on the inside and crispy, crunchy on the outside.  I like being able to make my own substitutes to regular food instead of buying the processed versions and this was really simple to put together.

But what really makes this recipe is the dipping sauce.  I could (and sort of did) drink this stuff it’s so good.  I used it in scrambled eggs, on top of my lentil loaf, mixed into stir fry, and dipped everything in my fridge into it.  I promise I’m only slightly obsessed.

Vegan Fish Nuggets and Dipping Sauce


Nugget ingredients

  • 1 14 oz can hearts of palm (read ingredients to make sure you’re getting just hearts of palm in water)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp soy sauce/liquid or coconut aminos
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp dill weed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely ground almonds
  • 1 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1. Drain and rinse hearts of palm and place in blender.  Pulse a few times until it’s shredded.  Make sure there aren’t any big chunks but don’t totally pulverize it.  Place into a medium bowl.

2.  Add in almond flour, soy sauce, celery seed, dill weed and 1/4 tsp salt.  Stir with a spatula until combined.  In a separate bowl mix the rest of the ingredients until well combined.

3. Preheat oven to 375.  Take about a 1 tbsp of the wet mix and roll into a ball.  Roll this in the dry mix until coated and place on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Continue until all the wet mix is gone.

4.  Spray the nuggets with a little olive oil and place into the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes, remove and turn the nuggets, and bake for another 5 minutes.  While the nuggets are cooking, make your sauce.


Dipping sauce– slightly adapted from this recipe

  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
  • 1/2-2/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast (NOT bakers yeast)
  • 1 tbsp roasted garlic
  • 2 tsp soy sauce/liquid or coconut aminos
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1. Drain and rinse nuts and place all the ingredients into a blender.  Blend until you have a smooth sauce.  Place it into the fridge to help it thicken just a little.


I know that many of you will shy away from a vegan recipe, but I think this is a good one to try because it doesn’t really use any weird ingredients.  Hearts of Palm are a lot like canned artichokes (that’s where you’ll find them in the store) and they are really tasty.  It’s always good to try new things and broaden your eating horizons.  And if that still doesn’t convince you try this, at least make the sauce because I promise you will want to put it on everything!

Have a great weekend everyone!