The weekend has arrived! I couldn’t be more thankful. I have had some life drama concerning my future building for a while now and it all came to head this week when I went to see my academic advisor. As it turns out, my sophomore year of college was essentially for nothing. I don’t want to bore you with the details, but in short, I took organic chemistry, physics, calculus, and biology my sophomore year at UCSB.
My life looked like this:
All of those classes (minus calculus) have accompanying labs, but they are separate from lecture and I only took about half of them. This was partly due to a full schedule and partly due to the infamous budget cuts. At UC Davis, the labs and lecture are the same class, so by not completing all the labs at UCSB, its like I never took 2/3 a year of Ochem, 2/3 a year of physics, and 2/3 a year of biology. Kill me?
I feel ill just writing about it, so I’ll save the rest of that saga for later. Lucky you :).
On a super exciting note, the blogsky and I are featured on the Her Campus website for UC Davis! One of the writers, Megan Carlisle, interviewed me and wrote a lovely article about my story and how I got interested in health and nutrition. To any new readers, welcome! During the interview, she asked me why I have this blog and I have been thinking about my answer ever since. I think I am going to go in a slightly different direction with the blog from now on… Since I started about a year ago, I have been trying to post brand new recipes every few days. Lately, this has gotten more difficult and has seemed like more of a chore. Because my true purpose for having this blog is simply to show people that healthy food can be delicious and easy to make, I think I am going to start posting more of my daily meals, even if they are a bit repetitive or super simple. There are so many amazing blogs out there with fabulous, and often times complicated, recipes – and my blog will never top those. But since that isn’t my goal, I don’t see the point in trying to go in that direction!
I do, however, have a bombbb new recipe for you.
Tart Cherry & Roasted Pistachio Granola Bars
I do not really enjoy granola bars and I find these addictive. They are packed with flavor and high in fiber. Although there is essentially zero added sugar, they are still sweet from the coconut oil and dried cherries.
Recipe: Makes 6 bars
1/2 cup dried tart Montmorency cherries
1/2 cup pistachios, shelled (roasted and salted)
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup oat bran
1/2 cup oats
couple shakes of salt
1/3 cup egg whites
drizzle of honey (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Blend or pulse the cherries and pistachios in a blender until they are like a crunchy nut butter. If your blender struggles with this, you can add the melted butter or coconut oil.
2. Heat a pan on the stove to medium low heat and add the butter, coconut oil and pistachio-cherry mixture. Let them heat while you combine the oats, oat bran, and salt in a mixing bowl.
3. Use a spatula to transfer all of the pistachio-cherry mixture, butter, and coconut oil into the mixing bowl. Add the vanilla extract. Stir with the spatula. Add the egg whites and honey and stir more.
4. Press the batter into a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until desired doneness.
Cherries * are a great source of fiber and magnesium. In fact, too many cherries in one sitting –> too much magnesium –> RUN not walk to the bathroom! They also contain vitamins A and C, and bioflavonoids and anthocyanins which are antioxidants that can help slow aging and possibly prevent some cancers.
Pistachios * Contain monounsaturated fats which lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol levels which helps prevent cardiovascular disease. They are rich in antioxidants, copper, manganese, B6, and thiamin. Vitamin B6 is great for preventing and curing hangovers!
Oats * A prime source of fiber. AlsoΒ contain potassium, phosphorous, pantothenic acid, and magnesium.
Coconut oil * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism. It is great to cook with because it is stable at high temperatures!
Puppy photo of the day…