What I Ate Wednesday

Hiya friends!! It’s been a few weeks since I shared a day full of eats so I thought I’d pop in and share! Ready to see What I Ate Wednesday??

Before I dive into the eats, how the heck are ya?! I’ve been super overwhelmed with a very busy family life lately. With multiple family members in and out of the hospital (where my grandmother just passed a month ago…), I’ve been on serious emotional roller coaster. For a few weeks, I took less than ideal care of myself and paid for it by getting sick last week. After a small mental breakdown in my office with the door closed this morning, I’m ready to get back into the healthy habits I love and try to worry less about the things that I can’t control. And with that positive resolution, shall we move onto the eats???

I was very excited to be back in the gym after 4 days off from being sick. Typical half a banana in the car on our way there. No pic, it was early ok?!

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Slurped down my smoothie in record speed while catching up on emails. I shared the recipe on my most recent Instagram post but thinned it out with a little extra almond milk so it was sippable, not spoonable.

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

I had a busy morning and lunch snuck up on me! I packed some leftovers from the weekend: roasted parsnips, Spanish cauliflower rice (recipe to come!), and hummus.

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

I got some hunger pangs while I had my feet kicked up in my office- fun fact, I have a standing desk! Ok, mostly I just don’t have a chair. But I built stands for my monitors and I usually stand all day. Today, I needed a break and munched on some mini peppers and hummus while sitting in my “guest chairs” with my laptop. Cozy.

We had  farewell party for one of my favorite coworkers near the end of the day as he leaves us for Florida. I forgot to take a picture of the chips and guac I snacked on while doing everything in my power to not dissolve into a blubbering mess… Oh, the emotions continue.

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

John and I stopped by a work event for a few and then came home to leftovers for dinner. I made a Thai coconut curry and rice this weekend and to be honest, it’s alllllllmost intolerably spicy. Oops. Don’t worry, we can handle it! :)

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

During the waterworks of this week’s This Is Us, I needed a serious chocolate fix. These babes are ridiculously delicious, but didn’t stop the tears from flowin’.

That caps off What I Ate Wednesday! Have a fantastic week friends!

Homemade Coconut Butter + Infinity Jar Review

A decadent treat, made with a single ingredient in under 5 minutes, Homemade Coconut Butter is a luxury you can totally afford. And when stored in Infinity Jars, you can enjoy the silky goodness for a lifetime!

Homemade Coconut Butter | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Peanut butter and almond butter are like the cool cheerleaders who seem to be having all the fun in the trendy high school spotlight. Everyone loves them, their tan color turns heads, and Instagram is splatted with selfies with them. I feel it’s my responsibility to introduce you to the pale, shy bookworm in the corner with a LOT to offer.

Homemade Coconut Butter | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Coconut butter is the best kept nut butter secret.

Homemade Coconut Butter | AreYouKitchenMe.com

I also think “coconut butter” is confusing. Is it butter? Is it coconut? Is it coconut oil? I went over the different kinds of coconut products a while ago in this post, but to make life easy, a quick analogy: coconut is to coconut butter as peanuts are to peanut butter. One ingredient blended to creamy perfection.

Homemade Coconut Butter | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Step one: acquire coconut. Step two: blend coconut until perfectly smooth. Step three: devour.

Homemade Coconut Butter | AreYouKitchenMe.com

If you’re wondering how you might use up a jar of coconut butter, I could list a million ways, but here are some of my favorites:

  • In these delicious cereal bars (Tessa, I’m OBSESSED!)
  • As the star of a grown up “CB&J
  • Mixed into a spicy curry
  • Cookies make everybody happy
  • Tossed with veggies to be roasted
  • Make your own all natural body scrub
  • Drizzle it on waffles, like genius Addie
  • Give your oatmeal a tropical twist
  • Add a dollop to everything!!

So now that you’ve taken the 7 minutes it take to whip up a fresh jar of coconut butter, how do you keep it fresh? Coconut has a tendency to get rancid very quickly- even more so than other nuts. So it’s important to either eat your coconut butter within a month or two, or keep it fresh another way…

Homemade Coconut Butter | AreYouKitchenMe.comz

Allow me to introduce you to your new jar obsession. Readers: Infinity Jars, Infinity Jars: readers. Infinity? Forever, unending, enduring, lasting… As in the quality of whatever you store in these jars.

Infinity Jars are crafted from a pigmented glass that is thicker and stronger than typical glass jars. It is also impermeable by smells and blocks harmful UV light while allowing certain infrared beams. Basically, it’s the best food storage solution for keeping foods fresh for months! The craziest evidence of this is their “tomato test”. They put a cherry tomato in both a traditional jar and their unique glass jars and didn’t peak for 7 months. The results? After 7 months, the tomato in the clear jar was molded and shriveled. The Infinity Jar tomato was red, firm, and juicy. WHAT?!

Homemade Coconut Butter | AreYouKitchenMe.com

While I haven’t had these peculiar glass jars long enough to test them for 7 months, I can tell you that they have a great air-tight seal. Oh, and they are SO cool looking! I wasn’t sure how they’d fit in with my extensive collection of clear glass jars but I’m looking forward to filling my shelves with more of the black beauties.

Coconut butter’s pure white drizzle looks heavenly up against the shelf life-enhancing Infinity Jar so do yourself a favor and snag both ASAP!

Homemade Coconut Butter

Cook Time: 5 minutes

A decadent treat, made with a single ingredient in under 5 minutes, Homemade Coconut Butter is luxury you can afford!

Ingredients

  • 8-16oz. shredded unsweetened coconut

Instructions

  1. Add the shredded coconut to a high-powered blender or food processor- I used my Vitamix. Start processing on low speed and increase until the machine is running at full power. Let the processer run until the mixture is completely smooth. In my Vitamix this takes about 3 minutes, in a food processor it could take 10-15 (seriously!). You may have to stop to scrape down the sides occasionally, I did not. Immediately pour into jar and store at room temperature.
http://www.areyoukitchenme.com/homemade-coconut-butter-infinity-jar-review/

Homemade Coconut Butter | AreYouKitchenMe.com

I was provided with products to review for this post, but please note that all opinions are my own and I would never share a product I didn’t actually love!

Salted Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

In need of a quick and easy Valentines Day treat for your sweetie? Want something simple to whip up for you GALentines?? Salted Dark Chocolate Granola Bars are the decadent bite you need that won’t totally bust your waistline!

Salted Dark Chocolate Granola Bars | AreYouKitchenMe.com

In a past life, I was a major Valentines Day hater. Even if I was in a relationship, I made claims about it being a “useless Hallmark holiday” and teased the mushy saps who got wrapped up in the festivities. Nowadays, I’m somewhat indifferent to the day, except for the fact that it’s one day when I can pretend like my chocolate eating habit isn’t anything other than a serious addiction…

Salted Dark Chocolate Granola Bars | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Let’s talk about granola bars. I know that the term usually spurs thoughts of a super-healthy, backpack-ready snack for kids. However, most granola bars on the market are packed full of icky ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and chemical preservatives. I won’t pretend like these Salted Dark Chocolate Granola Bars are perfectly healthy but as far as chocolate treats go, they can’t be beat! By swapping out corn syrup and refined sugars for maple syrup and subbing nutrient-lacking oil for the healthy fats of cashew butter, these are one Valentines day indulgence you won’t regret!

Salted Dark Chocolate Granola Bars | AreYouKitchenMe.com

One of my fav ingredients to add to just about everything these days is molasses. Organic blackstrap molasses is packed full of iron, calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients; a vitamin profile making these perfect for my ladies suffering through that pesky monthly annoyance… Molasses also has the lowest sugar content of any product derived from the sugar cane so it’s perfect for sweetening treats like these bars! I also add it to smoothies, savory sauces, and baked goods. If you don’t have any on hand and don’t feel like buying a bottle for this recipe, it’s definitely not necessary to make these bars work. But be warned, it adds a richness and flavor that you just can’t make up for.

Salted Dark Chocolate Granola Bars | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Make these treats for your friends, your loved ones, or for YOU! Because Valentines day mushiness is gross, but these bars sure aren’t…

Salted Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

Yield: 12 bars

Rich and sweet with a hint of salt, Salted Dark Chocolate Granola Bars are a great Valentine's Day treat or everyday lunch box snack!

Ingredients

    Wet ingredients:
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup cashew butter
  • ½ cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 Tbs. molasses
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Dry ingredients:
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ cup cacao nibs (optional)
  • ¼ cup cacao (or cocoa) powder
  • 1 cup crisp rice cereal
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Prepare by spraying an 8x8 pan with cooking spray, lining with parchment paper, and lightly spraying the paper.
  2. Add wet ingredients to a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 1 minute. Whisk and heat for another minute.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together remaining ingredients except chocolate chips in a large bowl. When the wet ingredients are melted, pour them over the dry, stirring carefully so as to not completely break down the rice cereal. Add the chocolate chips and stir one more time. The chips will start to melt, that’s ok!
  4. Dump the mixture into the lined pan and pack down evenly. Place in the fridge for about 4 hours, or the freezer for an hour to firm up.
  5. Once they are firm, remove from pan and slice into 12 bars. Enjoy!
http://www.areyoukitchenme.com/salted-dark-chocolate-granola-bars/

Salted Dark Chocolate Granola Bars | AreYouKitchenMe.com

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