We have been busy the last couple days with visiting family and hosting my children. Since I was away for three weeks in Asia and came back on December 15, I was a bit rushed to do everything at the last minute. I usually like to take my time to shop for gifts. I try to avoid the stores as much as possible because I know that a lot of people are rushing and they are not always nice. This time of the year can be stressful for everyone. What makes me relax is to take fresh air and go for a long walk outside.
One of our favorite meals for Christmas is a traditional dish for Québec 'Ragoût de pattes de cochons et boulettes' which is a Pork Hocks and Meatballs stew. We eat this meal with mashed potatoes and glazed carrots. Since it's not the lightest meal I like to drink more smoothies with a lot of fruits after the holidays. This Fruit Smoothie is a favorite of mine. My son, on the other end, likes to go back to eating lot's of protein because he exercise a lot, even during the holidays. There is no day off for him. One treat that he likes me to make is protein bars. He does not want to buy them, he prefers mine. They are quite expensive and much cheaper and delicious to make at home. I am sharing my recipe. It's quick to make. For his bars I am using the Orange Naturals ND Shake for Men. You can use any formula that you like. Making your own protein bars will save you money and they are full of energy-boosting ingredients. Make them during the week-end and enjoy your bars all week!
1/3 cup dates
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup Almond Breeze
2 Tbsp peanut butter
50g dark chocolate
2 Tbsp almonds, sliced
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp cinnamon (I used vietnamese)
3/4 cup Orange Naturals ND Shake
2 cups oats
1- In a small microwave-safe bowl mix the dates and maple syrup. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Set aside.
2- In a large microwave-safe bowl mix the almond breeze, peanut butter and chocolate. Microwave on high for 1 minute.
3- Take out the bowl and mix well until the chocolate is all melted. Add the dates mixture and remaining ingredients. Mix well. If it is too dry you may need to add more almond milk.
4- Place a parchment paper in a 9x9 baking pan.
5- Press into the pan. Keep the bars in the refrigerator.
Makes 8 bars.