Spicy Carob, Banana, and Date Energy Bars

I have a confession to make: I am a freezer nut. I absolutely hate wasting food (good lessons learned from my upbringing) but I often make way too much food than I can eat before it will go bad, so my solution always ends with tossing leftovers in the freezer. Over the winter when I was going through my slow cooker soup phase, I would stock up on pre-cut frozen vegetables. My frozen vegetable hoarding got so bad, that I had to leave two big bags of frozen corn and peas on my balcony over the winter for a few days until I cleared out my freezer and was able to make room for them.

I’ve made a few resolutions to eat food in my freezer but I never seem to catch up. When I made my red kidney baked beans last week, I knew it would be a challenge to finish it, but I also knew that my poor freezer was already packed solid.

Just before I headed out last night, I made a really quick light dinner/snack using red kidney baked beans and baby spinach rolled up in a small chipotle tortilla wrap. It was surprisingly delicious!

Dinner #2 was a plate of whole wheat penne in a spicy tomato basil sauce with meatballs. All resolve went out the window and I even asked the waiter to pile on the parmesan. It may have been naughty, but it was so delicious and I enjoyed every bite of it!

Back to reality. This Sunday morning, I allowed myself to sleep in for the first time in months. Breakfast was yesterday’s Chocolate Multi-grain Breakfast Cookie topped with 1/4 c plain yogurt mixed with 1 tbsp flaxseed meal, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

While I prepared my lunch, I snacked on a few brown rice crackers, and polished off the last of my Sweet Chili Crispy Minis.

Lunch was quick and simple.

One piece of my Swiss Roll Chicken, Spinach and Ricotta Meatloaf topped with some Buffalo Wing Hot sauce.

And a big baby spinach and spring mix salad with chopped tomato, dill, roasted red peppers, Sriracha and sundried tomato and oregano salad dressing.

After lunch, I got to work on my latest pre-workout fuel project: Spicy Carob, Banana, and Date Energy Bars which were heavily based off of this recipe.

Spicy Carob, Banana, and Date Energy Bars

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c Medjool dates
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 small banana
  • 1/2 c cooked buckwheat
  • 1/4 c roasted carob powder
  • 1/4 c chia seeds
  • 1/4 c pecans and walnuts
  • Salt
  • black sesame seeds

Directions:
  1. In a food processor, mix all ingredients together, except for the sesame seeds. When well mixed, form into a thin layer on a baking sheet and freeze.
  2. Several hours later (I came back to it about 8 hours later), slice into bars and sprinkle sesame seeds over it. Wrap them back up (preferably individually to prevent them from sticking together and to make it easier to take one to go) and keep in the freezer.

Notes: As you can see from the picture, I didn’t completely process all ingredients very well. I was using a mini food processor for the first time and I had enough trouble as it was, because one of the seeds from the dates got stuck in the blade. Not exactly the safest practice in the kitchen! I’m not exactly sure I’d make these again, unless I had a better food processor, but I’m excited to see how they fare when used as pre or post-workout fuel.

♦♦♦

After that, I headed back to my parent’s place for the weekly Sunday night dinner. I also went to the mall to do some shoe shopping with my sister and was rather disappointed to find that none of the stores I went into carried Mizunos. While there, I grabbed a coffee which, sadly, did nothing to wake me up.

When I got home, I indulged in a tiny piece of sweet bread from the Chinese bakery that my parents had brought home with them.

Dinner was fabulous. Did I mention that my mom was an amazing cook?

One piece of sole topped with sesame seeds, brown rice, steamed chinese vegetables, and soft tofu with imitation beef and cilantro in a soya black bean paste. Holy delicious! I ended up getting seconds of the tofu and chinese vegetables.

I also finally watched Up! I was really sad to have missed it while it was playing in 3-D in the theatres,  but I still thoroughly enjoyed the 2-D version anyway.

After that, I headed back to my apartment where I ended the night with some Chocolately Chai, green grapes, and some Cafe Latte yogurt.

Just before I left the kitchen for good, I prepared my lunch/snacks for tomorrow, which included a portable Multi-grain Breakfast Cookie made with:

  • 1/4 c multi-grain rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 2 tbsp organic soy milk
  • 1/3 mashed banana
  • 1 tsp roasted carob powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp shredded coconut
  • dash nutmeg
  • dash cloves

I just know this breakfast cookie will be a winner!

Question: Do you manage your food throughout the week by cooking a lot in advance and freezing portions, or by only cooking enough for a few days to a week at a time?

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