There’s a lot of celebrating about to go down. For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I had THE FINAL for my nutrition schooling a two weeks ago. I passed with flying colors (yay!) and am now a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. If you’re interested in learning more about what school was like and if you’re thinking about taking a nutrition program, I’ll have a post about that soon.
In the midst of studying for my final tests, the blog turned four! It’s crazy to think I’ve been blogging for four years because it’s a good chunk of time, even though it’s flown by. No matter how long you’ve been reading the blog, whether it’s a few months or a few years, thank you! I appreciate your support and your love of good food.
Things have evolved quite a bit here since I started blogging and they will continue to. What I eat then to now has grown and changed, which you may have noticed here and there on the blog. I’ll continue to be sharing more animal proteins and animal products on the blog. No worries, there will be loads of veggies, because those will always be my jam.
I’ve been gluten free for the past 3 months to help clear up my eczema, and it has helped tremendously. While being gluten free has it’s challenges (mainly outside my kitchen), I’m staying the course as my body continues to heal. That means all the recipes I make will be gluten free, because I want to be able to enjoy what I make, too.
One of the challenges of being gluten free becomes pretty apparent when you work in an office. Kind people bring in treats for others to share, for breakfast or to make an occasion, but 99.9% of the time, those treats are usually just big boxes of gluten (bagels, donuts, cookies, cakes, most baked goods…). For those of us rocking the gluten free life, that means lots of polite passes and watching groups of people gather round, eat and Instagram food you can’t have. And as much as the FOMO is real, I’d rather feel that FOMO than feel my body get mad at gluten.
With lots of things to celebrate, I found a great gluten free, grain free and dairy free (depending on the kind of chocolate chips you use) treat to make for celebrating at home or at the office. Julia at The Roasted Root has these beyond genius Chickpea Bars and I’ve put my own spin on them by adding all the extra fun healthy things. What’s genius about them, you ask? The chickpeas in this recipes aren’t flour, but the actual bean itself. You don’t have to buy a fancy flour you may or may not use again, just a bag of dried chickpeas or cans if you’re in a pinch. Love it.
I wanted a hefty and decadent bar, so I’ve doubled her original recipe while keeping the maple syrup a little under double (after years of all the veggies super sweet things taste crazy to me) and added in some crunch with the addition of hemp seeds. The hemp seeds also add a nice dose of healthy fats, protein and magnesium. I also added chia seeds for even more healthy fats and fiber and because I’ve got a huge bag in my freezer so I use what I’ve got. To make it even more fun, I’ve also added in two scoop of Further Food‘s grass-fed, pasture raised Collagen Peptides.
Collagen is a protein your body needs to support healthy joints, digestion, skin, muscles, teeth, and hair, just to name a few. For years it’s mostly been something you’ve seen talked about in anti-aging skincare cream commercials, but it’s important for everyone to have. Collagen peptides are a great way to get your collagen in. This is collagen in a powder form and you can add it into anything you eat or drink. It doesn’t affect the taste or texture of whatever you put it in and the benefits of collagen can withstand heat. I love adding it to my water, smoothies, energy balls, and baked goods like these.
Most collagen peptides come from bovine animals (cows, oxen, bison, buffalo), though there are marine based ones if you don’t eat bovine animals. Just like with food, not all collagen is created equally. The quality of the collagen peptides is so important. Go with the grass fed and pasture raised peptides to get the highest quality bovine-based and wild-caught for marine peptides.
I’ve recently partnered with Further Food, which specialized in collagen peptides, to be one of their brand ambassadors. If you’re interested in adding collagen peptides to your diet, you can try out Further Food’s collagens at 10% off with the code SMALLEATS10.
Now, back to the bars. As always, swap out the chia and hemp seeds with that you like and have on hand. These bars are very fudgy, so if you want even more of a crunch, add some chopped nuts as well. I used almond butter in my recipe, but any nut butter will work depending on what you have and prefer.
However you make these bars, I hope you’ll celebrate all of these exciting and delicious things with me!