Almond butter and protein bars, homemade

I hope you are all enjoying the height of summer. While it is cloudy out here now, it has been fairly warm and humid. I expect more of the same today. Before I share the almond butter story with you, say good-bye to hubby and Barry-from-down-under as they go on a road trip in the newly rebuilt-and yet to be tested Alfa Colli.

Bye guys, have fun storming the castle!
Bye guys, have fun storming the castle!

Since they left, I have heard about how wonderful ‘she’ drives, what great gas mileage ‘she’ gets and so on. They are taking the coastal route to WA state and then down to Sonoma to the big car shindig. Good thing they are going coastal. Not only is that route one of the most beautiful  in the world, but inland was getting into the 100’s F.

I heard from them late last night, just as they were stopping by my sister’s house to, excuse the expression, crash for the night, and they had lost their headlights. ‘Pop’, they just went out. He replaces the fuse and…pop, they went out again.

My sister lives kind of in the boonies, so this could have been a problem, but  she drove out to the gas station they ended up at (being as they were unable to actually find her street) and guided them home, bless her little heart. No, wait, her big generous heart!

Today they will drive up to Cassie’s dads house. (Cassie, our adopted niece). There they will enjoy an alfa-bbq-4th-of-july party.

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So speaking of Cassie, I recently had a text along the lines of “Hey, can I come over and use your food processor?” from our substitute niece. (Our actual nieces all live far away and we kind of adopted Cassie as our own.) So some time that week, she came by with a bag of roasted almonds and a few other ingredients. She has had a turn-around in her eating habits recently with wonderful results. No more Monster type drinks, no more fast food. Its fresh organic vegetables and fruits, Herbalife shakes and, it would seem, almond butter and protein balls.

So here  we go. First she needed to make the almond butter. It is along the lines of peanut butter. Just blend the dickens out of it and add some oil to help smooth it  out. She added coconut oil instead of what the recipe called for, which was olive oil.

Zoom-zoom-zoom
Zoom-zoom-zoom

First it was just roasted almonds, ground up.

IMG_2050 (1024x765)Then it was a tablespoon of cinnamon, a tablespoon of oil and a 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla. More zoom-zoom. She felt it needed a bit more oil. The almond paste wasn’t coming out as creamy as she thought it might. We were kind of comparing it to what peanut butter looks like and found it grainier. So she added more coconut oil. IMG_2056 (1024x765)And here is what it looked like. Almond butter!

Okay, now the fun part. (as if this wasn’t already fun enough!)

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Here she mixed a scoop of her special protein powder with 2 tablespoons of honey and about 2 tablespoons of her own almond butter. That’s it! Just mix it up and shape into balls. She chilled them for later to eat as homemade snacks.Then she made more.

These were so easy, she felt she needed to go a step further down this healthy do-it-yourself road, a fairly new road for her to be walking on. (While she is a very busy and active young lady, she admits to being, until now, ‘nutritionally lazy’. So that’s what my hubbys been all these years.)

So we got the mixer going again.

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This time she threw in a cup of the almond butter, then found dates and dried cranberries in the cupboards and used one cup of each. Add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil (or olive) and one scoop of vanilla protein powder and back to zoom-zoom.

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This time, instead of balls, she pressed this out in a parchment lined pan to cut into bars for later.

We didn't get any pictures of the actual bars, but here you go.
We didn’t get any pictures of the actual bars, but here you go. Use your imagination.

So here is an almost magically delicious healthy and homemade snack with ingredients you may already have around. Okay, you might have to go pick up some vanilla protein powder. And I don’t know if you have roasted almonds lying around. But I bet you have the honey, the cinnamon and some kind of oil, right?

Have fun and remember, do not be nutritionally lazy!

Enjoy your summer!

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