February. It’s almost over. You’ve almost made it. The month from H-E-double hockey sticks, with it’s bitter cold and blanket of mute, gray clouds will be a distant memory. Next month, the hope of Spring is on the horizon. Although for those of us who are northerners, this hope is still pretty bleak. But there is hope nevertheless.
Unlike most Februarys, for me, this has been a very good month. I’ve had lots of time off, time alone with my honey and some upcoming visits from friends and family. I have made it outside for a walk everyday and I have been dramatically cutting down my sugar intake (mostly on accident but very much in my favor).
So, how are you going to make through the next 2 days of this wretched month?
Sing. Yep, you read that right. Not just singing under your breath or humming a song that is stuck in your head. I am talking about full on, lung bursting, belting. Get in your car or wait until you’re home alone, crank up the stereo to some of your favorite singable tunes, and sing your freakin’ heart out. And hand motions are mandatory. Journey anyone?
I’m sorry if that’s weird for you. But it works. If you feel sad, just try it. Singing is like crying or yelling. It blows off some steam and connects your body to your emotions but in a fun and constructive way. If singing isn’t your thing, substitute with dancing. Or just have a dance party. Win, win.
These mouth watering little morsels (far better than any granola bar I’ve ever purchased from the store) will make you feel good because they’re so tasty but also because they are packed full of foods that will give you energy and a balanced mood. Bonus: they are ridiculously easy to make. The easiest recipe I have every posted on this blog.
So here’s the plan. Throw a party. Make these bars. Add karaoke. Add mix of epic dance anthems. Watch season 3 of “House of Cards”.
And that’s how you end February with a bang, folks.
Lavender and Cardamom Raw Granola Bars with Dark Chocolate
Makes 24 bars
2 cups pitted dates
1 cup pumpkin seeds + a small handful to press on top
1/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
1/2 cup hemp hearts
3 tsp dried lavender buds
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1 bar dark chocolate, optional (70% cacao or more)
1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients except for reserved pumpkin seeds and chocolate. Pulse until you get an even meal that will easily clump into a ball when you squeeze it in your hand.
2. Line a 9″ x 13″ pan with wax or parchment paper. Put granola mix into pan and press firmly down into the pan to make a nice even layer. Sprinkle reserved pumpkin seeds evenly over the top. Press in lightly just so they stick. Refrigerate 1 hour.
3. Once your bars are chilled, lift bars out of the pan with the paper. Cut into desired size bars. Break chocolate into smallish pieces and melt over a double boiler. Drizzle melted chocolate over bars. Sprinkle with extra lavender buds. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (if they last that long) or the freezer for a frozen treat.
Note: To make this raw, make sure you buy raw nuts. If you are paleo or avoiding sugar, find some chocolate that is suitable for your diet or throw in some cocoa nibs into your granola mix. Because lavender tastes so much better with chocolate. You can find lavender buds at your health food store, at an herbalist or for very cheap online.