Trail Mix Superfood Granola Bars (Gluten-Free)

Pack these superfood granola bars on your outdoor adventures whether you’re road tripping, hiking, or having a picnic with friends.

The season of outdoor adventures and fun in the sun is upon us! I wanted to make a nutrient-dense energy bar that’s easy to pack on hikes, road trips or picnics. If you’ve ever read the ingredients on store-bought granola or protein bars, you’ve probably noticed a list as long as your arm of words that are difficult to pronounce. Huge red flag for me! These granola bars contain only plant-based, wholesome ingredients in their purest form. Also, in the interest of convenience, they don’t require baking (asides from the quinoa which I lightly toasted for ten minutes). 

Trail Mix Granola Bars

Superfoods:

Maca
  • may reduce anxiety and depression
  • reportedly improves sexual function and increases libido
  • may enhance memory and learning
Cinnamon
  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-fungal, anti-bacterial
  • regulates blood sugar levels
  • can improve cholesterol levels
Flax Seeds
  • source of lignans which can fight estrogen-related cancers
  • high in heart-healthy omega 3s
Hemp seeds
  • high in fiber
  • high in protein (contains all 9 essential amino acids)
  • source of magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium
Quinoa
  • gluten-free grain
  • high in fiber
  • high in protein (contains all 9 essential amino acids)
  • source of magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, & vitamin E

Trail Mix Granola Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup oats, ground
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds, ground
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried dates, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Finlandia Health maca
  • 1 tsp Finlandia Health cinnamon
  • 1 cup nut butter
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup vegan dark chocolate

Instructions:

  1. Lightly toast quinoa in the oven at 350deg C for 10 minutes until golden (careful not to burn).
  2. Once quinoa is toasted, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix very well (or use a food processor if you prefer).
  3. Pack bar batter down into a parchment lined baking dish. Tip: I used the flat surface of a measuring cup (1 cup) to flatten the bars well.
  4. Melt chocolate on low heat on the stove top.
  5. Drizzle chocolate over bars and freeze until firm.
  6. Cut into squares and serve.
  7. Store in fridge.

Trail Mix Granola Bars

Thanks to Finlandia Pharmacy & Natural Health for sponsoring this post. Check out their website and extensive herbal dispensary at their storefront in Vancouver, BC.

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Trail Mix Superfood Granola Bars

Plant-Powered Bowl with Creamy Dairy-Free Garlic Dressing

Plant-based bowls offer versatility, simplicity and beauty to healthy lifestyles. Enjoy this macro bowl featuring turmeric roasted cauliflower, spinach, zucchini and more.

Few meals satisfy all my senses, while also energizing me, more than a giant bowl of plants. Part of the beauty in a plant-based bowl (also known as a #macrobowl) is both the versatility and simplicity. I usually start with a base of spinach, brown rice or quinoa, then add in legumes, seasonal vegetables, nuts/seeds and finally top with a creamy homemade dressing.  

Anti-inflammatory Macro Bowl and Creamy Garlic Dressing (Vegan)

This bowl features one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories we can eat: turmeric. I previously wrote about the vast health benefits of turmeric in this golden milk post. I make an effort to cook with turmeric (and black pepper to increase its bio-availability) as much as possible (think roasted vegetables, potatoes, dressings, etc). Other foods in this recipe that fight inflammation include leafy greens (like spinach), avocado and nuts.

Anti-inflammatory Macro Bowl and Creamy Garlic Dressing (Vegan)

Now, would this be a vegan recipe without the addition of nutritional yeast? I’m guilty of putting it on everything! The health benefits of nutritional yeast may include supporting healthy gut bacteria, improving production of blood cells, and maintaining optimal cholesterol levels. It is a small source of chromium and is often fortified with B12. 

Anti-inflammatory Macro Bowl and Creamy Garlic Dressing (Vegan)

Ingredients:

Bowl:
  • 1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1 tsp Finlandia turmeric powder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin coconut or olive oil
  • 1-2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1/2 cup edamame beans
  • 1/2 zucchini, spiralized or sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds
  • garnish: lemon or lime
Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup filtered water
  • 1/3 cup raw unsalted cashews, pre-soaked at least 4 hours
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Finlandia ancient sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp Finlandia nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

Anti-inflammatory Macro Bowl and Creamy Garlic Dressing (Vegan)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Cook brown rice on the stove, as directed.
  3. In a large bowl, toss cauliflower florets, coconut oil, turmeric powder and black pepper until evenly coated. Spread florets on to parchment-lined pan. For crispy cauliflower, avoid florets from overlapping. Cook in oven for 20 minutes (flip florets after 10 minutes).
  4. While cauliflower and rice are cooking, prepare your serving bowl of fresh spinach, cooked edamame beans, and raw zucchini. Set aside.
  5. Add all dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until creamy. Taste and adapt accordingly. Note: for easier blending, I place cashews in a bowl of water and let soak in the fridge overnight. Discard of this water before adding the cashews to the blender.
  6. Once brown rice and cauliflower are cooked, add both to your serving bowl.  
  7. Top with sliced avocado, black sesame seeds and dressing. Enjoy!

Anti-inflammatory Macro Bowl and Creamy Garlic Dressing (Vegan)

Thanks to Finlandia Pharmacy & Natural Health for sponsoring this post. Check out their website and extensive herbal dispensary at their storefront in Vancouver, BC.

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PLANT-POWERED BUDDHA BOWL WITH CREAMY DAIRY-FREE GARLIC DRESSING (VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE)

Nourishing Vegetable Buddha Bowl

A nourishing, seasonal veggie bowl with a creamy dairy-free, oil-free dressing.

Nourish your body, mind, and visual senses with this harvest vegetable bowl. It’s a hearty, nutritious, and delicious meal inspired by seasonal fall vegetables. I paired it with a creamy, dairy-free, anti-inflammatory dressing made from hemp seeds, ginger and turmeric. This oil-free dressing is so delicious I have been drizzling it on everything from salads to grains, and even using it as a dip for veggies. The recipe for this dressing can be found in my vegan recipe eBook.

Autumn Buddha Vegetable Bowl Turmeric Ginger Hemp Dressing

Curious about hemp seeds? My family has been consuming hemp seeds for years. The nutritional benefits of hemp seeds are incredible. Not only are they high in protein, but they contain all the essential amino acids which makes hemp seeds a complete protein source. They are also great sources of fiber, iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc and vitamin E. Hemp seeds are easily digestible and contain a well-balanced ratio of omegas 3, 6, and 9 which is important for our immune systems and maintaining heart health. Lastly, they contain arginine and gamma-linolenic acid which have both been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Their nutty, mild flavor is unique and worked well with ginger and turmeric in this dressing (talk about an anti-inflammatory trio!).

Vegetable Bowl Ginger Turmeric Hemp Heart Dressing

Giant vegetable bowls are incredibly quick and easy to throw together, especially if you prepare some of your ingredients beforehand. Design your own with any variety of fall vegetables. As usual, don’t forget to check out the ‘PCOS Powers’ which I list at the end of the recipe (there are many in this vegetable bowl!).

Autumn Buddha Vegetable Bowl Turmeric Ginger Hemp Dressing

Autumn Vegetable Bowl:

    • 1 cup Brussel sprouts
    • 1 large carrot
    • 1 small beet
    • 1 cup sweet potato or yam
    • 1 cup cooked lentils
    • 2 handfuls organic spinach

Autumn Buddha Vegetable Bowl Turmeric Ginger Hemp Dressing

What You’ll Need:

How to:

  1. Cook the lentils, Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. I boiled the lentils and steamed the Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. You could also roast the veggies. Steaming retains more nutrients than boiling.
  2. Spiralize the beet and carrot. I ate these raw but they can be steamed for easier digestion. Set veggies aside.
  3. Blend all ingredients for the dressing in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a small jar to store in the fridge after using.
  4. Place pile of cleaned spinach in the bottom of a bowl.
  5. Add vegetables on top of the spinach and drizzle with dressing.
  6. Enjoy your nourishing vegetable bowl!

Autumn Vegetable Buddha Bowl Turmeric Ginger Hemp Dressing

PCOS Powers:

  • hemp seeds = high in protein, fibre, and essential fatty acids (omega 3, 6 & 9) which may improve cholesterol profiles, may reduce inflammation
  • turmeric = anti-inflammatory, helps lower blood glucose levels, anti-depressant, black pepper increases bioavailability
  • ginger = anti-inflammatory, may help decrease fasting blood glucose and HbA1c
  • beets = good source of folate, anti-inflammatory, helps lower blood pressure, may help lower cholesterol, shown to reduce cancerous tumors in various animal models, beet leaves are high in iron (eat in moderation due to high oxalate content which can worsen gout and kidney stones)
  • spinach = anti-inflammatory, low glycemic index, anti-cancer effects, excellent source of iron, magnesium, & calcium, avoid large amounts if prone to kidney stones or taking blood thinners
  • sweet potato = anti-inflammatory, medium glycemic index food but high in fiber & studies have shown they may assist blood sugar regulation, high in beta-carotene which may improve fertility, may increase adiponectin levels in those with type 2 diabetes, shown to reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer
  • Brussels sprouts = anti-inflammatory, good source of fiber, manganese, potassium, choline, and B vitamins, contain glucosinolates which help prevent cancers

Note: Manitoba Harvest generously sent me a bag of their hemp seeds to try in a recipe.

Autumn Vegetable Bowl with Ginger Turmeric Hemp Heart Dressing