Like Mother, NOT Like Daughter – Carrot Breakfast Protein Bars

For those of you who know me personally, I probably don’t need to remind you of my athletic INabilities.  For those who are just peeking in on this little life of mine, let’s just wrap it all up by saying that if athleticism is located on one specific gene – – – I was definitely born WITHOUT that gene.  I don’t run.  I don’t go to the gym.  I don’t do boot camp.  I don’t even take aerobics.  OK, I confess, a while back  I had a little bout with yoga, but I got over it quick enough.

A girlfriend once coaxed me into this insane boot camp thing with her.  I lasted about three weeks and then ended up in the hospital for four days for some unidentifiable leg injury.  In the realm of divine interpretation, I  don’t think God could be any clearer – He does not want me exercising!

So hold that thought and let’s turn our attention to Big Little One.  Just turned ten and is shaping up to be a pretty tough water polo player.  Yes, water polo.  How does THAT happen?!  Couldn’t she just ease into this whole sports thing with badminton or synchronized swimming?  No.  She has to plunge head first into one of the most physical sports out there.  I watch her play and am just amazed that I had any part in her genetic makeup.  She once asked me what sport I played when I was a kid and I answered, “Reading”.  I can’t even begin to describe the look of disgust on her face.

This weekend, two years of water polo training come to a climax with  . . .  dun, dun, dun . . . Junior Olympics.  Big Little One and Medium Little One will play together in the Under 10 Girls division (nothing like a little sisterly love as you’re getting wailed on and thrashed about in the water).  Then next weekend, Big Little One will do it all over again in the Under 10 Co-Ed division.  The excitement in this house is palpable.  So in honor of my girls’ H2O exuberance, I decided to devote a little baking time to the exploration of healthy, energy boosting snacks for the big weekend.  Now I should mention that the other night, I made a really yummy Thai Basil  Eggplant dish and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.  But no, I will restrain myself,  and in the spirit of Junior Olympics I give you . . . Carrot Breakfast Protein Bars.

This one was quick and easy.  The most time consuming part was grating two large carrots.

carrot grate pbar

Into that I added some almond butter &  2 eggs.  I mixed that well.

carrot pbar

Then I tossed in some raw honey, a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, some cinnamon, a little baking powder, and some salt.  Then I folded in some raisins.  I put the whole thing into a greased glass baking dish and baked at 350 for about 35 minutes.  I cut into bars and then kept in an airtight container until this morning.

The result:

protein bar final

Now a picture might speak a thousand words, but I think age specific reactions and ratings say even more.  The shocker of the morning?  The 4 year old, when asked what she would give it on a scale of 1 – 10 firmly stated, “A 12”.  And yes, she does know how to count and has excellent number sense (just in case you were headed there).  The 8 year old also loved it and consumed probably 4 of the 8 bars.  The soon to be 2 year old voted with her mouth and chomped down about 2 bars.  The party pooper in the group?  The 10 year old.  She gave it barely a 6 and complained of too many raisins.  So my mandate for tomorrow is clear:  Carrot Breakfast Protein Bars take II sans the raisins.  I’ll also be trying out some Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites.  I’ll be sure to let you know how those go.

Here’s the complete Carrot Breakfast Protein Bar recipe, from the site PaleOMG.

Want to browse other Protein Bar Recipes?  Give these a try.

Mom’s Night Out – Crock Pot Carrot Ginger Soup

Around here, the Mama needs to get out on a regular basis. You know the saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”, and usually what makes Mama happy is great conversation and great food. My outings typically amount to dinner or cocktails out with friends every couple of weeks. There are my “super foodie” friends who point me to new and delicious restaurants, then there are the “quasi-foodie” friends who usually ask me where we should go, and then there are the “wouldn’t know good food if it fell on your head” friends, and with them it’s just best to opt for cocktails.

There are two total Mom’s Night Out joy killers. The first is coming home to kids who are still awake. Seriously, Hubs? Going through the “I need another kiss, and I have to tell you one more thing, and did you forget to change my band-aid, and I need another drink of water, and I can’t fall asleep without my glow in the dark, sparkly Littlest Petshop unicorn that has been MIA for 7 days now” routine just sucks the pleasure out of any evening out. When I come home, I want to be greeted by silence. Let me spell that out even more clearly. I want the house to be absent of all noise, especially small voices uttering the words “Mom” and “I want”. The second major joy killer is trying to get any kind of complicated meal on the table before rushing out the door.

Over the years, I have had to adapt my definition of “complicated”. Basically, anything involving more than two steps is complicated for the Hubs to pull off. So as my craving for Me Nights Out has increased, so too has my love of the crock pot. 1) Scoop out 2) Plop on plate These are 2 steps that my family can cope with. I don’t get hung up in the doorway giving little last minute reminders and being asked about what to do with such and such. I can just point to the pot and remind them to scoop and plop. Easy.

Last week, I enjoyed a great dinner out at Tender Greens with a friend. That restaurant is really growing on me. As I headed out the door, I pointed my brood to the crock pot. On this occasion, it was filled with Carrot Ginger Soup. I can always gauge whether the dinner left behind was a hit or not by how much of it is left when I get back home (to a completely SILENT house, on a good night). Well, let me just say there wasn’t a lick of anything left for me to even taste.

So here are the down and dirty simple steps to Crock Pot Carrot Ginger Soup.

Toss about a pound of chopped carrots, a large chopped sweet potato, one diced onion, a couple cloves of minced garlic, a bit of fresh grated ginger, a dash of garlic salt, and a bit of black pepper into your crock pot.

carrot soup

Pour some veggie broth over it all and cook on low for about 8 hours. Then pour all of the crock pot contents into the blender and blend until soup is smooth.

blender

Whisk in some light coconut milk and serve.

This is where you would have seen a picture of this beautiful soup in a nice white bowl garnished with fresh basil and accompanied by homemade garlic bread sticks and fresh cherry tomatoes with a balsamic glaze. BUT . . . I don’t know what, if anything they ate it with, and the last thing I shouted as I hurried out the door was, “Take a pretty picture of the soup for my blog” which obviously didn’t happen. The good news is, I had a wonderful evening out with a friend and discussed everything we needed to catch up on. AND I returned home to a house with all small people fast asleep.

For the full Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe, click here.