I love garbanzo beans. Chock full of healthy fiber and a great meat-free protein source, these little buddies are good for SO much more than the base for a nice, garlicky hummus. (Though I - and my kids - could eat hummus every day!)
I put garbanzo beans (chick peas) on green salads, into hearty vegan chili, and I toss them with mango chunks, diced cucumbers, and fresh herbs for a staple summer salad.
But as fun as these little power houses are for ME to eat, I wanted to find a surefire way to appeal to the masses. That is to say, the 4-year-old masses at my daughter's preschool.
I love the challenge of creating healthy, real snacks - that kids will actually eat! - out of wholesome foods. A favorite this time of year is making mini pumpkins out of peeled mandarin oranges and snap peas (and Terra makes some exotic veggie chips that look just like autumn leaves!)
My daughter's afternoon preschool classroom is totally tree-nut free -- a more and more commonplace practice in schools nationwide.
There is also a child who doesn't tolerate gluten and another who is dairy-free.
I'm fine with providing suitable snacks when it comes to our bimonthly turn for snack day, and I like the challenge of creating something for everybody.
Today was my daughter's snack day and it's a chilly, breezy typically October afternoon, with gusts of yellow leaves swirling through the overcast sky. The perfect weather, in other words, for something hearty, wholesome -- and warm from the oven.
Something for EVERYONE.
Enter: Everything-Friendly Garbanzo Bean Blondies!
These easy-peasy, one-bowl/one-pan blondies are
These yummy buddies came out just right - chewy and hearty, and sweetened lightly.
Ingredients (Organic if possible!)
1 can Garbanzo Beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 C. Sunflower Seed Butter
1/3 Pure Maple Syrup, Grade B
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
- Preheat oven to 350˚ F
- Lightly grease an 8x8 pan with coconut oil
- Throw all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until mixed. (I left a few chunks of chick peas in the mix - to up the heartiness factor)
- Spread the mix into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until sides start to pull away from the pan and the center is springy.
- Let cool, cut into bars or squares, and ENJOY!
Since I wanted to give the children enough to eat, and stick with a late-October theme, I threw in some organic cling peaches. Dressed up as jack-o-lanterns, natch.
I thought the blondies turned out great. But we always have to check with the most important critic. Her verdict?
Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!!
A client quit me today, after one personal training session. When our appointment was done, she said, "I want you to push me really, really hard. Like, be hard on me. So that I'm almost in tears."
"Well," I said, "I'm happy to push you and make you feel strong. But I'm not a drill sergeant."
A few hours later, I got an email canceling all future appointments.
Here's the thing. I am all about positivity. And grace. And a big full cup of empowerment and self-reliance, delivered with a genuine smile. I can make you sweat your face off and give you insta-shakes, but I will never belittle you.
And here's the other thing: no matter what the trainers on The Biggest Loser, or the latest "fitspo" memes, may teach you about motivation or seeing results, you don't *have* to be subjected to irrational requests, loud commands, or withering feelings of incompetancy to feel amazing, see results, and get truly fit.
How do I know?
I've got living proof. Beautiful, vibrant, confident, self-aware proof.
"I don't recognize her [on the left]. Emily, it is so difficult to find the words that truly express my love & gratitude to you. You have an unbelievably kind, caring & nurturing spirit that sees the best in everyone that comes to your studio. Then, you help them discover (how capable, how strong, how spectacular) it for themselves. My life changed forever the day we met. Thank you a million times over." - My gorgeous client and friend in this picture. She's just one of so many!
I believe in the trememdous power of softness + strength. I believe in body appreciation and positivity. I believe in hugs, and quiet time, and laughter. I believe that holistic wellness means including meditation and "words of the day." And, of course, a good old fashioned high intensity workout here and there.
I believe that if you don't feel good about your body, you're not going to feel better by treating it unkindly.
I believe that joyful affirmations should be repeated daily.
I believe in you.
Emily Nielsen, CPT, is the owner of Fit for Motherhood, LLC, mother of 2 little girls, and an optimist by nature.
All posts © Emily Nielsen