Claudia and Hans Make Stuff

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Energy bites

At times I have a craving to eat something sweet to increase my level of energy. Do you know that feeling?
Well, instead of reaching to eat a handful of gummy bears or a reese’s peanut butter cup, I have started to make energy bites. These little flavorful bite-size pieces are sweet, delicious, and best of all very nutritious.

Ingredients (Next time I make them I count how many “bites” this recipe makes):
1 cup rolling oats
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I always use dark chocolate chips)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Combine all the ingredients and mix well. I like to start with mixing the peanut butter and honey with the rolling oats. Then I add the vanilla extract, flax seed, and chocolate chip. Note that this mixture is rather sticky.
2. Take small portions of the mixture and shape them into small balls, approximately the size of a large cherry.
3. Eat as mid-afternoon-pick-me up, as a pre-hike-quick-energy boost, as a post-hike-recovery-energy boost, etc. I am sure you will be able to come up with plenty opportunities to enjoy this nutritious and delicious snack.

Note: Ground flax seed work better than whole flax seed, as they tend to get stuck in my teeth. Also you can easily replace the flax seed with chia seed (make sure they are ground). Or you could use half flax seed and half chia seed.

Yummy bite-sized pieces of energy

Yummy bite-sized pieces of energy

Nutritional benefits:
* Honey has traces of potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus, unlike white sugar. Furthermore, honey contains more complex carbohydrates in addition to glucose and fructose. Therefore, it takes longer to break these carbohydrates down than glucose and fructose.
* Oats contain vitamin B and E, iron, calcium, magnesium, and fiber. They may be able to reduce blood cholesterol, ease constipation, and help to stabilize blood sugar levels.
* Flax seed are a good source of omega-3-fatty acids, vitamin E, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. These little seeds are one of the best vegetarian sources of omega-3-fatty acids.
* Peanut butter is a great source of protein. It is also packed with healthy fat (unsaturated fats). It also contains fiber and magnesium.
* Dark chocolate may increase the blood flow to the heart and the brain. It also helps to control blood sugar levels and is rich in antioxidants, potassium, copper, magnesium, and iron.

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Oatmeal chocolate chip walnut cookies

Not sure why I hadn’t posted this recipe yet. This is my absolute favorite cookie recipe. I used to make them almost weekly to take to Ultimate Frisbee. Everybody loved them, especially since I made them bite-sized =)

The key to making bite-size pieces of heavenly deliciousness is mixing the batter by hand to avoid the butter to become too warm, and in turn, too soft.

Not only are these cookies delicious, they are also loaded with brain-boosting walnuts (which are loaded with omega-3 fats), anti-cancer properties of oats, as well as semi-sweet chocolate, which is loaded with anti-oxidants.
In addition, with a couple modifications, these cookies make super-delicious vegan cookies.

Ingredients (Make more cookies than I ever counted):
1½ cups raw sugar
1 cup butter, softened (can be replaced by vegan butter for vegan cookie option)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg (can be replaced by flax seed for vegan cookie option, see below)
2 cups rolled oats
1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Heat oven to 350° F. In large bowl, mix sugar, butter, vanilla, and egg by using spoon or fork, until well-blended. Add oats, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

2. On cookie sheets lined with parchment, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart. (I like to form mini round discs by hand.) Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.

Oatmeal chocolate chip walnut cookies

Oatmeal chocolate chip walnut cookies


Note: For vegan option replace butter with vegan butter and replace eggs. May need to add water. 1 egg = 1 tablespoon flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water (well-mixed and heated)

Vegan oatmeal chocolate chip walnut cookie

Vegan oatmeal chocolate chip walnut cookie