Thursday, July 31, 2014

Easy Peasy Chocolate Cashew Bars + Boom, Negative Splits

Alright, I have a recipe for you!

I found this recipe online a couple days ago and it so seriously simple, but so dangerously delicious. I have been making an effort to clean up my diet, so I wanted to create a treat that had no processed ingredients, no flour, no added sugar, and was full of healthy ingredients. "Ummm, didn't you just say you wanted to make a treat?" No, really, this was good!

Note: I used a blender to process all the ingredients, though a high-powered food processor is probably better suited.

For the crust:

1 cup walnuts
1 cup Medjool dates

Pulse dates in food processor/blender until they are fine crumbs.
* I did this in batches in my blender & it worked just fine!
Pour the "crust" into a baking pan and press down firmly until it forms a crust.

For the filling:

1 cup of soaked cashews (I used raw cashews that were soaked approximately 2.5 hours. You can also do this overnight or pour hot water over the cashews to quickly soften them!)
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 tbsp cocao powder
Honey or maple syrup to taste (I used 100% maple syrup)
1/4-1/2 cup water

Add all filling ingredients to your blender or food processor and blend until it reaches a smooth consistency. Add water as needed, or until you have reached your desired thickness.

Then, pour the filling onto your date and walnut crust, and let it set in the fridge or freezer. You know it is ready when the filling has hardened and it is not tender to the touch.

Yum, yum, yum! You can also dust cocoa powder over the top for a fancy finish, or sprinkle on shredded coconut for added healthy fat and flavour.

This morning's run was another glorious one! This shot was taken at the top of my street before I completed my 5km loop. I went in the opposite direction than yesterday to give myself a change of scenery. I used to run this loop almost every morning two years ago back in my cafe-working days, and I'd see a lot of the coffee shop regulars out and about. This morning I saw one lady walking her fluffy white dog, and a whole two cars along the road. So nice to be out while many people are still asleep!

Of course, I had to snap another sunrise shot here once I caught a glimpse of it over the ocean. So nice! It was breezy out this morning too which made for perfect tank top weather. Yesterday I wore a race shirt from the Scotiabank Half, but even at 6AM it's quite warm! Overall, it was an excellent run. I'm glad I got out of bed for this one!

Boom, negative splits! I like when this happens. For the non-runner-readers (or... any of the readers out there), negative splitting is essentially running the second half of your race or run faster than the first. I ran this morning's 5km a minute and ten seconds faster than yesterday's, so that was a nice confidence booster, too! It almost makes me want to do some hill work to get faster. Almost. Maybe. We'll see about that one ;)

Since we are at the end of July, it's time to count up the miles for the month! I ended with a total of 115 running miles, which is 185 km. The goal was originally 110 miles, so I am happy to see a number higher than that!

Have a good day everyone! The weekend is almost here :)

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