And happy WIAW. It's that time of the week again!
So a recent discovery? Brownies and walnut butter go reallllllly well with roasted kabocha.
Just FYI. And, you know, because I needed another reason to eat brownies. Obviously.
The one in the picture is a Zen Cat Bakery vegan, gluten-free brownie (or rather half of one, since I ate half before coming up with the brilliant walnut butter-kabocha pairing).
And yogurt parfaits never go out of style. Does anyone else like pumpkin seeds better than pumpkin? Anyone?
Freeze dried corn with peanut paste (peanut flour mixed with cashew butter and honey), munched along with a crispy apple = great late night snack.
And, er, it might have been followed by a brownie. Shhhh ;)
Another great late night snack?
Cereal! I never eat mine plain anymore, there's always seeds and dried fruits and cacao nibs, and nut butter and who knows what else mixed in. This bowl as uncooked oats hiding under the raisin brain and granola. And then dried cranberries, dried blueberries, sprouted pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs, and a little sugar over everything. Yummy :)
Even though I don't blog about all of them, since I often repeat types, I still have at least 1 or 2 protein bars a day.
I'm also very well covered on the protein front, since I love beans - especially sweet beans!
Anyway, I'd love to throw in some more food pics, but this three-component post will get way too long and this next treat is too good to miss!
Has anyone heard of Lily's Sweets? They make dark chocolate bars with fair trade chocolate aaaaaand....
It's pretty darn hard to find a chocolate bar (or any kind of sweet treat) that's sweetened with stevia. Correct me if I'm wrong, but they might actually be the only chocolate bar company that makes stevia-sweetened chocolate?
Most companies make chocolate with sugar (which is usually fine unless you're diabetic, since sugar isn't the devil - ahem see that very sugary brownie above?). The ones that offer sugarfree chocolate bars tend to use unhealthy artificial sweeteners that are way less healthy than the sugar would have been - chemicals derived from the same ones that clean your public pool, chemicals that are linked to cancer, developmental issues, obesity, and a host of other problems.
But not Lily's.
The folks behind Lily's, Cynthia and Chuck, worked long and hard to create a healthy 55% dark chocolate bar, made with fair trade chocolate, that you can feel truly good about indulging in, even when it's a daily treat and not a small portion (shhhh). It's 100% sugar-free, natural indulgence!
And not only is it a great product, but it does a great thing. Lily's Dark Chocolate was named in honor of a brave little girl called Lily. During her struggle with an aggressive brain cancer, Lily noticed that there was a shortage of electric wheelchairs at her hospital. When she returned home, seven-year-old (that's how old my little sister is!) Lily worked together with her family to raise $9,000 for an additional chair. I encourage you to read about Lily's inspiring story, and her efforts to raise money for other children with cancer, here!
Anyway, Lily's Sweets doesn't just honor Lily in name, but also in a tangible, helpful way. Lily's donates a portion of their profits from every chocolate bar sale to grass roots non-profits that support childhood cancer survivors and fighters. How many chocolate bars do that?
Here's what's in the bars (the ingredients/stats are just about the same for all of them, but pictured below is for the coconut bar).
Considering the low calories, the less than 1g of sugar, the large serving size (it's not one of those deals where they say it's low calorie because the serving is the size of your pinky finger), and the sometimes bitter taste associated with stevia, I wasn't expecting much.
I was wrong.
There is no bitterness whatsoever here. It's creamy, chocolaty, perfectly sweet, and every bit as decadent as its made-with-sugar counterparts!
Even if these weren't healthy, didn't support childhood cancer survivors and their families, and weren't from an all-around awesome company, I would still buy them. They're just that delicious.
The coconut chocolate bar was coconutty and creamy chocolate, the original was perfect for S'mores (or just straight up), the almond one was loaded with fresh-tasting almonds in silky smooth, creamilicious dark chocolate (but note that they're only 55% dark chocolate, so they're not dark-dark and thus kids will like them, too).
The biggest surprise for me was the Crispy Rice chocolate bar.
And don't forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a Ronco Food Dehydrator!