I started the year proclaiming that 2016 was going to be my best year yet – and in every sense I’ve been proven right.
I remember entering the year ensure of what would unfold, yet trusting simply that the best was yet to come, that this period would be one of pure abundance and growth.
This has been first year since graduating that I am entirely self-employed; and to be honest, it’s been a thrilling adventure in which each turn has led to something I’d never even expected or imagined.
During this past year, I’ve been intentional about improving my crafts – and I know that my writing, photography and recipe development skills have improved simply by the sheer amount of practice that I’ve dedicated to them.
Through day after day of practice, my passion for what I do has also deepened inexplicably; I am so much more in love with what I do today than a year ago, and I’m beyond excited to see what the future can bring.
I’ve grown so much in faith and confidence as a person; and while there are times that I’m still scared shit about the future, about not knowing what’s to come, I’ve learnt to trust in God and the fact that He is in control.
You see, while freelancing doesn’t provide the same stability as being employed by someone else, there are tremendous perks that can’t be beat.
There are the flexible hours, being able to focus on the projects that I really enjoy, and choosing to spend most of my waking moments on work that actually makes my heart beat. I’ve never been surer that I’m doing what I’m meant to do, and almost every morning I wake up with a skip in my step and a smile on my face.
I’ll be honest though. Not everyday is perfect.
There are days that I feel a little doubtful of my future, and wonder if I’m on the right path – and sometimes when fear clouds my vision, I find is difficult to see the larger picture.
In those moments, I sometimes forget that God is holding me, that He is my Provider and Jehovah Jireh, and that even if one door closes He’ll make sure that a bigger and better door will open.
Yet God is faithful and never gives up on us despite our doubts.
A lovely friend from church once told me that while praying for me, she’d seen the vision of a rose without thorns and said that in the future, I’d be overflowing with so much abundance that I’d wonder why.
I often think about what she said, and whenever I feel worried or uncertain about the future, I recall her words and remember that God has amazing plans for me, even if I can’t see them now.
So while I’m waiting for those plans to unfold; I choose to focus on abundance.
I believe that the best is still yet to come, and even though 2016 has already exceeded my expectations, it can only get even better.
Today, I wanted to share this recipe for grain-free granola bars with you. I created this recipe because it’s a snack that’s easily portable and filling at the same time.
These granola bars are made with a base of nuts and seeds, and their high-protein and high-fiber content will keep you full for longer, especially if you’re experiencing cravings for something sweet in between your meals.
This recipe also makes a big batch of granola bars, so one batch could easily last up to a week between two people. Best of all, these bars are gluten-free and vegan, so if you have problems with gluten, eggs and dairy, these bars will be perfect for you.
Here’s how you can make a batch of these delicious grain-free granola bars.
Start off by pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and lining a rectangle baking pan with parchment paper or a silpat (I strongly recommend the silpat).
Place the almonds and cashews in your food processor or blender and pulse for a few seconds until the nuts are roughly chopped. Combine the seeds, almonds, cashews and raisins in a large bowl and then mix well to combine.
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ground cinnamon and cook until the mixture comes to a boil. Make sure to mix the ingredients well so they are combined.
Now, pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and mix very well so the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Transfer the granola mixture to the prepared baking pan and press down as firmly as you can with the back of a spoon or a spatula.
Bake the granola mixture for 20 minutes, then let it cool on the counter before chilling it in the refrigerator for at least half an hour until it is firm (this is necessary so that the mixture doesn’t break when you slice it).
Finally, once the granola mixture has chilled and is very firm, slice it into rectangles with a sharp knife and store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Since there may be some granola that breaks as you slice the bars, you can simple store the granola in an airtight container and eat it for breakfast with almond milk!
- 3 cups mixed seeds (I used a mix of sesame, chia, flax and sunflower)
- 2 cups almonds
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 1 cup raisins
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and line a rectangle baking pan with parchment paper or a silpat (I recommend the silpat).
- Place the almonds and cashews in your food processor or blender and pulse for a few seconds until they are roughly chopped.
- Combine seeds, almonds, cashews and raisins in a large bowl and mix to combine.
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and cinnamon and cook until the mixture comes to a boil. Mix well to combine.
- Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl with dry ingredients into the prepared baking pan and mix well until combined.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and press down as firmly as you can with the back of a smooth or spatula.
- Bake for 20 minutes then let cool on the counter before chilling it in the refrigerator for at least half an hour until it is firm.
- Slice the granola mixture into rectangles with a sharp knife and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.