Oh-Goodies Snack Box: August (+ Random thoughts on Entrepreneurship)

I realised I’ll always have to review snack boxes a month late… cause it takes me a month to get through the snacks before I can let you guys know my opinion.

Just some spontaneous thoughts, after reviewing a few healthy snack boxes, I realised that a common trend in the business world is to hop on the bandwagon and start a business in an industry that appears to be doing well… only to oversaturate the industry and die out. I see so many businesses losing sight of why they even began, and getting caught up in profit-making that their product/service loses its personality. To survive, you have to be unique, and stay unique and true to your original intentions. It always helps to give back to society be it through donating some of your profits to a charity or promoting a cause you feel strongly about.

That said, I strongly support the idea of starting your own business, especially if it is something you feel strongly about and I admire Roslyn and Fangmin for coming this far. I came up with some business suggestions at the end of this post, so that might be useful 🙂

But without further ado, let’s move on to my review of the August Box!

This month’s theme was The Independence Edition, which featured products from local producers. 

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I really liked that they supported the local businesses for this month’s box, rather than importing everything. We do have promising businesses in Singapore, and I think they should be given a chance to make a name for themselves.

There was the usual drink from TOP Taste:
Peppermint Honey Drink

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It was okay. Better than the almond drink previously, which I didn’t enjoy. But not something I love.

Arab Dates:

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It was my first time trying dates actually, so I don’t have anything to benchmark it against. I liked it though! I don’t see how some people can eat more than 10 dates? They are SO sweet.

Gula Melaka Cookies:

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Like the laksa cookies in the previous box, this was my favourite!! The gula melaka flavour wasn’t super pronounced, but it was there. More of a butter cookie with a hint of gula melaka. Two thumbs up!

Banana chips:

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It was good, but I’d rather eat a fresh banana haha. I could smell the vegetable oil, which wasn’t terribly appealing. It was almost diesel-like 😦

Pili Nuts:

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The Philippines Trade Industry sent me Pili Nuts previously, so I’m no stranger to Pili Nuts. These were the same. Nuts will be nuts!

Kaya Granola:

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My next favourite item in the box! It was crazy. At first it just tastes sweet, then the kaya flavour hits you. And you just want to keep munching. It was so weird. They included desiccated coconut inside as well which was a nice touch (since kaya is a coconut jam).

Roasted Black Beans:

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It was as the name stated. Hahaha. But yup, I can’t exactly make black beans sound like a gastronomical wonder.

Ideas for Made Real! (and other healthy snack boxes out there)

As a business/accountancy student, I look at things from the business standpoint. I do understand the need to make profits, and the constraints of delivering certain products. But in order to sustain a business, you need to create a product that is unique so that you won’t be swamped with direct competitors. You should offer a product that your customers cannot easily create/access without your service, so that would identify a need for your product.

I liked how the independent producers incorporated a local element into their products. I didn’t really see how the dates/black beans were very unique/singaporean, but I guess food is food. I feel that there is a lot more potential to healthy eating then just sticking to the conventional foods like fruit and nuts. By default, these are go-to healthy snacks, but I think to really stand out, the products need to go beyond the norm. Or at least create something out of these basic ingredients! After all, I can get my own dried fruits/nuts, so you need to convince me (or the consumer) why we should choose you, instead of another supplier, or even not at all!

So a suggestion to Made Real, since you already have connections with these local producers, you could work something out with them to healthify their products and set yourself apart from the health boxes, I think local health food producers could be your unique selling point!

Calci-YUM

Milk is good for you.

No surprise there!

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We need milk to get calcium… I’m sure we’ve heard that many times.

But many of us have stopped drinking good ol’ glass of fresh milk apart from maybe a dash of milk in our morning coffee or tea, or perhaps from ice cream or cream puffs or something random like that.

Contrary to what most people think, there are many other non-dairy alternatives where you can get your calcium from.

I felt that a post about Calcium was in order especially since most of the readers are in their teens to early twenties, which is a critical stage for calcium absorption.

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Calcium is not just important for strong bones… it also helps hearts, muscles and nerves function properly!

If you’re between 14-30 years old, you’ll need between 1000-1300mg of calcium daily. That’s not too hard.

Here are some ways you can make sure you get enough calcium in:

Just make sure you get in four-five servings of any of the following high-calcium foods:

Food sources of calcium, including milk, cheese, ricotta, yoghurt, sardines, kale, broccoli, spinach, soy beans, kidney beans, lentils and figs (as per USDA nutrient databank).
Food sources of calcium, including milk, cheese, ricotta, yoghurt, sardines, kale, broccoli, spinach, soy beans, kidney beans, lentils and figs (as per USDA nutrient databank).

1) Whole Milk (I’ve explained why full-fat milk is the way to go)
2) Oatmeal
3) Spinach
4) Okra (Ladyfingers)
5) Tofu
6) Sardines
7) Cheddar Cheese
8) Baked Beans
9) Non-dairy milk alternatives
10) Various types of beans
11) Bok Choy
12) Salmon

Let’s see… playing around with these foods, you can get a whole day worth of eats!

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Breakfast could be banana and peanut butter oatmeal cooked with a cup of milk. Lunch could be a ricotta and spinach lasagna (calcium from the ricotta cheese, spinach, milk used to make the white sauce and cheddar cheese topping) and Dinner could be asian-style with rice, and tofu, sardines, and okra for the side dishes! To top it all off, have some ice cream for dessert and you are good to go.

See, it’s not that hard if you make a conscious effort to incorporate calcium into your diet, now that you know calcium doesn’t always have to come from dairy.

How do you ensure that you have sufficient absorption of calcium?

Vitamin D is key!

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Vitamin D and Calcium are like Peanut Butter and Bananas or Oreos and milk… you see where I’m going?

You can’t have one without the other or it won’t be the same.

How do you get Vitamin D? 

There are two ways, firstly you could get some sun 😀 Direct exposure to sunlight helps to produce Vitamin D in the skin. So drink a glass of milk and head out for some sunshine.

You could also get Vitamin D from various types of food. Vitamin D can be found in eggs, butter, fatty fish, liver, and fortified foods such as milk, orange juice, and cereal.

Time is ticking!

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The body’s ability to produce vitamin D from exposure to sunlight and to absorb calcium and vitamin D decreases with age…

So it’s important that you start building the calcium stores now! Before your body can’t absorb anymore calcium, and relies on your existing calcium in your bones to sustain itself. If you don’t have sufficient calcium, you’ll be at risk of osteoporosis even earlier on in life.

Enjoy your Calci-YUM 😀

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Getting enough calcium doesn’t have to be a chore. You could take calcium supplements, but while you’re at it, you might as well have some fun.

Make your own healthified ice cream using milk and fruits and any flavours you like, or perhaps enjoy some yogurt and granola for a snack. Blending spinach to make a green smoothie is a sneaky way to hit your five-a-day and add in some calcium too!

Project Acai: It’s pronounced ah-sigh-ee

WordPress has failed me 😦 I typed out a nice lengthy post on this on Friday, and it disappeared T.T

Anyway, here’s a redone post, so hope you enjoy!

Have you heard of the Acai Berry? It’s pronounced ah-sigh-ee not ah-kai-ee, like most of us would pronounce.

Project Acai is the new kid on the block in Holland Village, and is located in an unassuming corner next to Subway.

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I love the colour of the shop front, I mean, what’s not to love about turquoise and lilac right? The font is pretty funky as well.

When you first enter, the shop has a very clean, minimalist feel to it. Much like the menu!

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Currently, they are only selling Acai Bowls (Small, Medium and Large) and Smoothies. I think this is good for now, as they are a new business, so shouldn’t try to have a menu with a repertoire that is too wide. But in the long run, I think it would be good to have a wider menu with unique dishes that incorporate the Acai Berry into it! I’m thinking Acai Berry French Toast 😛 Wonder if that actually exists!

I got an Acai Bowl (Medium) which costs $9.30 to try 🙂

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Let’s start with presentation. I loved how the staff painstakingly took the effort to arrange the meticulously sliced fruits in a pretty design. I was the only customer though, and it took them quite a while to serve my order. I wonder what would happen if the cafe was filled.

Nonetheless, I appreciate the nice presentation, and I wouldn’t mind waiting for it!

photo 2-16It came adorned with sliced bananas, desiccated coconut, blueberries, a lone grape (yes, just one), sliced strawberries (or perhaps it was just one), sprinklings of chia seeds and cacao nibs and goji berries, and topped with diced mango, dragon fruit and pineapple as well! Hidden beneath all that is a layer of crunchy granola atop the acai smoothie.

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The counter top is like Subway or those yogurt shops where you can choose your toppings, just that in this case you can’t choose your toppings. I loved how they used fresh fruits as their display ornaments all over the counter (See the whole row of unripe banana bunches!)

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Acai doesn’t have a very strong taste to it. It tastes like a cross between grapes and berries. But since the flavour is far more muted, it leaves me with a feeling as if I still can’t quite put my finger on the exact taste.

The texture of the smoothie was nice, it was icy, and thick enough to scoop up with a spoon, but too thick to slurp up through a straw!

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What won me over was the texture combinations. I loved the icyness of the smoothie, the softness from the sweet fruits, the crunch from the desiccated coconut, cacao nibs chia seeds and the sweet crunchy granola… the bursts of flavour from the blueberries. It all worked very well.

Even in terms of flavours, there was so much going on! The bitterness from the cacao nibs, the coconutty taste, the sweetness of the mango, and the sour tang from the pineapple. I liked it. I think there’s even Bee Pollen on it, but I couldn’t really taste it.

But I must say though, it definitely tasted healthy. If you’re looking for decadence, this isn’t it. This leaves you feeling very virtuous about yourself, especially with its very clean aftertaste. It’s a good option for a healthy dessert.

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They even sell Acai Berries for you to blend at home, if you’re the kind who likes to “eat clean, train mean”. They come in a pack of 4 popsicles, which you can eat as it is or blend up in a smoothie with some water (I wonder if coconut water would work well) and fruits and pretty much any topping you like.

A pack goes for $12, and two packs go for $20. They even sell Acai Powder as well.

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This place will definitely be a favourite for gym-junkies and the health-concious… not to mention the instagram community, since their acai bowls are so very instagram worthy (And that’s all that matters nowadays right? Haha)

That being said, the acai bowls are definitely pricey. I couldn’t afford to eat this on a  regular basis. I’ll probably come here for an occasional treat, but spending more that what I would spend on a meal on dessert alone wouldn’t really make sense. I’ll probably stick to good ol’ fruits in the meantime. 

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Perhaps they could offer some loyalty cards (I’m sure the gym-junkies would love that) and even student discounts (YES). All in all, I think this is a nice place that has potential to succeed, especially with the growing health&fitness community. Costwise, maybe I’m a student, so it hits me harder than most, but I’m pretty sure >$9 for a dessert is not something you would have on a regular basis.

If you have a friend (hahahaha, this is pretty redundant, everyone has friends… I hope) that is willing to share with you, it’s more economical to buy a large which comes at almost twice the size of the medium, but is about 1.5 times the price 🙂

Rating: 7/10
(+1 for the super-healthy factor, -1 for the price — You calculate based on what matters more to you!)

#health

With the brilliant development of technology over the years, the health&fitness community has seen a rise in apps and fitness gadgets which help us to keep up with our fitness goals.

Recently, I was introduced to a new tech-based health insurance company that inspired me to share a bit about some tools that have helped me stay on track with my health&fitness goals, and apps that I would like to try!

So I thought I’d list one app that I recommend, one that I don’t recommend and one that I’d love to try 😀

The app I DO recommend: 8tracks 8tracks-600x353 This app has loads of playlists uploaded by other users, and you can even create your own playlist. I was too lazy to create my own playlist, but listening to the awesome mixes by other users really helped me stay motivated when I was running. Listening to music as you run definitely makes it more fun 😀 I wish I could have a waterproof casing for my iPhone or my iPod along with waterproof headphones so that I could even listen to music as I swim! Now that would be fun.

The app I DON’T recommend: MyFitnesspal

My-Fitness-Pal-App

I know loads of people like to count calories and what not. But after trying this app out for about a month, I deleted it from my phone. I felt using a calorie counter made my goals of living a healthy lifestyle too rigid. Everything was defined by a number. To a certain extent, it makes you feel pressured to eat as little as possible as it posts updates about whether your were under/over your calorie goal (aka pass or fail for the day). I personally don’t think this is a good way to keep to your goals as it may lead to an unhealthy obsession with calories instead of wholesome nutrition. The app creators may argue that is not so, but subconsciously, when you see a red column (when you exceed your calorie goal), it’s like getting a red mark on your exam paper. Almost saying: YOU FAILED. So take my advice, steer clear from calorie counting. It’s obsessive and rigid, and not worth the amount of time keying in what you ate, and feeling guilty if you ate too much. The app I would like to try: The PhotoCookbook screenshots This looks like so much fun! I love the user-friendly interface (at least it appears user-friendly, I haven’t used it unfortunately) and the beautiful pictures, especially the layout of the dishes in the photos. This seems like an awesome way to start cooking healthy food for yourself rather than relying on takeout all the time!

New Year, New You! – Only in New York and New Jersey
Haha, maybe I overdid it on the ‘New’ bits 😛

Now that I’ve shared about what worked, and what didn’t for me… I thought I’d end off sharing a bit about Oscar Insurance, the company that I mentioned earlier 🙂

Basically Oscar Insurance is a provider of health insurance in New Jersey and New York and they’ve recently started providing their members with Misfit bands to get them moving in the right direction. I think it’s pretty cool that they are taking such an active role in their members health&fitness journeys! They have an app as well, and a website which I’ve linked up here (New Jersey) and here (New York).

Each Oscar member will get a free Misfit Flash tracker and the opportunity to earn one dollar per day that they meet their personalized fitness goals. The Misfit Flash bands track it all from calories burned, distance traveled, steps taken and sleep quality and duration during all activities rather than just walking or running! Sounds like they are really committed to helping you stay on track with your health 😀

So why not say ‘Hi Oscar’, and give it ago. Sadly, they don’t have it in Singapore… if not I would love to try out their Misfit Flash Tracker and try out their app. It sounds really cool!

H is for Holidays and Health.

Holidays are my favorite time of the year. It’s filled with so much love and cheer in the air, and everyone is so much happier. The festive songs are playing, the beautiful Christmas lights are shining, the roads are decorated with tinsel and Christmas trees… Homes are filled with laughter as families and friends come together to celebrate each other. Ahh, what’s not to love? If only we could be so loving and joyful all the time, instead of taking each other for granted!

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Instead of my usual 7 tips, let’s get into the holiday mood this Christmas by kickstarting the Twelve Days of Christmas with a healthy twist!

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With the festivity in the air, I can’t help but attempt to create a parody to the Twelve Days of Christmas song. Since I’m not musically inclined at all, I won’t be parodying the entire song… I made it to about 6 stanzas. That’s good enough for me haha. Do bear with me if it gets a little cheesy, I have my moments.

Here goes!

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On the first day of Christmas…
My kind friend sent to me:
A brownie and some hot tea.

 Friends and family go all out during the holidays, and there’s a mad baking spree going on as everyone showcases their skills. More often that not you’ll be sent home with desserts from Christmas parties or given beautifully made food gifts. While these gifts are sweet gestures, indulging in too many rich desserts can leave us feeling lethargic and blah. So keep up your jolly mood without looking like jolly ol’ Santa by choosing one dessert a day, or by sharing the dessert with your friends.

Instead of finishing an entire slice of cake, share it with a friend, and try a bit of another dessert instead. After all… Variety is the spice of life! Trying a bit of everything will satisfy your cravings and you won’t feel like you’re missing out. Don’t be a grumpy elf and shun desserts like the plague, it’s the holidays. Enjoy yourself without going overboard.

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On the second day of Christmas…
my dear Mum sent to me
2 cookie tins
and a brownie and some hot tea.

Mindless snacking can get the best of us during the holidays, especially as we go from party to party, talking to people as we stand and eat. To avoid snacking on too much unhealthy food like pastries and cookies, pre-pack them into individual servings so you don’t finish an entire packet before you realize it. Carry some healthier snacks like fresh and dried fruit as well as nuts to keep your hunger at bay.

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On the third day of Christmas…
my true love sent to me
3 french loaves
2 cookie tins
and a brownie and some hot tea.

Carbs, oh glorious carbs. I’m sure you all have friends who avoid carbs like they are the poisonous or something. Well, carbohydrates aren’t necessarily bad. You just need to maintain the right portion size and not overdo them. Since holidays are as much about the food as they are about the presents and gatherings, my tip would be to go easy on the carbohydrates in your main meal if you intend to have some dessert, since desserts comprise mainly of carbohydrates.

If you’re cooking for your friends, sneak some healthy carbs in by replacing some white grains with wholewheat grains. (Especially in cakes cause no one will ever know the difference hehe). Perhaps you could even incorporate some quinoa or couscous into your turkey stuffing!

gravy

On the fourth day of Christmas…
my sweet Dad sent to me
4 gravy bowls
3 french loaves
2 cookie tins
and a brownie and some hot tea.

 Aha! Bet you forgot about gravy right? Many people do. Don’t go crazy with the gravy since it tends to be high in sodium. High sodium levels = water retention = not so jolly Christmas. Spoon a little gravy, but don’t drench your food in it. You still want to let the natural flavours shine through. Same goes for custard and other sauces. They are meant to complement the dish, not mask it!

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On the fifth day of Christmas…
my big bro sent to me
5 chicken wings
4 gravy bowls
3 french loaves
2 cookie tins
and a brownie and some hot tea.

Meat isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I do understand that there are many vegetarians and vegans around, so for their sake, I will refer to protein sources instead. Even while you are out partying and having fun during the holidays, its important to make sure you’re eating a well-balanced and nutritious meal as well. Proteins help to keep you full and curbs your hunger to prevent unnecessary snacking. Baked tofu bites or tofu skewers can replace chicken kebabs for the vegetarians. Protein loaded eggs are delicious too, make it kid-friendly by making them mini! Hardboiled quail eggs are the perfect size to pop into your mouth. Pair them with cherry tomatoes and a cube of cheese and you’ve got a healthy appetizer to go.

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On the sixth day of Christmas…
my best friend sent to me
6 eggnog bottles
5 chicken wings
4 gravy bowls
3 french loaves
2 cookie tins
and a brownie and some hot tea.

Liquid calories are the most sneaky. Most people forget that what you drink matters almost as much as what you eat. Eggnog for example can be high in calories and fat. While it may provide some nutrients, too much of a good thing will still show up after awhile. So to prevent Santa-sized bellies, try to limit yourself to 1 drink, and opt for hot teas or water instead of creamy drinks, and juices. A glass of wine or two is fine too! If you really need a hot cuppa, opt for a hot cup of milk instead of something loaded with sugar. Hot cocoa made from scratch can be better than those manufactured mixes since you have control over the amount of sugar added.

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Just a couple more tips, if you are planning to host a party, offer up some healthy snacks. I mean, no one brings the veggies and fruits even though they are trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, since these are cheaper than the meats and desserts. Seriously, I’ve never seen anyone bring the fruits/veggies even though everyone secretly wants some. Be a good host and provide the balance needed to weigh out the rich pastas and main courses. A creatively designed fruit platter, and veggie-based appetizers are all it takes!

Above all, just have fun. It is the holidays and one night of overeating won’t make you fat. Don’t focus too much on the food and calories, just get out there and enjoy the company and activities. It’s the people who matter.

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Happy Holidays!

HEALTHY IN A HURRY: Everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Tuna Sandwich

As the editor for Project Made Real, it’s my ‘job’ to come up with healthy recipes that can help you guys in your quest for a healthier lifestyle by eating well and nourishing your bodies. I’ve been trying to share more healthy recipes, but I haven’t had much time to experiment with proper recipes (those that actually involve heat, you know, the oven/stovetop). Nonetheless, I still found some time to create a healthy meal for myself, so I thought I would give you all some ideas for those days when the thought of turning on the stove is far from appealing.

(As seen on Project Made Real’s website)

Eating healthily doesn’t always have to be expensive, you know. This simple, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink recipe uses ingredients that you will probably already have on hand!

Sometimes, all you want is an easy meal that can be thrown together without having to fuss around with pots and pans. Well, for me at least, speed is a very big thing, cause I’ve been really busy living on campus and have barely had time to try out new recipes 😦 In fact, cooking has been out of the question, especially since I have a catered meal plan. Can’t wait to play around in the college’s pantry once things have settled down.

Well, to sound more atas, I would call this a deconstructed tuna sandwich. But actually, it’s only deconstructed since there was so much tuna I couldn’t possibly fit it nicely into a sandwich. So an open-faced sandwich it was!

Here’s what you need: (Serves one)
1 125gram can of tuna chunks in water
Lemon juice
1 diced tomato
Some diced onions
Dash of Tabasco
Ketchup (to your liking)
Mustard (to your liking)
Pepper to season

Steps:
All you have to do is mix everything together in a bowl, and serve it alongside with two slices of bread.

Personalise it:
I just added whatever ingredients I had on hand, but you could always switch things up by…
-Swapping the ketchup and mustard out for any condiment of your liking (mayonnaise works too if you’re a tuna mayo kind of person)
-Adding Greek yogurt and sliced grapes add an interesting twist to this otherwise savoury dish
-Replacing the tomato with diced bell peppers for more crunch
-Making two open faced sandwiches, and topping each with a slice of cheese before toasting it in the oven. Tuna melts anybody?
-If you’re going for mayo, trying adding in a hard-boiled egg, and a dash of white vinegar and you get the best of both worlds. (Egg mayo and tuna mayo)

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This recipe, like all my recipes, are super easy to make, and healthy too! Healthy eating on a budget is possible 🙂 I don’t give the exact measurements for the condiments/seasonings cause the fun lies in adding whatever amount you like to suit your tastebuds. The ingredients are just there as your base, you get to enjoy the process of designing your own masterpiece.

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Tuna is loaded with protein and healthy fats, and will keep you full for a longer time. Also, by adding in diced vegetables, you get a nice change in texture and all the benefits of the nutrition and fiber. Tasty and quick, you can’t ask for more ;P

Enjoy!

RECIPE: Tropical Oatmeal Bars (Oil-free and Sugar-free)

I was never a fan of baked oatmeal aka boatmeal. I guess I never really liked the texture of baked oatmeal compared to the chewy creamy goodness of a hot bowl of oatmeal. But, ever since I’ve tried Weelicious Oatmeal-on-the-go Bars, I’ve never looked back. I’ve made her recipe so many times, since they make the perfect grab-and-go breakfast, and they even keep for up to 4 months in the freezer!

After dabbling around in the kitchen, and perfecting my own version of healthy oatmeal bars, I’ve finally come up with my own recipes — these healthy goodies you are about to be introduced to. This batch of oatmeal bars were my best creation yet, they even received a seal of approval from my dad!

These bars taste and look brilliant, if I may say so myself. The vibrant red goji berries add to the tropical vibe, while the sweetness of the mango transports you to a lovely summer day lazing by the beach.

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Close your eyes. Oh wait don’t. If not you won’t be able to read this.

After you’ve made these, close your eyes when you taste them. You’ll experience something like this:
The tantalizing smell of cinnamon wafts across the living room. The bars are ready! You leap up and hurry to the oven, opening the oven door carefully to release the hot steam. Ahh, browned to perfection. Better take it out of the oven to cool. Yes, great, it’s cool, now slice it up quickly. Snap a few quick photos. No, no time for that. Let’s just dig in.

On first bite, you taste the sweetness of the dried mango the moment it makes contact with your tongue. Mmmm. Then the chewiness of the baked oatmeal gets to you. Just like a candy bar. The sweet goji berry is determined not to be forgotten, and the rich flavor bursts through the oatmeal like mini fireworks. Oh, it’s not over. The sweet mango is back again, complementing the goji berries this time. You smile. You’re back on the beach, one hand holding a freshly opened coconut as the cool sea breeze blows across your face. Ahh. Sheer bliss.

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I rarely use flash, but it was late at night when I baked this, and the lighting was horrible. Not all was lost though, since the flash really helped to bring out the colour of the mangoes and goji berries. I mean, look at how those little gems are studded all over the oatmeal bars, they are like sunny jewels buried in the sand.

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My favorite way to eat these are cold, right out of the fridge. That’s when they are chewy and cool, almost like a dessert. If you freeze them, be sure to take them out to thaw in the fridge 24 hours in advance so that you can taste the flavours.

oatmealbars

Tropical Oatmeal Bars
Makes 18-24

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups milk (any kind of milk, not flavoured milk though) 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup goji berries 
  • 1/2-3/4 cup dried mangoes (chopped up)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp honey or agave (sweetener of choice)

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius/375 F
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, stirring the dried fruits in at the end
  3. Pour the oatmeal mixture into a 7×11 baking dish lined with baking paper (no mess!)
  4.  Bake for 30 minutes or until thickened and golden.
  5.  Cool, cut into squares and serve.
  6. After the bars have been fully cooled, you can pack them into individual servings in small ziploc bags to pack in the freezer. About 3 bars in each bag. These will keep for up to 4 months!
    Before consuming them, allow to defrost in fridge for 24 hours.
  7. Refrigerating the bars will make them last up to 5 days.

Switch things up!

  • Sub the dried fruits with any other dried fruits of your choice
  • Add a mashed banana in for added sweetness and moisture
  • Throw in an additional 1/2 cup – 1 cup of some nuts, seeds, dessicated coconut, chocolate chips… anything you like really!
  • Add some peanut powder or black sesame powder to make it even more flavorful
  • More honey or agave can be added to suit your tastes

These bars are so healthy (Oil-free, butter-free, sugar-free and can be lactose-free and gluten-free if you make the necessary substitutions) there is no reason not to make them. They are ideal for lunchboxes too. Pack a couple of these with some veggies sticks + hummus and some fruit and you’ve got a good lunchbox for your fussy eater. Even a glass of milk with these would make a nutrition packed breakfast to kickstart your day!

Hope you liked this recipe 🙂