Disclaimer: I received the nut butter in this post from Naturally Nutty in exchange for a recipe and a giveaway! I only support and share companies that I love!
Who else gets as excited about big globs of peanut butter as I do? I guess you could say that I am just really thankful for peanut butter (any nut butter for that matter) today. 🙂 I also discovered that when you combine caramel, apples, white chocolate, and peanut butter, you get a pretty yummy combo. Basically, if you do sweet + sweet + sweet + a bit of salty it all equals something good, right?
My sisters were watching me mix this yesterday. Since I’m pretty much a novice/newbie food/recovery/fitness/life blogger, taking photos of the food is always an ordeal for me.
How does the process go?
#1) Emily tries to get as close to the window as possible because she doesn’t have money for a fancy light set up yet, so she goes with the light that God pours into the window which is AWESOME too! 🙂
#2) Emily stages everything. She gets up on chair and tries to highlight that delicious caramel sauce, drizzly white chocolate peanut butter, and such in the photo. *She fails*
#3) Emily stands back in confusion…. These recipes take a lot of prayer and patience.
Then she goes for the old ‘close-up’ photo, the kind you will see really often on my Instagram. I mostly do it because my far away photos just don’t look good. 😀
And she ends up with something like this.
Commence happy dance and praise the Lord for His mercy and kindness shown through the way He has blessed and put His guiding hand on this recipe… 🙂
You see. This recipe all started with a jar of peanut butter.
And I was kind of scratching my head and praying about what to do…
Then the flavors of:
and Caramel came into my head. 🙂
I started mixing while my sisters and I practiced the song, ‘Mary Did You Know?’
Have you heard this song? It’s absolutely beautiful, and it makes the heart stand back in wonder and awe at the coming of Jesus, the Son of God into this earth.
‘Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.’
Wow. That this child, not someone that would appear mighty in the world’s eyes, was the Son of God, is the Son of God, and is both man and God would come to earth to save sinners and heal those who are sick is beyond my finite comprehension.
It’s just so wonderful.
With that anticipation of joy and wonder… let’s go on to describe these bars.
Sweet (but not too sweet)
and studded with chunks of Honeycrisp apples.
They are gluten free, and they could made easily ‘refined sugar’ free; although this version wasn’t… The caramel sauce definitely wasn’t refined sugar free. I know that some of you would rather go without, so you can definitely do honey or maple syrup.
Without a further description… I think we should just go on and share the recipe for these little soft white chocolate caramel squares….
Caramel White Chocolate Apple Granola Bars
|Prep:||Cook:||Yield: 9 bars||Total:|
- 3/4 c. chopped apple (I used Honey Crisp)
- 1/2 cup White Chocolate Coconut Naturally Nutty Peanut Butter (SO GOOD!)
- 1/4 c. caramel sauce (or honey if you don't want the refined sugar)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. bkg powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 cups oats
- 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
- 3 tbsp. protein powder (I used Try About Time Vanilla)
- Drizzle with:
- MORE peanut butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper. Get a medium sized bowl out and set out your ingredients. Chop apple. Mix oats, protein powder, coconut oil, peanut butter, vanilla, salt, baking powder, caramel sauce, and apples together until well blended. The batter should be wet and a bit sticky. Press it into the prepared pan and drizzle with more white chocolate peanut butter. Put in the oven for 30 minutes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and cut. They will be a bit crumbly, but if you wait, they will come out pretty well. They also taste amazing with yogurt or delicious ice cream!
Chop your apples really small. Get a big enough bowl so your ingredients aren't spilling out of the side.
And now we come to a very… exciting and maybe a bit ‘bittersweet’ announcement:
I’m taking a BLOG BREAK. I almost can’t believe I’m saying that, but the Lord has really been laying on my heart that I’ve been doing too many things and not doing those things well.
Most of all, I really want to seek Jesus more and sit at Jesus’ feet. Matthew 11:29 says, ‘Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.’
I absolutely love blogging, but I haven’t been putting enough of myself into it for God’s glory, for my Savior, and not seeking the Lord’s wisdom enough.
And I think that’s why I’ve been stressed and not feeling peaceful. I’m not expecting perfection in this life, because I know that I’m going to be fighting spiritual warfare my whole life here, but I do know that life in Christ is peaceful.
So I want to take about a 2-3 week break from blogging to focus and seek the Lord’s wisdom on where to take this little blog next.
I admit that I’ve been too selfish about things like:
at times, and I don’t want it to be about those.
My heart’s desire is that I could glorify my Savior and share with you His wondrous love and mercy. I don’t want to share Emily’s ego or Emily’s pride but the gift of His grace in my life, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the freedom that He has given.
This is my desire, but I admit that I’ve gotten distracted.
Even right now, I’m not quite sure how to write this, but the goal for this time off from blogging is this:
Jeremiah 29:11-14 describes what my heart’s cry is for this month.
‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.’
I hope this can be a month of reading more, praying more, and just wondering at how God’s grace is what makes me what I am, not anything that I do. I know that in my head, but my prayer is that this might take root in my heart, so I’m not a:
I’m not expecting perfection at the end of this month, but Lord willing, it will be a ‘reset’, a ‘redirection’ in my affections and desires so I can serve Jesus better and LOVE God more and serve every one of you readers with my whole being.
I’m really looking forward to writing while I’m quiet on here, and I hope and pray that I can come back and share what the Lord has taught me in those few weeks.
Would you pray that I would seek heavenly wisdom while I’m staying quiet on this end?
James 3:17-18, ‘But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of those who make peace.’
I’m also kind of doing the social media ‘reduction.’ I realized that Twitter and Facebook, though they do extend my reach, were leaving me feeling stretched and overwhelmed.
Some people can handle more than me, but I’m a very simple girl. Instagram is pretty much the one thing that I can do and I love to do, and so I think I will keep ‘gramming’ and sharing on there.
And I already feel relieved.
I know that my ‘reach’ has been reduced, but I’m not worried about it. I know that the Lord will provide opportunities for me to do whatever He wants me to do and that His sovereign will is perfect.
We can’t end this post without sharing some of the ‘Naturally Nutty’ deliciousness with you… 🙂
This nut butter is some of my absolute favorite ‘flavored’ nut butter. I have about 5 favorites, and Naturally Nutty is definitely one of them. I haven’t had a flavor from them that I haven’t liked.
So I have not just one but TWO jars to share with you: (I’m keeping the flavors secret)
1) To enter the giveaway go to Naturally’s Nutty’s Facebook page and like it!
2) Tell me what your favorite ‘flavored’ nut butter is.
3) For an extra entry, share this on your Facebook page with your friends and comment a second time letting me know that you did so!
This giveaway will end on October 14th, 2016. I will pick 2 winners and email them!
And if you want to keep reading I don’t want to do this last post for a while without sharing some of my favorite links from this week… There were again, so many amazing articles that I read this week, and I couldn’t leave without sharing them.
Favorite Recovery/Body Image/Faith/Fitness Links
Lindsay struck gold with this ‘West African Peanut stew…‘
Sarah, one of my heroines in the faith, deals with the important issue of being vulnerable about an eating disorder in marriage.
Emily keeps the ‘Gram’ real…. (A post like this is in my mind for the blog comeback.)
And then Lyss talked about what the ‘Instagram’ can’t capture.
Julia re-iterates that it is ok to ‘not be ok.’ And it’s ok to talk about it.
Heather talks about just ‘learning to breathe‘ when life is overwhelming.
Lori shares her heart about what to do when you feel that God has abandoned you.… This woman’s humility. <3
Kat’s Thoughts about how to love your body enough to respect it…
Joyce reminded me that recovery is something that you have to fight for every day.
Lyss gave some really good tips on Cayanne’s blog about how to stay ED free while in college.
Jen’s vulnerability about when she stopped working out: this relieved pressure off of me too.
Em pointed me back to the ‘Bigger Picture’ when I’m tempted to get distracted.
Random and delightful acts of kindness can turn someone’s day from bad to AMAZING (from the lips of my sister Kat)
With that, I have some questions for you:
Have you ever taken a break from something you love to refocus?
Did you come back refreshed and rejuvenated?
Do you find overwhelmed by feeling like you have to do all the social media?
Do you like caramel? Have you ever made bars with caramel?
Last of all, I just wanted to share a passage with you.
‘And I will sanctify My great name which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
For I will take you from among the heathen and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. “‘Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.
And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments and do them.’ (Ezekiel 36: 23-27)
Wow, I am so grateful that God works in me despite me, to cleanse me of my filthiness, and make me NEW. God is AMAZING! And it is all for Him!
Linking up with Fit Foodie Mama, Chocolate Runner Girl, Fairy Burger, Hello To Fit for Foodie Friday; Heather for Friday Favorites, and Erica Finds & Running with SD Mom for the Giveaway round-up, and Katie for Marvelous Monday!