How homemade can you go? If we are really committed to eating a diet of REAL food and promise to know exactly what is in our food and how it got there, we have a lot of work to do before breakfast, don’t ya think? Is there a simple approach to health and wellness that includes sustainable decisions and foods we actually like?

I think there is, but it’s not quite as easy as picking up a box of power bars and tossing them in the grocery cart. Individual packaging, ingredients we can’t pronounce and companies that are less than transparent, make it hard for us to show our love for real food, the planet and our own wellness. We’d be much better off finding responsible companies that make ingredients from whole foods that we can use to make our own power bars.

I hear you saying that doesn’t sound simple. Let me provide two tasty recipes that use two high-integrity, whole-food healthy products from this month’s blogger box and then let’s regroup. Featured this month are Raw & Root Organic Beet Latte Wellness Infusion and Whole Earth & Sea 100% Fermented Organic Greens. Note that the recipe card below contains both recipes, but only the timing and serving size for the Beet & Berry Power Bars are listed at the top of the card. Information for the Green Machine Energy Squares is listed within that recipe section.



Grilled chicken thighs glazed with the berry mixture from the power barsLeftover Love

So what did we do with that extra bit (about a half cup) of cooked berries, spiked with Raw & Root Organic Beet Latte powder? Don had the brilliant idea of doing a last-minute glaze on his grilled chicken thighs. Apparently, it was delicious. Could he be the next Green Guy food blogger? Ya gotta love it!

Why I Love These Products

I can be a pretty picky Blogger Box tester, you know. Over the nearly two years I’ve been involved with the New Hope Network project, I’ve recommended a great many items, but there are just as many I haven’t. Before I give the Green Gal stamp of approval, I want to know there is company integrity behind anything I recommend, some sort of “giving back” to the planet and/or its people or at least a sustainability plan, and—most importantly—I want to be convinced it has worked for me or someone I trust and/or that it tastes amazing in my kitchen. So my Blogger Box bar is set rather high. And “bars” are just where I was headed this month with two products that pass the Green Gal tests with flying colors—namely purple and green. I hope you try the recipes above and that you are as “smitten” with my two Blogger Box recommendations as I am.

Raw & Root Beet Latte Power BarsRaw & Root Organic Beet Latte Wellness Infusion

There is nothing weird or artificial here: concentrated organic beet root, goji berries, maqui berries, warm aromatic spices, all ground into a superfood powder. That’s it—a whole-foods powder concentrate that bends easily and tastes great, despite the fact that there is absolutely no added sugar. Total sugar content here is a mere 3 grams. So this product works well in recipes like those Beet & Berry Power Bars, where one of the goals is to keep sugar low and nutrition high.

Raw & Root Beet Latte and Tur LatteAnd then there’s the integrity issue: Not an issue here. USDA-certified organic ingredients, non-GMO, gluten-free and vegan. Works for nearly everyone.  So Raw & Root has made its way into my heart and my cooking. I also love its companion, Tur Latte, which is loaded with organic turmeric and makes awesome golden milk.

Whole Earth & Sea 100 % Fermented Organic Greens by Natural Factors

Whole Earth & Sea Fermented Greens Energy SquaresThis amazing powder has become my new favorite in smoothies and recipes like the Green Machine Energy Squares. After contacting the company to double check exactly how to use the powder in recipes, I learned that it is best not to heat it, which can damage the nutritional value of the fermented greens. Thus, the raw food square was born.

There’s everything to love in Whole Earth & Sea fermented products and little to worry about—actually nothing to worry about. What’s in it is simple: fermented grasses, fruits, vegetables and micronized medicinal mushrooms, plus a protein blend made with quinoa, brown rice protein and pea protein. No funny stuff. Well, my sample also contained organic cocoa powder, but I’m fine with that.

If you have seriously looked at supplements at all over the last few decades, you know the name Natural Factors. They are one of the largest manufacturers of nutritional products in North America. They have been around since the 1950s, starting out as a “mom and pop” kind of health food store business. Even though they are far larger than that original business model today, some things have never changed.  They vow: “Right from day one, we’ve always been fully committed to making products right. We are not a public company with shareholders to impress. Instead, we care about impressing you.” Says LOVE to me.

Further, they have their own organic farm that has always been under their strict control: “This exquisite certified-organic farmland gives Natural Factors complete control over securing the best quality raw materials possible. Literally, control from seed selection to finished products.

In fact, the Whole Earth & Sea 100% Fermented Organic Greens powder is not the first product I’ve used by this amazing company—we’ve bought supplements by Natural Factors for years. But I’m happy to have found this new love, which comes not only in chocolate but also in tropical flavor and unflavored. So versatility is a strong point here, too. I’m sure I will find a million ways to get more powerful nutrients into my homemade, whole-food creations by using it. And I’m sure you will, too.

Looking for more homemade power snack treats? Check out my past post on Ground Cherry Chews. And don’t worry if there are no ground cherries in your freezer because I offer other options. Here’s to our ongoing love relationship with REAL FOOD!