Favourite Muesli Breakfast Bars (100% Plant Based)

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Muesli is gaining popularity in the western world and is known as a healthier version of granola, that doesn’t contain sugar or oil.  But did you know that muesli was actually invented in the 1900s?  A doctor in Switzerland named Maximilian Bircher-Benner actually invented the now famous Muesli at his health clinic.  He originally called it “the Apple Diet Dish” as the main ingredient was chopped up apples (including the skin and seeds) and only a small amount of oats, mixed with a splash of water, lemon juice, condensed milk, honey and chopped nuts.  Instead of strictly being a breakfast food, this muesli dish was served before every meal at the clinic as he believed it to have tremendous health benefits.

In 1959 the Bicher family gave permission to a company called Somalon to alter and manufacture Birchermüesli which quickly spread to many countries in Europe and to the USA.  Muesli has only climbed in popularity since then, especially when Somalon invented a “crunchy toasted muesli” in the 1970s similar to the Americans favourite granola.

Today’s muesli is mainly made up of uncooked rolled oats, wheat flakes, rye flakes or cornflakes, dried fruits (sometimes sweetened), nuts, and seeds.  It is very popular in the western world’s rising health movement as it usually does not contain sugar and replaces our favourite “junk food” cereals.  It can be eaten on yogurt, with fruit, with milk (preferably plant milks) and on top of smoothie bowls.  It is healthy, filled with good carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and is absolutely delicious.

I hope you enjoy this delicious muesli breakfast bar recipe and leave a comment below if you give them a try!

Enjoy!

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Favourite Muesli Breakfast Bars (100% Plant Based)

  • Servings: 6-9
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 1 banana (½ cup)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¾ cup rolled oats (it is important to use this type of oats)
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 3-4 tbsps chocolate chips
  • 3-4 tbsps of dried cherries (sub raisins or another dried fruit)

Optional Additions:

  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Almonds (chunked or sliced)

*** I do not use any sugar in this recipe as I like it to be more of a natural trail mix taste to keep me satisfied through till lunch but if you want more of a granola bar taste you can add sweetened dried fruit, sweetened nut butter, or even mix a bit of brown sugar in with the wet ingredients to satisfy your sweet craving***

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mash banana in small bowl.
  3. Add in the almond butter (or peanut butter if you prefer), maple syrup, and vanilla in with the banana and stir until a smooth consistency is formed.
  4. Pour in rolled oats, chocolate chips, and dried cherries into the wet ingredients and mix well until a chunky texture is formed.
  5. Put parchment paper into a 9″ x 9″ pan and scoop mixture onto paper.  Use your hands (wet them before so the oat mixture doesn’t stick) or a spatula and press the oat mixture down so it is hard packed and even.
  6. Put it into the oven for 15 minutes until cooked and lightly browned.
  7. Cool on a cooling rack and then cut into 6 large bars or 9 medium sized squares.
  8. Enjoy in the morning with a smoothie or green juice or in the evening before a workout!  Cheers and Happy New Year!

 

Exploring Galle, Sri Lanka In One Day, Plant Based!

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Galle is a beautiful coastal city, 130 km south of Colombo.  It is definitely high on my list when visiting southern Sri Lanka, as it is the perfect mixture of history, beach, and culture.  There are some amazing things to do in Galle, even if you are just there for one day, like we were. I hope this guide helps you experience Galle for the charming seafront city it is.  Here is a list of our top things to see when you are in Galle:

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1. Take a Walk: In the 17th century Galle was controlled by Dutch merchants who built it up for the purpose of running the East India Company out of it.  During that time, Galle was a walled city surrounded by thick ramparts that were so large people could walk along them. The city was heavily guarded, you will still be able to see some of the old canons propped along the wall.  

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When in Galle make sure to take a walk along these ramparts and throughout the Fort.  You will be able to see the lighthouse, an old prison, the clock tower, and will even get to watch school children practicing cricket.

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2. Experience the Dutch Architecture: When walking through Galle you will notice how the city feels very european.  The extremely impressive Dutch buildings are still used today giving Galle a very charming and unique feel.  Make sure to walk along the Dutch Hospital, the Groote Kerk, and the Amangalla hotel.  

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If you are into museums, the Maritime Archaeology Museum also is quite fascinating and has lovely Dutch Architecture as it used to be a Dutch warehouse.

3. Have lunch at Coconut Sambol:  This all you can eat Sri Lankan curry & rice buffet is definitely worth a try.  It is extremely delicious and authentic. They have 7 different Sri Lankan curries, rice, and coconut sambol that they make fresh everyday.  It is quite a cozy restaurant with only 3 tables available but that is almost better, as it allows you to connect with the cook and the locals who run Coconut Sambol.  All the vegetarian curries in this restaurant are vegan by default so no worries my plant based buddies!

Other honourable mentions for lunch using the Happy Cow App:

4. Go Shopping: Galle has amazing shopping!  The city is full of charming boutiques where you can buy souvenirs and goods.  Galle is also known for its gems, jewelry, and handmade sarongs.

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Stores I recommend:

  • Stick No Bills:  This store specializes in beautiful Ceylon posters (Rs 3000) and postcards (Rs 350).  If you are looking for memorable souvenirs, take a peek in this local shop and pick up a postcard to send home to your family.
  • Barefoot: Beautiful boutique selling colourful handmade local clothes, linen, jewelry, crafts, rugs, gifts, children’s toys, and books.  If you are looking for the most beautiful handmade children’s toys, you hit the jackpot!

Galle is incredibly close to Unawatuna, the beach town in Galle known for its swimming and surfing!  After spending the morning walking around Galle, soaking up the history and having a lunch of endless rice and curry, you may want to kick back and spend the rest of your day in Galle on the beach in Unawatuna.

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5. Go surfing: On the beach in Unawatuna you can rent a surfboard for cheap or take lessons with Surf South Sri Lanka if you would like to learn the basics from local surfers.

6. Go Swimming: Kick back and play in the waves, Unawatuna’s kid-friendly beach is the perfect place to spend an afternoon!  Along the beach there are plenty of relaxing spots and delicious restaurants to enjoy!

7. Coffee at Kat’s:  Kat’s Coffee is a highly recommended cafe in Unawatuna open from 9am-6pm.  It has delicious cake, coffee, and fantastic internet! After a long day touring around Galle, get yourself a “pick me up” coffee and sweet treat while checking uploading your gorgeous photographs of Galle online to share with your friends and family.

8. Grab Dinner: Unawatuna has a few tasty restaurants with vegan options for you and your friends to grab dinner at.  Here are our favourite places:

  • Koha Surf Cafe & Lounge: Serving western food and juices.  Many dishes can be prepared vegan.
  • Sri Dhara Restaurant: Serving traditional Sri Lankan dishes, many which are traditionally vegan.  They also offer a cooking class if you are interested in learning how to make Sri Lankan Curries! 
  • Love Gelato – a gelato restaurant which prides itself on having over 60% of their flavours being vegan! 

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I hope you enjoyed my list of how to explore Galle in just one day while plant based.  If you have any questions or thoughts please share in the comments below!

The Ultimate Guide to Eating Plant Based in Amsterdam

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A Walk in Amsterdam

When my partner and I decided to go to Amsterdam for a long weekend earlier this year, I had not even begun to think about the challenges going to the Netherlands would pose for a vegan such as myself.  However, we took a leap of faith and off we went to experience this unique Dutch city.

Waking up on our first morning in Amsterdam was wonderful, the sun streaming through the windows, my handsome partner laying beside me and all of a sudden my stomach growled and like every vegan out there, I was immediately struck with the realization that I would have to begin the hunt for vegan restaurants.  I was hungry and being the one who is plant based, I knew it was my job to find a restaurant or cafe that would satisfy us both.

Luckily within minutes I found out that Amsterdam has a plethora of vegan options.  If you are plant based and looking to travel anywhere you must download the happy cow app for your mobile or use their website, it will save you so much time on trying to find suitable restaurants, bars, and pubs as well as provide you with reviews, pictures, store hours, directions, connect you to the website and even sometimes the full menu.  This has been a lifesaver for me when I travel.

During my long weekend in Amsterdam these are some of the restaurant’s my partner and I experienced.  They were all incredible.

1. By far our favourite restaurant was De Hummus House – Sint Antoniesbreestraat, it had the most tender, fluffy, warm, and fresh pitta’s we have ever eaten.  I didn’t know a pitta could melt in your mouth until I tasted them from De Hummus House in Amsterdam.  It was too bad that we found this place near the end of our trip or I believe we would of ate there for every meal.  They were so considerate of my food restrictions and most of their menu was naturally vegan. My favourite type of food by far is israeli cuisine, I could eat falafel, couscous salads, fattoush, and hummus for every meal.  One day I hope to visit Israel and learn to cook real Israeli cuisine but until then I will keep hunting for restaurants like these. Plant based or not, this restaurant should be on the top everybody’s list while travelling through Amsterdam.

2. Second on the list is the Brunchroom which we were such fans of that we came back to it every morning and seriously considered coming during lunch as well.  Here you can order regular or plant based versions of your favourite meals such as yogurt parfaits, waffles, smoothies, sandwiches, and soups.  We felt very welcomed coming here for breakfast by the owner who by day two knew us by name. Do not miss out on such a cozy and friendly cafe during your stay.

3. Coming in third place is Mr. & Mrs. Watson, an outstanding restaurant and would be perfect for a plant based date night out in Amsterdam.  They are famous for their plant based cheeses and decadent desserts. When we arrived at Mr. & Mrs. Watson we were delighted by their charming lunch menu.  I went for the nutritionally dense salad with quinoa, marinated mushrooms, tempeh, roasted fennel and seasoned seasonal veggies, while my partner opted for the sloppy cheese steak bun which I must say smelt incredible with the vegan cheese and sweet mustard sauce.  This place brings their A game and will not disappoint.

4. In fourth place is Spirit, which is not so much of a restaurant but more of a food hall.  It has long buffet style tables where each dish is labeled with various food allergies and diets so you know exactly what is plant based and there is no guessing.  After choosing all the food you’d like, you weigh your plate and pay. At the till there is a large glass chiller full of delicious mostly plant based desserts – cakes, pies, squares, cookies, and puddings – it’s like I died and went to vegan heaven.  Whether you are just trying to grab a quick “serve yourself” type of lunch or want some take out, make sure to give this food hall a try.

5. In fifth place is the delicious Beter en Leuk.  This place is really tasty and uses such fresh and healthy ingredients which is something I always look for when eating out.  Although because we were walking/biking a lot and touring around we found the breakfast that we enjoyed here to be quite small and not as filling as we hoped.  I still highly recommend Beter en Leuk if you are more of a grazer throughout the day or are having a more of a relaxed day out in Amsterdam. Make sure to try the vegan buckwheat pancakes topped with real Canadian maple syrup and chia seeds to start your morning off right.

As a plant based traveller you will feel at ease (as I did) while exploring Amsterdam and it’s rapidly growing foodie culture.  Hope you enjoyed how I toured Amsterdam plant based, stay tuned for more places to explore as a vegan.

In the comments below please share if you have ever been to Amsterdam plant based and what your favourite restaurant was.

 

Best,

Kennedy