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This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Cooking Light and Real Simple, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #FreshandFabâ€

cranberry pistachio bites

So if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you might remember that I am 7 months into a one year of healthy changes to my eating and diet.  I have lost 30 lbs and gained a bunch of muscle.  And I am up to running 6 miles in an 8:53 pace.  WHAT???  Who is this girl! Now, I promise I am not going to turn into a health blogger, I am so under qualified to speak about that.  But I am going to post some recipes and some things I am learning a long the way.  I am super happy with the slow changes I have made and look and the feel the best I have ever felt.  If you want to hear more about my tips and tricks check out this post where I talk about the things that have helped me.

Anywho back the subject of the post.  Healthy snacks are hard for me.  I usually just want to grab something quick because I am usually snacking when the kids are home and we are working on homework, doing chores, etc.  Meal planning is huge for me.  Without a plan I fail every.single.time.

In the last 7 months I have been way more open to trying new things.  I have discovered that there are a lot of things I like that I never tried before.  Like tuna steak and greek yogurt.  Not together of course…but yum!  I know the internet is packed with amazing ideas too but sometimes I just don’t want to look at a screen.  Flipping through a magazine under my heated blanket is my jam. So I grabbed the Cooking Light magazine and the Real Simple magazine at Target (you can get a $5 Target gift card back if you purchase both in one transaction) and started flipping.

cooking light and real simple magazine

I marked a bunch of recipes to try and decided to give the Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bars (on page 96) a try.  Packed with whole grains like oats, quinoa and flax seed meal they are super tasty and have a ton of different textures and flavors – and they are perfect for that midday snack when I need a pick-me-up.  The only change I made is using PB2 ((P.S. – have you tried this stuff?  It is most definitely going to my make my March fave list).) instead of peanut butter to cut down the calories a tiny bit more.  I also made them into bites instead of bars.  I found that when I cut them they would crumble so making them bite size was better for me.

cranberry pistachio energy bites


1 cup of uncooked old-fashioned rolled oats

3/4 uncooked quinoa

2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

3/4 cup chopped dry-roasted & salted pistachios

6 tablespoons of agave nectar

1/2 cup of prepared PB2

1 cup sweetened dried chopped cranberries

1 ounce of bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup of flaked unsweetened coconut

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

Cooking spray


1.  Mix the oats and the quinoa and spread on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until slightly brown.

cranberry oat energy bites

2.  Meanwhile chop and mix the pistachios, cranberries, chocolate, flaxseed meal and coconut in a large bowl.

cranberry energy bites

3.  On the stovetop mix prepared PB2, agave nectar, salt and canola oil.  Bring to a boil and then stir continuously for one minute.

prepared PB2

quinoa energy bites

4.  Remove oats and quinoa from the oven and cool.  Mix with the rest of the dry ingredients.

5.  Then stir in the wet ingredients and mix well.

cranberry pistachio granola bites

6. With wet hands press the mixture into a cooking sprayed 8†x 8†pan.  Or roll them into 64 small balls.

cranberry pistachio granola bars


cranberry pistachio quinoa bars

7.  Bake for 13 minutes at 350 degrees. If you made them as bars – let cool and cut into 1†x 4†pieces.  Store in an airtight container.

cranberry quinoa pistachio energy bites

If you made the bars they are 170 calories each.  The ball are 43 calories.  These are a great on-the-go snack packed with flavor and texture.  I had about 15 people try them and not one adult said they didn’t like them.

cranberry-pistachio-energy-bites (2)

On your next Target run grab the April Cooking Light magazine and the April Real Simple mag and check out all the healthy food options they have plus get a $5 Target gift card when you purchase them in one transaction.  I have page 74 earmarked in Cooking Light.  Coconut Chicken Strips are on the docket this week!

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