Marvelous Monday: Pumpkin-Coconut Protein Bars and Nut Butter Finds

by Sara on July 16, 2012

Happy Marvelous Monday!


I hope you all had a restful and revitalizing weekend! Mine wasn’t very restful; in fact, it was a bit crazy, but it still managed to be marvelous. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I firmly believe that no matter how crazy or busy or relaxing or quiet or manic or—dare I say it, boring—any given day is, it ALWAYS contains something good. ALWAYS.ย 

So let’s turn our attention toward the good. It’s Monday. Chin up! Here are the shenanigans that are making me smile today, in no particular order. :)


As if Whole Foods wasn’t temptation-land already.

Last Friday, my nut butter options quadrupled.Whole Foods P St. is now officially carrying more jars of crack!

Guys, I’m weak. The urge to try organic cashew-almond-peanut-hazelnut,-brazil nut-sunflower butter is strong.

And now my bank account is low.

Normal people don’t sacrifice a 1/4 of their grocery budget to buy aย  $13 jar of Nuttzo.

I’m sure glad I’m not normal though, because PB Crave Razzle Dazzle amazingnessย  is completely worth all 7000 pennies! ๐Ÿ˜‰


I love my Luna Bars, I really do.


Nutrition bars that are marketed as “high protein” snacks or mini meals just don’t cut it in the protein department. Most contain 9-10 grams— the amount found in just a few bites of chicken!

I’ve been searching for a good homemade protein bar recipe for years. In 2011, I fell in love with Jamie Eason’s Pumpkin Bars, and the infatuation has remained strong ever since. However, at about 5 grams of protein per bar, they don’t pack much ofย  punch.

Last week I took matters into my own hands and began revamping Jamie’s version. I substituted coconut flour for the oat flour, doubled the protein powder and increased the number of egg whites.

They say the third time’s the charm…and they’re right!

My third batch of High Protein Coconut-Pumpkin Bars was perfect. Almost.

They would have been perfect perfect had they been pretty. And let’s cut to the chase. These babies aren’t pretty.

But they are tasty! And they contain looots of protein (none of which comes from soy—the typical protein source found in most store-bought bars).

Mission find a marvelous homemade protein bar accomplished. :-)

Click HERE for the recipe!

I usually eat two bars at a time, which clocks in at close to 20 grams of protein. :)


I’m not a beer person.

But a beer-in-chocolate person? Oh yeah.

Vosges bars areย  still on sale at Whole Foods, but since purchasing my favorite Woolloomoloo bar at a discounted price a few weeks ago, I’ve resisted the urge to buy another. Saturday however, I caved (heck, I was already dropping $30-something on nut butter), but went with something a bit more frisky. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Rogue Ale’s Chocolate Stout beer. Alderwood smoked salt. Burnt sugar caramel. Dark chocolate.


I love absolutely everything about summer–yes, even the 100+ degree temps!—except the humidity. My hair goes wild! No product can completely tame the jungle that becomes my head, but this one comes very close.

It’s a marvelous “miracle leave-in product.” ๐Ÿ˜‰ No really, this stuff tames fly-aways better than any other serum or spray that I’ve used!


It’s no secret that I love my tuna sashimi, but the three pieces I enjoyed at Raku Friday night were particularly marvelous.

Look how fresh that fish is!

Up close and personal…



Can anyone else relate?



Yesterday, my housemates and I had 50 friends over for a crab feast.

It was my first time eating Maryland-style crab; I grew up on Dungeness, which are much larger! When they’re small, you have to eat quite a few to fill up. I packed away 4 of these bad boys.

Say hello to his brothers and sisters.

The crabs were seasoned with Old Bay seasoning, and served with boiled potatoes and cornbread. It was quite a fun feast, and a marvelous way to end the weekend.

Now, make sure to go check out what’s making other bloggers’ Mondays marvelous!

I’m flying home to Boise tomorrow for a four-week vacation, so packing, packing and more packing is on the agenda today. Tonight the girls are coming over to watch The Bachelorette ‘Men Tell All’ episode. I’m eagerly awaiting the man-drama! Who else is watching?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

HUGS to you all! Enjoy the beginning of your week, and catch ya in Idaho! :)


Questions for you:

What’s your favorite store-bought protein bar?ย  Do you make your own version?

Favorite nut butter? If you’re like me and can’t pick one, which is your favorite brand?

Do you fight frizz in the summer? What’s your favorite frizz-reducing product?

What’s the most unique chocolate bar you’ve tried?

  • Danielle @Clean Food…

    Just say Frizz free hair and I’m sold!!! Most definitely trying that out! You are not alone with the nut butter addiction! Way too much of my grocery budget is spent at whole foods on almond butter :) Those protein bars look amazing! Another recipe of yours I can’t wait to try and my favorite part is that you upped the protein! Awesome :)

    • Sara Stewart

      Girl, I KNOW. Almond butter is crazy expensive! Let me know if you try the protein bars; I made another batch today!

  • Khushboo

    Funny story about Nuttzo (painful at the time): I was in LA a few years ago and was so psyched to see a jar of it at Whole Foodsโ€ฆafter much contemplation, I shelled out the $18. Because my suitcase was already so full, I packed it in my carry-on. When I got to LAX airport, I almost cried when the security guy made me throw it out because it was considered a liquid (WTF!). Two years later, I finally got my hands on another jar and tried it outโ€ฆworth the wait! Favorite nut butter is currently a toss up between Skipyy Natural Smooth Peanut butter & Blue Diamond Roasted Almond Butter- mmm!

    • Sara Stewart

      Oh my gosh, I would have cried!! Security has confiscated so many of my things, but never anything that expensive or precious. Yes, nut butter is precious! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m glad you were able to get your hands on another jar; it’s amazing, isn’t it?

  • jessie

    haha, i love the ridiculous amount of money you spent on nut butter… but I too spend just as much!!! I still have yet to try the pbcrave though :( :(. It is so sad knowing that after you spent all that money on nut butter, it goes so quickly too haha.

    those protein bars sound soo good. i may just have to give them a try!!

    • Sara Stewart

      Let me know if you try the protein bars! I made another batch today; I’ve been going through them so quickly!

      So true about the nut butter –it goes WAY too fast!

  • Nicole

    I am most definitely a nut butter lover-I don’t even know how many jars I have at home. I have SIX at work LOL! I am dying to try the Nuttzo! I have tried all the PB Crave-cookie nookie is definitely my favorite! Your protein bars look great-I’m going to make them soon! I LOVE Vosges bars-oh my! I definitely get the frizzies-next to try on my agenda is Living Proof-have you tried it? I saw that one you have at Target-I guess I’ll be giving it a try now:)

    Cannot wait for the Men Tell All tonight!

    • Sara Stewart

      I love that you have six jars of nut butter at work! Thatta girl! There’s no such thing as too much nut butter. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I haven’t tried Living Proof, but maybe I’ll buy that one next time and compare!

  • Caroline

    I just tried Justin’s Maple Almond Butter for the first time. I’m not a nut butter person, but I actually really liked it on an apple! Unfortunately, they only sell the little $1 samples at my grocery store, so I’m going to try to make my own! Also, I use that It’s a 10 stuff too and love it!

    • Sara Stewart

      I love Justin’s Maple Almond butter packets–they’re perfect for travel. The jars are pretty pricey, but I guess they’re more cost effective! I hope you find a winning almond butter recipe; I’d love to try making my own too!

  • Chelsa

    Hey Sara, I hope you are doing something fun on your vacation. I’m sure you will be.

    I don’t ever buy protein bars but if I had to choose then it would be a Larabar. All of the strange ingredients in bars scare me. Those pumpkin ones looks pretty tasty though. Homemade is always better!!

    For frizz I get keratin treatments every 3 months but when I blow dry my hair I use Oribe Royal Blow Out spray. That stuff is pricey but magical. And Moroccan Oil hair spray is the best because it gives a light hold that is not overly sticky. One hair stylist recently told me to buy a wax stick to keep those short fly away hairs at the top of your head down. I still need to get one.

    Bye for now :-)

    • Sara Stewart

      I LOVE Moroccan Oil–it’s a godsend product. I’ll have to check out Oribe Royal Blow Out spray next time–sounds amazing!

      I’m going to be home relaxing for the month, but will be taking a few side trips to California! xoxo

  • Ashley

    isn’t the PBCrave Razzle Dazzle the best?! i love that stuff. we would do some damage peanut butter shopping together. ๐Ÿ˜‰ i also LOVE that “it’s a 10” hair product. i just discovered it about 6 months ago and am in love! i have crazy, frizzy hair too. that dress you have on is too cute – that color is perfect on you! and you better believe i’m watching the bachelorette men tell all episode this week! :)

    • Sara Stewart

      Thanks, Ash! Coral is one of my favorite colors this season. :) And yes–Razzle Dazzle is AMAZING!! I am officially hooked! <3

  • julie!

    omggg chocolate & beer i would die for! i’ve had it the opposite way – chocolate infused beer but i bet chocolate infused with beer is more delicious – can you get drunk off of chocolate?

    i’ve been wanting to try nutzo for so long but it’s so so freaking expensive! and yess razzle dazzle is SO good!! worth every penny

    a crab fest would be my dream event haha i would go crazy i love crab/lobster so much!

    • Sara Stewart

      Ahh, chocolate-infused beer?! Now THAT is a beer I’d love!

      Nuttzo is cray cray expensive—but so damn delicious! xoxo

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats

    I’m so trying that recipe!! And I love the somecard you put up, I pin tons of things but never make them!

    • Sara Stewart

      Yay! Let me know how you like them! I just baked another batch today and the kitchen smells amazing :)

  • Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    I have such frizzy hair all the time!! It was not good in Australia, haha. I don’t use any product in my hair though. I’m so not a girly girl so I wouldn’t even know what to use haha

    Those prices are crazy! It sounds like Australia haha how do you have 50 friends over?? I’d probably have a heart attack if I had to organise a party like that ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Sara Stewart

      Haha! When I come to London, I’ll help you navigate through the frizzy hair product aisles. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      50 friends is manageable when you have six housemates (assuming everyone pulls their weight…ahem). ๐Ÿ˜‰ And yeah, the fancy shmancy nut butters are a bit ridiculous–but SO SO good! xoxo

  • Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola

    Omigosh you are not alone in your excitement about those peanut butters… I am dying to try them all! I will definitely be scouring the Whole Foods shelves very soon to see if I can spot it myself! And I love the idea of making protein bars myself and knowing all the ingredients that are in them! These sound great and I can’t wait to give them a try! I’ve already pinned them (but unlike that ecard, I really do plan on making them!) And as if we don’t have enough in common already, I too use that miracle product! Isn’t it the best!! I’ve recently run out though and cannot find it in stores.. my hair is not happy! And how fun that you and your housemates throw these great parties!! The crab feed sounds like a blast!! Good luck packing today! Hopefully you get it all done so you can sit and relax (preferably with your new chocolate bar) and enjoy the Bachelorette! I’ll be watching too!

    • Sara Stewart

      Hehe, I watched the Bachelorette sans boozy chocolate, but I got my fix another way: Cupcake prosecco and brownie bites topped with whipped cream and sprinkles. I’m not sure which is better! Haha.

      Thanks for pinning the bars! <3 Definitely let me know how they turn out! xoxo <3

  • Andrea Hilbert

    I saw those PB jars this weekend at Whole Foods too! I opted NOT to buy them since I already had $100 worth of food in my car by aisle 2, but now I think I need to get them. What was your fave flavor?

    • Sara Stewart

      DO IT. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Fancy schmancy nut butters are ridiculously priced, but they’re also ridiculously yummy! I bought the Razzle Dazzle and Nuttzo (with peanuts) and love them both.

  • Rach

    I have those same PB Crave jars of peanut butter! :) And I totally understand the whole pinning-all-things-on-Pinterest, haha!

    • Sara Stewart

      I ended up just buying Razzle Dazzle and Nuttzo, but I CAN’T WAIT to try Cookie Nookie! <3

  • Lisa

    Why oh why Canada can you not have delicious nut butter options! Its killing me seeing all the delicious ones that I can’t have;)
    Your protein bars sounds magical! I don’t really like luna bars, because they taste too processed to me, so I always make my own. I think your looks pretty! They aren’t ugly, silly. I need to try yours out, you know since I’m obsessed with coconut flour and all.
    Frizz free hair is definitely marvelous! I should try that out.
    Haha, totally relate to pinterest addiction. Well, somedays I’m obsessed and then I go for weeks without logging in and once I do I’m on a pin mission once again. Vicious cycle.
    Of course I”ll be watching the Bachelorette tonight :)
    Love you!xox

    • Sara Stewart

      How about I bring a jar to you in Boston?! Which flavor do you want to try the most?

      Let me know if you make the protein bars! They’re my new favorite snack–a new batch came out of the oven earlier today!

      Love you, girl <3 xoxo

      • Lisa

        Awe! That would be so sweet of you to do! I would be down with anything! Although I do love my coconut/peanut combo:)
        I have plans to make those bars!
        Do you want anything from Canada haha?

  • Sally

    Nothing beats Dungeness crab, but those Maryland ones look awfully pretty (can crabs be pretty??)! Can’t wait to indulge in all your yummies while you’re home! Lucky me! :)

    • Sara Stewart

      Dungeness is definitely the best! And yes, crabs can be pretty! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • HealthyDiva

    YAY for crab yum!! I can’t believe you never had! So good! I am glad you enjoyed! Boston has great crab, I actually had amazing crab in Boston before!

    Love the nut butter love! I have to go to my whole foods this week to see if they have the pb crave, it is so good!!!

    LOVE you and YAY for you going home tomorrow, I bet your mom is so excited! I will be seeing you very soon in Boston! <3

    • Sara Stewart

      I love and miss you SO much! Boston can’t come soon enough! We have tons to catch up on! <3 Maybe we can chit chat over delicious crab? I know Boston has fab lobsta (,—that's how they say it…haha!) too.

      Huge huge hugs!! xoxo

  • claire @ live and love to eat

    I love crab but can’t eat it like that, freaks me out! :)

  • Mary Legare Whaley

    DANG. Nuttzo is $13 a jar??? What the cluck? I’ve never tried it, but now I definitely won’t. That’s absurd. I bet you could make your own for half the price. I like Clif Bars. They’re an easy go-to for a protein/fiber/energy for me. My daily 3 pm slump snack. I also like Pure Bars and Good ‘N Natural bars. I use peanut flour to make my own peanut butter. It’s so versatile. Plus I like that it’s light. I used to love peanut butter, but all the oil didn’t settle right with me. I go through like 8 lbs of peanut flour a month. No shame. I have thick, frizzy hair, but you would never know it. I flatiron like a champ. But I’ve found John Freida’s Root Awakening line of shampoo/conditioner is great for moisturizing. I don’t use additional products. My Solia flatiron is the jam. Totally prevents frizz (and Charleston, SC is the humidity capital of the world). I haven’t tried a notable chocolate bar. But I’d love to try one with cayenne or hot peppers. Are you stoked for the Bachelor Pad?!? I’ve been really bored with Emily this season. No drama. Even tonight was kind of lame. These guys are weenies. I need some excitement! Happy Monday!

    • Sara Stewart

      I’ve actually never watched Bachelor Pad, but I’m 100% on board for this season!

      I love John Freida Root Awakening; it’s one of my go-to shampoos (I try to rotate between 3-4 brands because I find it more effective). I’m going to check out your Solia flat iron. I have a CHI, but it’s just not cutting it. Time to up the ante! xoxo

    • Sara Stewart

      I’ve actually never watched Bachelor Pad, but I’m 100% on board for this season!

      I love John Freida Root Awakening; it’s one of my go-to shampoos (I try to rotate between 3-4 brands because I find it more effective). I’m going to check out your Solia flat iron. I have a CHI, but it’s just not cutting it. Time to up the ante! xoxo

  • Gothextramileblog

    SO TRUE with the pinterest thing!!!!! hahaha I just died. HAve a safe trip! I wish I knew how to fight frizziness. My hair is usually a POOF ball!

  • Alexandra

    OMG THOSE BARS!!!!! I have to make a batch, you’re amazing girl! ๐Ÿ˜€ I love me some Quest bars and Larabars, but I kinda like homemade better, so these are definitely going on the “to-bake” list! :)
    And heck yes to that gloious nutzo stuff– I’ve always wanted to try it but could never bring myself to forkin over that much cash for a jar haha Maybe I’ll have to finally break down and get me some ๐Ÿ˜‰
    BAhahahaha and that pinterest pic is SO true!! Happens to me every. single. time.
    Hope you had a safe trip! <3 Love ya girl!

  • Min @ savortherainbow

    Nut butters…It seems like the must-try newbies pop up everyday to contribute to the larger than life collection..How thoughtful of them..sniff my wallet is def crying..BUT my tastebuds are dancing!!
    I actually purchased a vitamix (love it!!) and have been making my own butters. Quite fun! My favorite has been the almond butter with nutella! Spread the love on banana before a workout and YUM!!!
    My fav protein bar is Pure Protein Revolution. It has to be the chocolate peanut caramel flavor! 20g of protein per bar? sounds good to me!

    Hope you made it home safely!

  • Meg

    Oh sis! I couldn’t have been more happy to read this post :) You are always so positive and full of energy!!!!!!!!!!!! <3 So lucky to have you as my sister :)

    I am so happy you bought some nut butter for yourself, sis :) You have been wanting to splurge for a while now ๐Ÿ˜‰ In your next email you must go into great detail about how delicious the razzle dazzle is :) You know I love raspberries ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks for sharing a recipe :) I WILL be making this! Most definitely! It is one of my July goals to make more blogger recipes :)

    I grew up on Dungeness crab too, sis! SEE we truly ARE sisters aren't we!? HAHA. That's way too funny! Looks like you had a blast with the girls ๐Ÿ˜‰ Wish I were there <3

    My favourite protein bar is the simply bar :) The most protein in a bar that I have found and they taste great, too :) Not even lots of sugar ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Anonymous

    gahh i want to try that nutzo so bad too, espc after seeing it in a whole foods here recently….butttt idk if i can bring myself to pay the $18 (!) for it….YET lol.

    so tell me….HOWISIT??!

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