Full of nuts and seeds (and plenty of healthy fats!) these Maca Cashew Coconut Trail Mix Bars are a delicious rest stop treat when you’re on a hike (or just in need of a quick and healthy snack!)

There is indeed a recipe for these Maca Cashew Coconut Trail Mix Bars below, but if this post could have an alternate title, it would be “Random musings since moving to California.” There’s been so much going on in this little brain of mine these days, so let’s skip the nutrition chat today in exchange for a little life update. Sound good? Great.

So.

I’ve been in LA for 2 weeks and 2 days (full details on the move here), and I’m half way through my 2nd week in my new job. For the most part, things have been going really smoothly. Don’t get me wrong – there are certainly a few challenges I’ve been dealing with, and I’m planning to share some of those with you next week. But in the meantime, a few of my favourite bits thus far have been…

My awesome new co-workers.

Talk about feeling welcome, loved and appreciated! I’d forgotten what it’s like to work in a smaller company where everyone can fit in the same room for weekly all-hands meetings. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to be my work family, and I feel so lucky to be in a place where everyone is so passionate about the same values and mission.

Last week we had a company-wide summer barbecue at the beach, complete with a water balloon toss, paddleboarding, kayaking and a tug of war. (I still have sand in the pockets of my shorts!) It was definitely a good week to join the company and I’m finding myself waking up every day, excited to get to know my teammates more. Of course, the work perks are also undeniably good – catered lunches daily, kombucha and cold brew on tap, endless smoothie making supplies, and plenty of opportunities to taste test new products. It’s no mystery why I got sucked right in!

Full of nuts and seeds (and plenty of healthy fats!) these Maca Cashew Coconut Trail Mix Bars are a delicious rest stop treat when you're on a hike (or just in need of a quick and healthy snack!) | Angela Simpson, Eat Spin Run Repeat | #glutenfree #chocolate #vegan

The weather, tropical greenery and the beach.

Nothing unusual here, so I won’t elaborate much other than to say goodbye, rain!

Furnishing my apartment.

My stuff is still en route and won’t be here until next week, but in the meantime, I’ve been working on furnishing and decorating my larger new space. I actually have a legit bedroom now, as well as a gorgeous large patio which I fully intend to turn into an outdoor oasis.

Pinterest has been an amazing tool to help me organize my thoughts, room by room, and I’ve found that shopping online for what I need (mostly via Amazon Prime) has been enormously helpful because I can physically be in my space to measure dimensions while I browse. This project is taking up most of my non-work time, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it and I’m pretty sure my visual-spatial skills are improving as a result. Things are starting to feel more home-like, and once I’ve got everything looking the way I want it to, I’ll share a little home tour with ya.

Full of nuts and seeds (and plenty of healthy fats!) these Maca Cashew Coconut Trail Mix Bars are a delicious rest stop treat when you're on a hike (or just in need of a quick and healthy snack!) | Angela Simpson, Eat Spin Run Repeat | #glutenfree #chocolate #vegan #adaptogens

In addition to the above, there are also a few things that have surprised me:

Not missing my car as much as I thought I would.

I can’t remember if I ever shared this, but I sold my car before leaving Vancouver after hearing that they were a nightmare to import. My goal was to find an apartment close enough to my office that would allow me to walk to work, and ideally, be able to walk to a grocery store, gym, and a few other essential spots too. That’s exactly what happened, which is pretty cool when I stop to think about it (or walk and think about it, which I’ve had a lot of time to do lately.)

Most people I’ve talked to here love living in LA, but if there’s one thing they complain about, it’s traffic. To be able to avoid it almost completely, as well as the costs – car insurance, parking, gas, maintenance etc – is pretty darn liberating. Admittedly, I know the novelty will start to wear off soon when I want to get out of the city for hikes and weekends away, and there are several convenient ways I can do that without owning a car. But for this initial couple of weeks, Uber’s been my favourite mode of transportation when I need it, particularly because all my drivers have been great. One in particular (with a truck!) recently told me to give him a shout when I want to go buy plants for my patio, and I will 100% be taking him up on that offer. Everyone needs to know a guy with a truck, and on behalf of the female population, if you happen to be one of those guys, I thank you.

Full of nuts and seeds (and plenty of healthy fats!) these Maca Cashew Coconut Trail Mix Bars are a delicious rest stop treat when you're on a hike (or just in need of a quick and healthy snack!) | Angela Simpson, Eat Spin Run Repeat | #glutenfree #chocolate #vegan #adaptogens

How freaking tired I am at the end of the day

Ok, perhaps not super surprising, but I’ve been crashing hard and sleeping like a rock every single night! It’s probably all that walking, paired with all the learning that comes with being a newbie at work. I wouldn’t trade it for anything though, and it’s been great practice for listening to my body and giving it what it needs. That could be more food, yoga, a less-intense workout, or an extra hour in bed.

Right, shall we get to that recipe then? I hope you’re in the mood for a nice coconutty, chewy, chocolatey treat – and one that’s legitimately good for you, too! These Maca Cashew Coconut Trail Mix Bars are great on-the-go fuel that can be made in big batches, wrapped individually and frozen until you need them. They’re perfect for summer hikes, and I also like to toss them in my bag before leaving the house in case of an ’emergency’. You never want to be caught unprepared, right?

Full of nuts and seeds (and plenty of healthy fats!) these Maca Cashew Coconut Trail Mix Bars are a delicious rest stop treat when you're on a hike (or just in need of a quick and healthy snack!) | Angela Simpson, Eat Spin Run Repeat | #glutenfree #chocolate #vegan #adaptogens

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Maca Cashew Coconut Trail Mix Bars

Full of nuts and seeds (and plenty of healthy fats!) these Maca Cashew Coconut Trail Mix Bars are a delicious rest stop treat when you're on a hike (or just in need of a quick and healthy snack!) | Angela Simpson, Eat Spin Run Repeat | #glutenfree #chocolate #vegan

Full of nuts and seeds (and plenty of healthy fats!) these Maca Cashew Coconut Trail Mix Bars are a delicious rest stop treat when you’re on a hike (or just in need of a quick and healthy snack!)

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 15 mins (+ freezing)
  • Cook Time: 0 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 10 bars
  • Category: snack
  • Method: no-bake

Ingredients

Dry:

  • 2 cups + 1/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup EACH pecans, cashews (I used Navitas Organics Maca Maple Cashews) and flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 3 tbsp sunflower seeds and sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • additional cashews, coconut and pecans for pressing into the top of the bars pre-freezing

Wet:

  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup natural organic almond butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the chocolate drizzle:

  • Your favourite dark chocolate, broken into pieces (about 1 cup of broken chocolate pieces.) I used Vega Maca Chocolate

Instructions

  • Line a pan (about 8×8″) with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Let the parchment hang over the edges so that you can use them as handles later. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the brown rice syrup, maple syrup and almond butter until warm and smooth.
  • Once the consistency of the wet mixture is thin, switch off the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry bowl, stirring well to incorporate and coat as much of the dry ingredients as possible.
  • Press the granola into the lined baking pan in an even layer, spreading it into all four corners. (It helps to use the back of a flipper to ensure the layer is as smooth and flat as possible.)
  • Optional: Press some extra nuts and coconut into the flat layer for extra pretty bars.
  • Set the pan in the freezer for 2-3 hours and allow the dough to firm up. (They’re easiest to cut when they’re semi/mostly frozen.)
  • When ready, slice into 10 bars with a sharp knife.
  • Melt the chocolate on the stove using a double boiler. Once melted, pour it into an easy-to-handle container. Drizzle over the trail mix bars and freeze again for about 15 minutes or until chocolate is fully set.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 1 week, or freeze in a sealed container. (I prefer to store them in the freezer and take one out about 30 mins prior to eating.)

Notes

For those wondering about the sweeteners: I’ve found that the brown rice syrup is needed in order to keep the bars holding together, and that using all maple syrup or all honey results in very crumbly bars! Therefore, unless you’re ok with trail mix bars that turn into more of a granola-like snack, I don’t recommend swapping out the brown rice syrup.

Full of nuts and seeds (and plenty of healthy fats!) these Maca Cashew Coconut Trail Mix Bars are a delicious rest stop treat when you're on a hike (or just in need of a quick and healthy snack!) | Angela Simpson, Eat Spin Run Repeat | #glutenfree #chocolate #vegan

Mid-week good-for-you sweet treat: Maca Cashew Coconut Trail Mix BarsClick To Tweet

Tell me… have you ever moved to a new city? What were some of the things that surprised you most about it during your first couple of weeks?

Full of nuts and seeds (and plenty of healthy fats!) these Maca Cashew Coconut Trail Mix Bars are a delicious rest stop treat when you're on a hike (or just in need of a quick and healthy snack!) | Angela Simpson, Eat Spin Run Repeat | #glutenfree #chocolate #vegan #adaptogens
Full of nuts and seeds (and plenty of healthy fats!) these Maca Cashew Coconut Trail Mix Bars are a delicious rest stop treat when you're on a hike (or just in need of a quick and healthy snack!) | Angela Simpson, Eat Spin Run Repeat | #glutenfree #chocolate #vegan #adaptogens
Full of nuts and seeds (and plenty of healthy fats!) these Maca Cashew Coconut Trail Mix Bars are a delicious rest stop treat when you're on a hike (or just in need of a quick and healthy snack!) | Angela Simpson, Eat Spin Run Repeat | #glutenfree #chocolate #vegan #adaptogens
Full of nuts and seeds (and plenty of healthy fats!) these Maca Cashew Coconut Trail Mix Bars are a delicious rest stop treat when you're on a hike (or just in need of a quick and healthy snack!) | Angela Simpson, Eat Spin Run Repeat | #glutenfree #chocolate #vegan #adaptogens