Have you ever read the nutrition label or ingredients of a "health" bar? Well, if not, you should definitely start. Most of the ingredients in store bought granola bars will shock you. It's like an adult candy bar disguised as a healthy nutritious snack. So, don't be fooled by these so-called health bars. If you want something that you know is good for you, it is very easy to make them yourself. Fresh, tasty, and super good-for-you!
In these bars, I use only raw whole foods as ingredients. Almonds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, and dates, for sweetness, this bar is packed full of nutrients in every bite. Oh, and did I mention how delicious they are!? Talk about doing something good for your body.
You will notice that I like to use dates for a natural sweetener. Dates and date sugar has been proven in a study reviewed by Dr. Michael Greger M.D. as the most nutrient sweetener! Why? Because it is a sweet fruit used in whole form, and contains not only good health benefits, but also fibers that help digest the sugars more slowly and prevent sugar spikes. So, while dates contain a lot of sugar, the fibers help to maintain blood sugar levels. A range of sweeteners were tested and compared in this video analysis; brown sugar, agave, honey, maple syrup, dates, and more. Dates came out on top with molasses by a long shot! It's a great video to watch and I recommend everyone do so! Another perk, date sugar can be found at pretty reasonable prices. Big win!
Dates also help to bind the ingredients as well, so you get a great sturdy bar that you can tote around when you are on the go. So, what is not to love about these bars? The nuts and seeds are also good for multiple reasons:
- Chia seeds are a great source of calcium. Yes, calcium! Just 2 tbsp contain about 20% of your daily recommended serving. This amount also contains 4g protein and 11g of fiber!
- Flax seeds pack a powerful punch. Known mostly for their good source of Omega 3's, or good fats, but also containing high amounts of antioxidants and fiber.
- Pumpkin seeds are a great source of iron. Helping maintain energy. Also, 2 tbsp contains a whopping 8.5g of protein.
- Sesame seeds contain a high source of copper which is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Copper also helps to activate an enzyme necessary for building collagen and elastin, which provide structure and elasticity to bones and joints.
So, go on. Make these and try them for yourself. Let me know what you think, and be sure to write a review!
- 2 cups rolled oats (gluten free for GF eaters)
- 1/2 cup raw almonds, slightly chopped
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
- 2 Tbsp flax seeds
- 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup dates, pitted (~10)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup date sugar
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- Place oats, almonds, and seeds in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain. It should form a thick creamy consistency, with little bits of dates. Add blended dates into the mixing bowl of nuts and seeds.
- Heat water on stove until it comes to a boil. Add date sugar and mix until well blended. The mixture will be slightly thick creating a date syrup.
- Add date syrup and almond butter into mixing bowl. Use your hand, or a spoon, to mix all ingredients together ensuring to break the blended dates up and evenly disperse them into the mixture.
- Transfer mixture into and 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper. Press mixture down firmly so that they are less likely to crumble.
- Chill in the fridge or freezer for 20 minutes to harden.
- Remove bars from the pan and cut into 10 bars. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to two weeks.