I love the idea of reaching for a quick protein or granola bar, but sometimes I don’t feel very confident in the ingredients of the ones I find in the store. I’m also educated enough to know that just because it’s organic, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s healthy. (If only it were that simple...)
So what’s the alternative? I have found a few great recipes over the years which I keep going back to, and I’d like to share them with you. Set aside a bit of time on the weekend to prep some healthy snacks, and you’ll thank yourself over and over again throughout the busy week. Don’t have time for this? Let The Wildflower Chef prepare them for you, or try some of my crazy-simple snack suggestions, listed below.
This summer, we took part in The Best of the Main Line event as part of the Barre3 Berwyn table.
The folks at Barre3 provided their awesome recipe for healthy snack-bars, and the Wildflower team prepared the bars for guests. Partnering with Barre3 was an honor, since they are focused on whole health and wellness, with a big emphasis on clean, pure foods.
This recipe is made of clean ingredients like dates (natural sweetener), almond butter (plant-based protein), ground flax seeds (healthy fats) and cinnamon (powerful antioxidant). You’ll love this recipe because it is decadent and tasty, but can keep you full for hours. Plus, they’re easy to throw in a soccer bag or backpack as a healthy school-day snack.
6 dates, pitted
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup sunflower butter or almond butter
1/4 cup goji berries (raisins work too)
1/4 cup coconut flakes, shredded
1/4 cup ground flax
2 tsp ground cinnamon
A couple pinches sea salt (unless sunflower or almond butter is salted)
1 cup almonds
Handful of dark chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life allergen-friendly chips!)
Place the pitted dates and coconut oil in the base of your food processor. Add the seed or nut butter. Whirl these three ingredients until blended.
Add the goji berries or raisins, coconut flakes, ground flax, cinnamon and sea salt, and whirl in the food processor again, until the mixture is well incorporated. It’s okay if it’s a bit more chunky at this point.
Add the almonds and the cacao nibs or chocolate chips, and pulse your food processor until you have a chunky mass that looks like cookie dough.
Scoop dough-like mixture into an 8×8 glass container, and press the mixture down with the back of a spoon.
Cool in the fridge for at least one hour to harden. Cut into bars to grab-and-go to your barre3 class, and store extras in the fridge.
Although a bit higher in sugar, these quick Granola Bars are a great dessert substitute, when you are craving something sweet. The best part is that you can swap in all different types of sweeteners, nut butters, and add-ins like orange zest, vanilla, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, or chocolate chips. So versatile!
QUICK GRANOLA BARS
Recipe Courtesy of The Minimalist Baker
1 cup packed medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter
1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
Process dates in a food processor until it forms a dough-like consistency.
Place oats, almonds and dates in a large mixing bowl - set aside.
Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8x8-inch baking dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily.
Press down firmly until uniformly flattened. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes.
Remove bars from pan and chop into bars (or 9 squares). Store in an airtight container for up to a few days.
My favorite no-brainer snacks: (require no refrigeration or heating!)
- Justin’s Peanut, Almond, or Hazelnut Butter packets with an apple
- Handful of raisins and almonds
- Pumpkin seed butter spread on rice crackers (add jam or honey, if desired)
- Seaweed Snacks (for when you want to stress-snack and aren’t really hungry!!)
What do you eat to stay energized as you dash from appointment to appointment, activity to activity? Let us know in the comments below!