Tasty Nut Butter Bars
Are there some recipes you can’t imagine living without? I hope this turns into one of your go-to snacks and breakfast alternatives!
These bars are a great alternative to buying bars at the store. Ever look at the ingredient label on your favorite energy bar? Chances are there’s more than one ingredient you can’t pronounce or don’t really know what it is. Some of those additives can lead to digestive issues like bloating or can be sugar in disguise. Avoid the packaged foods and try these instead! They are easy to throw together on a Sunday for a grab-n-go breakfast during the week. I’ve found that most people like them, so we bring them on family trips with friends.
Nut and seed butters are a fantastic way to get healthy fats into your diet and are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. Monounsaturated fats are paramount to a well-rounded diet. Fat is amazing because it makes food taste DELICIOUS and keeps us full because it slows down the absorption of carbohydrates into our systems, keeping our blood sugars even and our brains satiated. In fact, did you know that your brain comprises mostly fat?!
Some of my patients who try to eat more healthfully skimp on the fat. Ever eat a sad-looking salad with only vegetables and notice that you’re hungry, like, thirty minutes later? The secret to satiety is fat. In fact, at least 30% of your daily calories should be from fat.
I find nut and seed butter to be especially helpful in keeping my kids full. If I make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for them, it’s more nut butter than anything else. This healthy amount of fat signals to their little brains that they are full, and that gets them out of the kitchen and back to their play.
In addition to fat, nut and seed butters are also nice sources of plant-based proteins and fiber. So, really, aren’t they just the complete package of goodness?
If you’re struggling with your weight, go easy on these bars. Even though they are healthy, they aren’t a license to eat the whole pan. Have a bar and savor each bite. Ask yourself if you’re satisfied. Listen to that little voice in the deepest part of your belly that says, “Yes! Even though I could eat 15 of these bars, I’m really satisfied!” Then drink a glass of water or cup of hot tea and move on with your day!
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup flax seeds
½ cup nut or seed butter (almond, cashew, peanut, sunflower, etc.)
½ cup soft coconut oil
1 tsp salt (optional, use if nut or seed butter is unsalted)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp honey
½ cup dried figs or Medjool dates
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp ground cardamom
¼ cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds
¼ cup raw unsweetened coconut
For kids: make "peanut butter + jelly bars" and add some fresh all-fruit preserves on top
1. Blend the nuts, seeds and nut butter in a food processor until slightly chunky.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend to desired texture.
3. Place into a 8x12 inch casserole dish, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds for crunch, and pat them down (until they stick!).
4. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours, then cut into bars.
5. Store in container separated by parchment paper between layers. Best within eaten within 1-2 weeks.
6. If carrying around, recommend wrapping individually to keep the ingredients bound together.
Store in freezer to make handling easier for little paws!