Recipe and photos courtesy of: Love and Lemons
2015 is here and it’s time to stick to those resolutions we set for ourselves! We’re on the road to a healthier lifestyle and with that comes… healthy snacks. Say goodbye to the chips and dip and hello to these DELISH snack bars packed with protein, fiber, and cancer-fighting superfoods! Chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth, goji berries for energy, and chia seeds for an overall health boost, what could be better? The youth love them, we love them, and we think you will too!
Snack bars are a perfect grab-n-go food while you’re on the go throughout the day. This recipe satisfies your sweet tooth while giving you a health boost to keep your day going full force. Our favorite addition to this bar that sets it apart from other granola bars? Goji berries!!! Usually grown in Asia and Europe, these little guys are considered both an herb and a berry. They contain high doses of antioxidants, minerals, amino acids, and are loaded with beta-carotene. Beta-carotene and antioxidants are known to help fight off cancer-causing cells and should be included in our diets as often as possible.
Another tiny, but still important ingredient in this bar is chia seeds! Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably heard about these little seeds that people are using in everything from smoothies to salads, and hey… throwing them in snack bars is easy and super beneficial! Chia seeds contain high levels of Alpha linolenic acid, also known as ALA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid that is vital for human health. Foods like flaxseeds, hempseeds and soybeans supply a good amount of alpha linolenic acid, but chia seeds are the richest plant-based source of this essential fatty acid. Studies have been conducted that link higher levels of ALA and a decreased risk for breast cancer. Not only that, chia seeds are packed with essential nutrients like manganese and phosphorus and have big doses of fiber and protein. For such little seeds, there are so many amazing benefits!
Little in size but big in benefits! These bars take only minutes to prepare and are perfect to throw in your bag and chow down on when hunger creeps in. The chocolate pieces are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and goji berries will give you an extra energy boost to keep you on the go, all while helping to keep those destructive cancer-causing cells away. Snacking the right way in this new year is so much easier when we have treats like these!
- 1 cup regular rolled oats
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups crisp rice cereal
- ¼ cup goji berries
- ¼ cup pistachios
- ¼ cup pepitas
- ¼ cup toasted wheat germ
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- ¼ cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil. Coat foil with cooking spray; set aside. Spread oats in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until toasted, stirring twice. Remove from oven; let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
- Meanwhile in a small saucepan combine the maple syrup, peanut butter, brown sugar, coconut oil, and honey. Heat and stir over medium heat just until peanut butter and brown sugar are melted. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and salt.
- In a large bowl combine the toasted oats, rice cereal, goji berries, pistachios, pepitas, wheat germ, chocolate pieces, and chia seeds. Stir to combine. Pour maple syrup mixture over oat mixture. Stir to combine.
- Press oat mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until firm. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
- Cut into desired size bars and ENJOY!