America is the “snack nation” don’t you think? Just walk down any aisle at the grocery store and see the abundance of cookies, crackers, chips, trail mixes, protein drinks, protein bars and so on. I believe we snack so much because we are not getting enough nutrients, vitamins and minerals from our meals so a few hours later we’re hungry again. Really, if you’re eating enough of all the right stuff at mealtime then you should easily be able to go without eating for 3-4 hours. And, this coming from a girl who never misses a meal.
Now there are those who would argue that we need to eat six small meals a day and I subscribe to that theory too for the most part, but I’m a realist and I know that people, in general will not take the time to plan out, make and pack food for three of those six small meals while you are out and about and at work. You know what I mean?
So I’ve come up with a snack/energy bar that has good fats, carbohydrates and protein and will nip that hunger in the bud. This is a recipe that I came up with for the men we are serving down at the Nashville Rescue Mission. I’m happy to report that this “bar” recipe is now being served as a part of their breakfast which also includes a veggie/egg casserole and a side of whole grains with real butter! Very exciting times in the kitchen at the Mission and for all the guests…to say the least!
We all know that packaged snacks are expensive so by making your own you save money and know exactly what you’re putting into your body! These bars are super easy to make. Have fun with it and use other dried fruits if you like and a variety of nut butters and seeds. Get wild and add in half a cup of plain (no sugar) grated coconut which you can find at a health food store. This recipe is very forgiving.
Pack one up in your child’s book bag for an afternoon snack with an apple or banana and throw one in your purse for when you’re out running errands and you start to get hungry. The main goal is to keep our blood sugar level stable throughout the day and the only way to do that is with food, glorious food!”
So check out the photos and the recipe down below and get in that kitchen and start cooking! And, get the kids to help…such a great recipe in which to involve them.
What kind of real food, nutrient-dense snacks are you eating on-the-go these days?
SEEDY NUT BARS
Yield: 16 2-inch square bars
1 cup raisins, soaked and drained
½ cup raw sunflower seeds
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 ½ cups almond butter or peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
¼ teaspoon sea salt (or ½ teaspoon if nut butters have no added salt)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Heat the oven to 350°F
- Grease 8×8 inch pan well with coconut oil or butter.
- Place the raisins in a small bowl and pour one cup of hot water to cover and let sit for 10 minutes, then drain well.
- Place sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and drained raisins in food processor and run for 30 seconds with the “S” blade.
- In a medium bowl add the nut butter, honey, eggs, sea salt and cinnamon. Slowly blend together with a hand mixer. Once well mixed, add in seeds and raisins and continue to use hand mixer until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Spread the dough out evenly into baking pan and press down making sure there are no air pockets…use your hands if need be.
- Bake for about 25 minutes until the edges start to brown.
Upon removing from oven run a knife around the edges to prevent sticking.
Cool completely, cut and serve. Can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.