Almond-cranberry energy bites!

I’m sure you’ve seen aisles full of protein bars and yoga bars and similar “health bars” in supermarkets. Many of these bars are actually filled with extra sugar and fillers (inexpensive and low nutrition ingredients that form large part of the bar). Why buy them when you can make one at home in under 20 minutes!

Once you make your first batch the next time around you can play around with other ingredients like walnuts, peanut butter, dried coconut etc. If you are looking for an extra dose of protein then feel free to replace the cacao powder in this recipe with a scoop of your favorite flavor of protein supplement.

This is a super quick and simple recipe that requires little or no cooking (the roasting bit is optional but gives a nicer flavor) Its my go-to food when:
1. I need a quick energy pick-me-up between classes or meals
2. I’m craving something sweet after a meal
3. I’m on the move and I know its going to be a long gap between meals and I don’t want to starve and then binge

DIY energy barOne caveat though- this is a fairly high calorie food but packed with nutrients so its all good stuff just don’t go overboard 🙂
Some of the benefits of the main ingredients are mentioned below.
Almonds:
Almonds contain lots of healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E. The health benefits of almonds include lower blood sugar levels, reduced blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. They can also reduce hunger and promote weight loss.

Pumpkin seeds:
A 28g (1oz) serving of pumpkin seeds contain 7 grams protein, 13 grams of fat (of which 6g are omega 6’s), magnesium, Vit K, copper, zinc, phosphorus and fiber in significant quantities. Enough said!

Chia seeds:
These little seeds are currently every health freak’s favorite super food and with good reason! Despite their tiny size, chia seeds are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. They are loaded with fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and various micro-nutrients.

Gluten free Rolled oats:
Oats are technically gluten free however most regular supermarket brands are grown and processed along side wheat and cross contamination is always a possibility and thus are not considered gluten free. Online several brans of certified gluten free oats are available they are whole grain and taste and smell much better than regular oats. My go to brand in India is from Sattvic foods However if you are not gluten sensitive I guess regular oats will also do in the recipe. here are some of the benefits of oats:
Help Lower Cholesterol, Provide Filling Fiber, Help Improve Digestion, Increase Immunity, Have a Low Glycemic Score Compared to Refined Grains,Provide Trace Minerals like Manganese and Phosphorus, Higher Source of Protein Compared to Most Grains.

Dates:
Dates are a good source of various vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of energy, sugar and fiber. Essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc are found in dates. They also contains vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K.

Dried Cranberries:
Many of these phytonutrients offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer health benefits. Cranberries are a very good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese, as well as a good source of vitamin E, vitamin K, copper and pantothenic acid. However the commercial drying process reduces the amount of vitamins compared to fresh cranberries and adds sugar, so in this recipe I have used this ingredient sparingly.

Cacao powder:
Cacao can improve your memory, reduce heart disease, shed fat, boost immunity, and increase energy levels. Raw cacao contains nearly four times the antioxidant content of regular processed dark chocolate, 20 times more than blueberries, and 119 times more than bananas. Again my preferred brand is Sattvic Foods but you can buy your wherever you get it!
Cacao is not to be confused with cocoa powder! Cacao is the purest form of chocolate you can consume, which means it is raw and much less processed than cocoa powder or chocolate bars. Though cocoa may seem inferior to raw cacao, it’s actually very good for you (and less expensive) if you choose a variety without added sugars and milk fats or oils (i.e the unsweetened variety).

 

Source for information on ingredients from:
mercola.com
authoritynutrition.com
dailysuperfoodlove.net
organicfacts,net