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Feel Fuller AND Healthier by eating this delicious snack ~

Enjoying convenience AND Health too !

Enjoying convenience AND Health too !

Hi Folks,

As my friends and I chatted in the park after some morning exercise and Tai Chi our conversation got around to ……

What food is convenient AND healthy too !

Well, that was the beginning of a long conversation, so I’ll save you the time to tell you the food we agreed on.

Folks, what if we told you that eating just 1 ounce of a food every day would curb your appetite, improve your heart health, steady your blood sugar, quiet inflammation, lower your bad LDL cholesterol, and make you happier? You’d probably say, “Wow! Where can I get some? Just please don’t say it’s liver.”

It’s something we bet you love: nuts. Specifically, we’re talking about walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts, skins and all. (Like the skin on apples and pears, the skin of nuts are also packed with good nutrition too !)

You Get More for Less
One is the don’t-worry-be-happy part. Even though nuts (especially walnuts and almonds) have been studied extensively, this is the first evidence we’ve seen that they increase the feel-good chemical in your brain called serotonin.

Second is the small amount of nuts needed. Up until now, most health benefits from nuts have been tied to eating 2 ounces daily. But 2 ounces of nuts averages 400 calories, and adding 400 calories a day can quickly add up to 1 pound a week. It’s easier to slide 200 calories into your daily diet: Skip one slice of bread, another of cheese and you’re there.

How much is an ounce of nuts? The easy answer is a fistful. But if you’re as precise as weather forecasters are not, it’s 12 hazelnuts, 14 walnut halves, or 24 almonds.

One of my personal favorite recipes is this one I pack with me quite often when hiking or traveling.

 

Honey Almond Power Bar

Honey Almond Power Bar

Honey Almond Power Bar

Great for breakfast on the go! Golden roasted nuts, seeds and oats are enveloped by flavorful almond butter in these delectably chewy, no-fuss energy bars. Unrefined turbinado sugar adds a deep caramel undertone. Feel free to use light brown sugar instead. Bars stored at room temperature will be softer than those that are refrigerated.

 

This makes 8 bars and only takes an hour to have a delicious and healthy treat.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds, preferably golden
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened whole-grain puffed cereal (see Note)
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup chopped golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup creamy almond butter (see Note)
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar (see Note)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square pan with cooking spray.
  2. Spread oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and sesame seeds on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the oats are lightly toasted and the nuts are fragrant, shaking the pan halfway through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add cereal, currants, apricots and raisins; toss to combine.
  3. Combine almond butter, sugar, honey, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low, stirring frequently, until the mixture bubbles lightly, 2 to 5 minutes.
  4. Immediately pour the almond butter mixture over the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon or spatula until no dry spots remain. Transfer to the prepared pan. Lightly coat your hands with cooking spray and press the mixture down firmly to make an even layer (wait until the mixture cools slightly if necessary). Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes; cut into 8 bars.

TIPS & NOTES

  • Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month; thaw at room temperature.
  • Ingredient notes: For this recipe, we like unsweetened puffed multi-grain cereal, such as Kashi’s 7 Whole Grain Puffs.
  • Almond butter can be found at natural-foods stores and large supermarkets, near the peanut butter.
  • Turbinado sugar is steam-cleaned raw cane sugar. It’s coarse-grained and light brown in color, with a slight molasses flavor. Find it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets or at natural-foods stores.

 

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