Superfood Granola Bars
I've been wanting to make some portable snacks for an easy grab n' go eat situation (which is always) but haven't had any time to do it. On top of working on establishing my nutrition practice, I'm managing a restaurant and working several odd jobs here and there to pay the bills. I seriously hope that the meme "good things come to those that hustle" is true or else I'm giving myself adrenal fatigue for nothing.
Bottom line-- I don't mind working hard it just requires a lot of energy, which is where today's delicious recipe post comes in.
In my world, granola bars are the healthy adult version of a candy bar as long as you're making them yourself! Store bought ones unfortunately tend to have a ton of sugar and other ingredients that have questionable nutrition value such as canola oil (highly processed and almost always from GMO sources) and artificial flavours and colouring. These ingredients make them a less than healthy option. Lucky for you, and your taste buds, making them at home is incredibly simple, requires ingredients you most likely already have on hand, can be customized with whatever goodies you want to add and they taste way better. I simply added a few of my favourite (and cost effective..read: CHEAP) superfoods to the mix to up the nutrition factor:
PUMPKIN SEEDS: Full of zinc, magnesium, Vitamin E and protein these humble seeds are superb for boosting immunity and providing a great form of plant based protein. Raw, sprouted pumpkin seeds are the optimum form to purchase as they will contain the most bio-available (meaning your body will be better able to use and absorb them) forms of their vitamin and mineral content
SUNFLOWER SEEDS: An amazing source of Vitamin E, sunflower seeds are excellent for helping your body maintain healthy blood pressure and overall heart health. Also bursting with B Vitamins and selenium they provide an excellent antioxidant boost. Like pumpkin seeds, raw and sprouted are your best bet.
GROUND FLAX SEEDS: Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, protein, iron and fiber, flax seeds in general are amazing for your gut and digestive health. They come in seed and ground form and while both are great for you health wise, they provide different benefits. Whole flax seeds are a source of insoluble fiber, making them ideal in helping promote regular bowel movements as the body doesn't actually break them down. When the flax seeds are ground, they release all of their other nutritional properties (vitamins, minerals etc) making them easier for the body to absorb. Always store your flax seeds in the fridge in a tightly sealed container as they are super sensitive to both light, oxygen and heat.
ROLLED OATS: While some may argue that oats AREN'T a superfood, I would be inclined to respectfully disagree. Oats, like flax seeds, are a great source of fiber. In fact they contain a powerful soluble fiber called Beta Glucan which has been shown to reduce LDL (or the BAD) Cholesterol, assist in regulating blood sugar and insulin response in the body and promote healthy gut bacteria. Not too shabby.
Hopefully this post will inspire you to whip up a batch yourself and try them! Let me know what you put in YOUR bars!