Summertime beach trips and travel plans mean finding healthy, portable snack options. Almond butter granola bars offer a great way to satisfy your hunger and your sweet tooth while getting a boost of energy. Two tablespoons of almond butter, the smooth paste made from the most widely ground tree nut, provides between 4 and 7 grams of protein. Almonds are also a healthy source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help make skin more lustrous, improve mood, help soothe the effects of dry eye disease, and aid in protection against heart disease. The fats in almond butter are considered “good fats,” and almond butter is particularly helpful for vegetarians seeking nonmeat protein sources. However, almond butter is high in calories, about 100 per tablespoon, so you want to be careful not to overdo it. This recipe for almond butter granola bars comes to us courtesy of Anjas Food 4 Thought. Once you’ve licked the last little bit of gooey deliciousness from your bowls and utensils, depend on Seventh Generation Natural Dishwasher Detergent Packs to clean the sticky remains.
ALMOND BUTTER GRANOLA BARS
1/2 cup almond butter
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/4 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup mixed seeds (eg. pumpkin, sunflower... whatever you have at hand)
1 cup rolled oats
Yields 12 bars
Preheat oven to 160C/350F. Line wide loaf tin with parchment paper.
In a small pot heat almond butter and mashed bananas. Stir gently until well combined. Set aside.
In a food processor, coarse chop the almonds, apricots, raisins and cherries. Transfer to a bowl. Mix in seeds and oats. Fold in the almond butter mixture. Press the batter into prepared loaf tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool before cutting into bars/squares.
Photo: Michelle Calabretta