Oat Almond Butter Bars. Vegan. Gluten free.

Oat almond granola bars.  Vegan. Gluten Free.
Oat almond butter bars. Vegan. Gluten Free.

Happy Hump Day people!  How’s the week going for you?  Pretty eventful here.  Booked a big surprise vacation.  Mid term exams happening for my oldest. Swim meet last night.  Anxiety and stress eating are in full swing for her.  The weather is slightly, slightly… warming up.  It gives me hope for spring, which cannot come soon enough.

I created this recipe for my oldest daughter so that she can snack and get good nutrition for optimum function for both her tests and for swimming.  Healthy fats and proteins are necessary for proper brain function.   I’m always so distraught when people avoid healthy oils and fats…. they are needed by the body.  Healthy fats serve three main functions: provide energy.  Some types of vitamins rely on fat for absorption and storage. Vitamins A, D, E and K, called fat-soluble vitamins, cannot function without adequate daily fat intake. These vitamins are essential parts of your daily diet. Fat cells, stored in adipose tissue, insulate your body and help sustain a normal core body temperature.  So in moderation, healthy fats are imperative.

Ingredients:

1 cup of pitted Medjool dates
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1/4 cup Justin’s maple almond butter
1.5  cup toasted gluten free rolled oats (I used Bob’s Redmill)
1/4 cup of sesame seeds
1/4 cup of sunflower seeds
1/2 cup of slivered almonds
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1/8th teaspoon of salt

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Line your 8×8 pan with parchment paper to overlap the sides.  Then add your pitted Medjool dates to your food processor.  Process until it looks like this:

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Set your oven to 375 degrees and toast the rolled oats, seeds and nuts for about 10 minutes until golden.

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In a microwave safe bowl, add your syrup and almond butter and melt for about 35 seconds or on your stovetop until you can whisk together.
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Add this mixture, Medjool dates and the remaining ingredients to your stand mixer with the paddle attached.  Blend until combined. Press into your prepared pan until evenly distributed throughout.  I use a piece of plastic wrap over the top and roll glass over the mixture to press it down evenly.   Turn the oven down to 325 degrees.

Optional:  You can top with mini chocolate chips (vegan) or nuts etc. Press that down firmly into the dough.  Bake for 25 minutes. Remove and let cool completely before slicing.  Store in airtight container.  Enjoy!

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Cut these into thinner bars and wrap them up with some cute twine and share with a friend or neighbor.

fitness_update

 

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Workout day number 3 this week.  At the gym.  I have been working on balancing and core a lot this month.  Lots of crunches, leg raises, sit ups and weights.  I enjoyed every minute of it.  Running recap:

Sunday:  5 treadmill
Monday: rest day (ice storm)
Tuesday: 6 miles outside
Wednesday: 5 miles/weights/core

Lots of miles left to go for the week.

That’s it from here folks.  Make it a fantastic day!

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— Knead to Cook

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