Homemade Snack Bars

 

Prep time: 5 minutes   Total time: 1 hr    Serves: 8   Calories 199 per bar

Ingredients

1 cup nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts or pecans)
3/4 cup pitted medjool dates
3/4 cup other dried fruit (such as cranberries, all natural sweetened cherries, organic raisins, dried apricots or more dates)
Pinch of sea salt

Preparation

  1. Add the nuts to a food processor and pulse until they form large crumbs. Open, with the motor running, add the dates and other dried fruit to the food processor, replace lid.
  2. Process until you have a mixture that sticks together when you press it between your fingers.
  3.  Form the mixture into an 8-inch square pan lined with plastic wrap, cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for around an hour.  Cut into bars once chilled.
  4. Store the bars in the refrigerator for up to  3 weeks or in the freezer for  3 months.

Heart Facts:

The lowest-calorie nuts at 160 per ounce are almonds (23 nuts; 6 grams protein, 14 grams fat); cashews (16 to 18 nuts; 5 grams protein, 13 grams fat); and pistachios (49 nuts; 6 grams protein, 13 grams fat). Avoid nuts packaged or roasted in oil; instead, eat them raw or dry roasted.

Healthy Fat for a Healthy Heart. Dried fruit and nuts are also a high-Healthy fat snack, with about 5 grams of total fat per 1/3-cup serving. However, most of the fat in the mix comes from heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Nuts:  Besides being packed with protein, most nuts contain at least some of these heart-healthy substances: Unsaturated fats. It’s not entirely clear why, but it’s thought that the “good” fats in nuts — both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — lower bad cholesterol levels. Omega-3 fatty acids.

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