Today’s post by Lauren Kelly Nutrition is the third in a series of posts about Sun-Maid dried fruits by our group of guest food bloggers.
These bars are not only simple to make, but they make the perfect, healthy snack on busy days. They are convenient enough to take them on the go!
Hello! My name is Lauren Kelly and I am a nutritionist, healthy food blogger and cookbook author. I am a busy mom of 3 little boys and I am always searching for ways to create quick and healthy snacks and meals for my family.
School has officially ended and although I love the lack of schedule and extra free time with the kids, I have less time to cook and prepare my healthy meals and snacks. Pair that with the fact that summer days are so incredibly hot, who wants to even turn their ovens on? This is why I created these healthy, no-bake blueberry bars. Simply put, I don’t have the time to bake and it’s just too darn hot to anyway.
I always try to plan ahead healthy snacks for my kids. Even though we don’t have the rigid school year schedule, my older two boys play travel baseball, which can get quite busy. I need to be prepared with convenient and easy snacks that I can bring along with me and my kids can eat it either in the car on the way to a game or in the dugout. I was making trail mix snack bags for a while which was a mixture of Sun-Maid raisins, almonds, puffed rice cereal and chocolate chips. They loved them, but they would complain that would spill the bags or they would just get tired of eating that all the time. I still make it for them, but I thought I could make bars for them to snack on.
It seems like everyone today is eating a protein or energy bar. I like them too, but many of them are marketed as healthy and they are really just glorified candy bars, loaded with excess sugar and unnecessary ingredients. Don’t forget how expensive they can be as well. I used all REAL ingredients in these bars and you won’t break the bank either!
These bars contain no added sugar besides the natural sugar found in the dates and blueberries and they are packed with protein (from the chia seeds and hemp seeds), fiber (from the chia seeds) and healthy fats from the coconut oil. These are also vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free. Have I sold you on these babies yet??
No-Bake Blueberry Energy Bars
Makes: 10 servings
1 cup oats
1 cup almond flour
1 cup Sun-Maid Pitted Dates
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
2 tablespoons coconut oil, room temperature
2 tablespoons water or almond milk
¼ cup unsweetened dried blueberries
¼ cup dairy-free chocolate chips for melting
- Place parchment paper in an 8 x 8 inch baking dish making sure to leave extra paper on the sides so you can easily remove the bars from the pan.
- In a food processor, add oats and pulse for 10 seconds until it turns powdery.
- Add the remaining ingredients except for chocolate chips to the food processor and pulse for a few minutes until combined.
- You might have to scrape the sides of the food processor to make sure all of the ingredients are combined.
- Pour mixture into prepared pan and flatten to make sure the mixture is evenly spread.
- Place in the freezer for 25-30 minutes.
- Remove mixture easily from the pan by lifting up the parchment paper.
- Slice bars into 10 rectangles.
- Place chocolate chips in microwave for 30-60 seconds.
- Drizzle melted chocolate over bars.
- Store in airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
See, I told you they were easy! I don’t know about you but I am all about simplifying life in the summer when my kids are home. And the beauty of these bars is you can add whatever fruit you’d like instead of the dried blueberries. I have also used dried apricots, raisins, cranberries and dried cherries. Get creative! And since they are so ridiculously simple to prepare, why not get your kids involved too?
I hope you enjoy these easy bars just as much as we did!
Lauren Kelly is a healthy recipe developer, food blogger and a Nutritionist. She doesn’t believe in deprivation and believes you can live a well balanced lifestyle while enjoying it at the same time. She’s written two cookbooks, The Everything Wheat-Free Diet Cookbook and The Greek Yogurt Cookbook.