6 medjool dates, soaked
1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks
1 tbsp cinnamon
Soak dates in water for a few hours, pour off water and save to add to dry mixture. Cut dates in half and remove pits. Pour dates into a food processor and blend until smooth. Except for the shredded coconut, mix together remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour date paste over the dry ingredients. Stir together until paste is fully incorporated and mixture is sticky. If too dry, add date water, one tablespoon at a time, until sticky texture is reached. Spread into a shallow glass dish, and sprinkle coconut on top. Move to the refrigerator to let the bars solidify. Cut into bars and wrap individually with plastic wrap. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to two weeks. Makes 6-8 bars.
Besides being amazingly easy to put together, this snack recipe has a lot of other benefits too. Walnuts have been shown to slow down cancer growth, and cranberries are a tried and true antioxidant. Protein and whole grains in the oats give you long-lasting energy. Organic dark chocolate chips satisfy your sweet tooth and serve as an antioxidant and decrease the risk of cardiovascular problems. Dates provide natural sweetness and are known to reduce inflammation. Lastly, coconut contains healthy fats and promotes healthy skin.
Enjoying easy-fix snacks like these Cranberry Walnut Energy Bars help train your body to start craving the right foods – the ones that are good for you!
Recipe credit: Aubrey Mast, MPH, certified health coach and a nutrition associate with North Carolina Cooperative Extension at the NC State University Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI).
Check out Aubrey on WCNC Charlotte Today where she introduced these Cranberry Walnut Energy Bars.