The ideal energy bar provides enough protein, fiber, healthy fats, and functional carbohydrates to fill you up and give you lasting energy. It should also give you a solid serving of essential vitamins and minerals. Rather than sifting through all the garbage bars out there to find one that actually delivers, get your hands messy and make one yourself. For this, we talked to nutrition expert Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of the bestseller Eat To Live Cookbook, and got him to share his awesome recipe for Orange Goji Bars.
Besides being delicious, these bars hit a nutritional home run: There’s 6.8 grams of fat in each 155-calorie bar, which comes from two nutritional powerhouses: walnuts and chia seeds. Both offer plenty of heart-healthy unsaturated fats, including the omega-3 fatty acid ALA, which your body needs to be able to absorb other nutrients. Walnuts and chia seeds also provide ample protein to satiate hunger, as well as iron and magnesium. Sesame seeds supply extra crunch and salty flavor without adding many calories. Whole-grain oats give the bars fiber, which helps you digest food properly so your blood sugar doesn’t spike and then crash, like it does after eating processed grains and sugary junk food.
Orange Goji Bars
Preparation time: 15 minutes
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dates, pitted
1 cup unsulphured dried apricots
1 cup goji berries
2 tablespoons unhulled sesame seeds
2 tablespoons ground chia seeds
2 teaspoons dried organic orange zest
In a food processor, blend oats until finely chopped, then add walnuts and process until chopped but not a powder. Remove to a mixing bowl.
Place dates, apricots, goji berries and 1 tablespoon water in food processor. Process until a large ball begins to form.
Turn into mixing bowl and add sesame seeds, chia seeds and orange zest along with the oat mixture and knead by hand until thoroughly combined.
Press into an 8 X 11 1/2-inch baking dish and cut into 15 bars.
Calories 155; protein 4g; carbohydrates 22g; total fat 6.8g; saturated fat 0.7g; sodium 25mg; fiber 3.5g; beta-carotene 191ug; vitamin c 20mg; calcium 35mg; iron 2.1mg; folate 16ug; magnesium 47mg; zinc 0.7mg; selenium 3.5ug