15 Jan 2013
In rolls the New Year. Usually you see a surge in gym memberships and well-intentioned resolutions to eat healthier and change your lifestyle at the start of the year. I suppose it makes sense after all the holiday eating that people are feeling the need to cleanse. Still, lasting lifestyle changes, I’ve found, are not often born of good intentions and drastic dieting.
Instead, the road to health is more successfully negotiated one step at a time.
For me, I can choose well intentioned food items and healthy meals, but what gets me down more often than not is the in-between times. Snacks are a difficult thing to manage, especially because they can seem inconsequential due to their small size or because you simply aren’t prepared for them, leaving you at the mercy of gas station counters, the nearest corner store, or the break room. Having a healthy snack on hand that will give you the energy to make it through a difficult morning or the long hours of the afternoon is one way to fend off the munchies and keep you far away from the vending machine.
A few nuts and whole grains to fill you up and provide staying power, and a bit of chocolate to tempt your sweet tooth is all it takes to create a food you not only want to eat, but one worth eating.
In addition to it being a new year, there’s a new face at the Attune Foods blog: mine. I’m a food writer, cookbook author, natural food lover, and a complete bookworm. I’m so excited to be joining the team. About me: Four kids call me “mom”, and my main food philosophy has to do with eating real food that is natural and teaching my kids to appreciate good food, too.
Sweet and Salty Snack Bars
YIELD: Makes 16 bars
DIET TYPE: Dairy-free
1 cup roasted and salted almonds
1 cup roasted and salted cashews
1 1/4 cups Uncle Sam Original
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel
8 ounces dark chocolate
Finely chop the almonds and cashews. Add the chopped nuts and the Uncle Sam Original cereal to a large heat-proof bowl. Stir to combine.
In a small saucepan, mix together the honey, coconut oil, and maple syrup and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture foams. Continue cooking for 30 more seconds, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the hot syrup over the nuts and cereal. Stir until the nuts and cereal are evenly coated.
Line an 8×8″ pan with parchment. Press the nut mixture firmly into the pan. Allow the granola to cool completely and harden.
When the granola layer is hardened, melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Remove the parchment and bars layer from the pan, and line the pan again with a second piece of parchment. Pour the melted chocolate into the parchment-lined pan and spread into an even layer. Remove the parchment from the nut bars and set the bars on top of the chocolate. Refrigerate until chocolate is set. Cut into 2″ squares.
ShainaCheck out my latest posts here