I do a pretty good job preparing healthy meals for when my family sits down to eat breakfast and dinner together. Where I fall short is healthy fast-food ideas for when I am on the go—which is basically EVERY SINGLE DAY. So, I reached out for some help from Andrea Nakayama
, my functional nutritionist guru. I asked her to develop some recipes I can easily make at home to replace packaged bars, baked goods, chips, and processed snacks that are my downfall when crunched for time. After a couple of tests with my kids and husband, we landed on our very own nutrition bar I am pleased to share with you. We even gave it a name. Meet the barre3 barre!
What it does for you:
At barre3 we like to keep a healthy balance with our bodies and with our food intake. We do this by including a combination of our favorite food trio whenever we can: fat, fiber and protein. These bars contain all three! There are healthy fats, fibers and proteins in the nuts, seeds and the coconut. So with one simple bar, you’ve got your bases balanced.
The beauty of consuming our favorite food trio (fat, fiber and protein), is that you will stay fuller longer, recover from your workouts more easily, and avoid those energy and mood dips that can make you a slave to the bakery. Eating a bar like my barre3 bar, about 30 minutes after your workout, will also help you to burn more fat and build more muscle. It’s in this timeframe (30 minutes after your workout), that your muscles are hungry for the protein that will maximize their strength and endurance.
Why it’s better than store bought:
1. Healthier. Our bars contain none of the ingredients that we try to avoid to stay in our best health, have glowing skin and age with grace. They contain no trans fats. No high fructose corn syrup or refined sugars. No artificial flavors. No preservatives. When we make our bars at home we get to choose the quality of the ingredients.
2. Less Expensive. Homemade treats and snacks are definitely cheaper than the packaged, individually wrapped store-bought variety, especially when you have a stocked pantry full of healthful ingredients.
3. More Variety. You can really adapt these to your taste buds and work with what you have on hand. Note your favorite combination or play with variations each time you whip them up. Have fun experimenting in your kitchen!
These bars are so easy to make you can whip them up within minutes. They don’t need to bake and all you need is a glass dish and a food processor.Feel free to adapt the recipe to suit your needs. Sample before pressing into the dish and adapt anything to taste.
6 dates, pitted
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1⁄4 cup sunflower butter or almond butter
1⁄4 cup goji berries (raisins work too)
1⁄4 cup shredded coconut flakes
1⁄4 cup ground flax
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
A couple pinches of sea salt (unless sunflower or almond butter is salted)
1 cup almonds
Handful of cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips (I prefer cacao nibs)
1 . Place the pitted dates and coconut oil in the base of your food processor. Add the seed or nut butter. Whirl these three ingredients until blended.
2. Add the goji berries or raisins, the coconut flakes, the ground flax, the cinnamon and the sea salt and whirl in the food processor again, until the mixture is well incorporated. It’s okay if it’s a bit more chunky at this point.
3. Add the almonds and the cacao nibs or chocolate chips and pulse your food processor until you have a chunky mass that looks like cookie dough.
4. Scoop dough-like mixture into a 8×8 glass container and press the mixture down with the back of a spoon.5. Store in the fridge for at least one hour to harden. Cut into bars to grab-and-go to your barre3 class and store extras in the refrigerator.
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