3-Ingredient DIY Snack Bars: Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-Free
7 minute read
Convenient snack bars are all the rage today. These delicious treats are packed full of your favorite ingredients and the nutrition your body needs to stay healthy.
Choosing the right snack bar can be a challenge, though, because there are so many, and you don’t want to get one that ends up tasting like cardboard. You also don’t want one that is full of sugar and empty calories.
KIND bars are some of the best on the market, but buying them routinely can lead to the accumulation of some serious expenses. With this easy, DIY snack bar recipe, you can make your very own versions at home and save all kinds of money.
When it comes to snack bars and your health, less is more. The fewer ingredients, the better for you your snack items can be.
Staying clear of additives and preservatives, and using only natural ingredients, these homemade bars will work wonders on your health. The key ingredients of coconut and almonds not only provide delicious flavor but also important health benefits.
Antioxidant agents: As a great source for natural antioxidants, almonds help to scavenge free radicals from your body that can cause cell and tissue damage. Eating almonds regularly has been shown to reduce markers of oxidative damage, making these nuts one beneficial snack.
Magnesium: The high magnesium content in almonds can help to lower blood pressure, which protects you from a heart attack and stroke as well as kidney failure.
Many people forget the importance of magnesium as a part of their diets. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to high blood pressure, so eating almonds every day will keep this under control and protect your cardiovascular system.
Control blood sugar: Being low in carbohydrates but high in healthy fats makes almonds perfect for diabetics. The high amount of magnesium in almonds also helps to control blood sugar levels, protecting diabetics from dangerous sugar spikes and crashes.
Lower cholesterol: High levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol can contribute to heart disease, but eating almonds each day can help control cholesterol levels.
Eating almonds each day not only lowers LDL levels, it also maintains levels of HDL (good) cholesterol keeping you at a healthy balance. In addition to this, almonds protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation which is a precursor to heart disease.
Vitamin E: All vitamins are essential to your health and vitamin E in particular. As a fat-soluble antioxidant, vitamin E can protect you from serious oxidative damage.
The presence of too many free radicals causes extensive cell and tissue damage, which can lead to serious diseases. Fortunately, the vitamin E content of almonds helps to protect your cells from this damage thereby lowering your risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.
Curb cravings: Almonds are notorious for filling you up without weighing you down. The high protein and fiber content of these nuts keeps you feeling full for longer so you can avoid unhealthy snacking throughout the day.
Burn fat: Coconut oil specifically has the ability to burn calories and shed fat. With obesity being such a problem in the Western world, eating coconut each day seems like a delicious and effective way to lose weight and protect your health.
| Related: 9 Delicious Foods Low on the Glycemic Index |
Coconut also boosts your metabolism giving you more energy throughout the day and reducing fat storage.
Reduce your hunger: The best part of this snack bar is that both the almonds and coconut helps to curb your cravings, so you eat less. The fats in coconut oil are metabolized in a way that reduces your appetite; so on average with a snack bar like this, you will eat less throughout your afternoon.
Diabetic support: Coconut is beneficial to diabetics in that it slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream. You can take care of those sweet cravings with a little coconut each day and prevent blood sugar spikes that can be dangerous for diabetics.
Fight disease: The fatty acids in coconut contain powerful anti-microbial agents that give you extra protection against invading bacteria, viruses, and infections.
Brain health: The fats in coconut are medium-chain triglycerides which are metabolized differently to other fats. Because they break down into ketones, they provide efficient fuel for your brain, promoting optimal cognitive functioning and protecting your brain from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Heart health: Coconut contains heart-healthy agents that protect against high cholesterol levels. By keeping bad cholesterol levels low and providing good cholesterol, you maintain a healthy balance that keeps your heart safe from cardiovascular diseases.
Made from three simple ingredients, these snack bars are nutritious and easy to make. Preparation time is only five minutes and each bar only has about one hundred calories, making them the perfect treat for those trying to lose weight.
1 cup unsalted almonds
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Add almonds, coconut, and salt to a large bowl. Stir the mixture until fully combined and then pour maple syrup over this mixture. Fold the mixture until well incorporated and you have a dough-like ball.
2. Pour this mixture into the prepared baking pan. Using a rubber spatula, press down on mixture and smooth into a tightly-packed layer. Bake for 28-38 minutes to make sure that bars bake thoroughly. If not baked thoroughly, they will not hold together when cooled.
3. Allow to cool for 1 hour in the pan or on a cooling rack. While pinching opposite ends of the parchment paper lining, lift the bars out of the pan. Slowly peel the parchment paper off the bottom of the bars and slice into 12 bars.
The Bottom Line
This simple recipe is easy to follow, and you can always switch up the ingredients to include some of your favorite fruits or nuts. The three ingredients offer a host of essential nutrients to boost your health with every bite, and your taste buds will be happy too.
Fitting in with paleo, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free diets, these homemade bars are perfect for everyone. Your pocketbook will like them too.