Win/Win

Chia sangria energy bars: delicious and heart-healthy

By: Mandy Ashcraft
Photos by: Dustin Ashcraft

It’s date night! Medjool date night, to be specific. If you’re not familiar with the sweet fruit of the date palm tree, the chewy little gems are packed with essential minerals (highest in potassium, manganese, magnesium and copper), and are an excellent source of Vitamin B-6 and soluble fiber.

Blending them up with other delicious, nutrient-dense ingredients is a great way to work them into your diet. This recipe for a bright, fruity flavored blend of ingredients with the added health benefit of heart-healthy chia seeds and almonds is a total win/win.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup sliced almonds
10 pitted Medjool dates
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried apples
1 tablespoon ground chia seeds (or whole seeds for crunch)
Zest of 1 large orange
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1-2 tablespoons water (optional)

Instructions:

1/ Add all ingredients except water to a food processor or large blender, and blend until you have a thick, but chunky texture. Don’t puree it completely; you want to end up with a texture similar to that of a sticky granola bar.

2/ Slowly add water by the teaspoon if necessary for blending. Don’t exceed 2 tablespoons, or they will not hold their form when cut into bars.

3/ Place wax paper into the bottom of a standard loaf pan. Press mixture into the bottom of the loaf pan.

4/ Refrigerate overnight.

5/ Overturn loaf pan onto wax paper, and cut into bars or into bite-sized squares for snacking.

6/ Keep refrigerated.

For more information, visit www.mandyashcraft.com.

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