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Meals to Heal - Recipe of the month (Yummy pic)


CindyA

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Dark Chocolate-Cherry Granola Bars

February is not only known for Valentine’s day, but it is also Celebration of Chocolate Month, National Cherry Month, and National Fiber Focus Month. We wanted to bring all these amazing things together and share a healthy recipe that you can share with your Valentine this year. No Valentine? Even better–you don’t have to share. store bought granola bars are not always as healthy as they seem, and often have tons of added sugar and artificial ingredients. Homemade granola bars are not only healthier but are also much tastier. This version is packed with fiber from chia seeds and oats, and protein from a variety of nuts and seeds. The combination of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate and dried cherries makes this the perfect, healthy Valentine’s day treat!

Ingredients:

• 1 ½ C rolled oats

• ¾ C packed pitted dates, quartered

• ½ C water

• ⅓ C creamy almond butter

• ¼ C chia seeds

• ¼ C sunflower seeds, roasted and unsalted

• ⅓ C coarsely chopped almonds, roasted and unsalted

• ⅓ C shredded sweetened coconut

• ¼ C coarsely chopped dark chocolate (or use chips or chunks)

• ¼ tsp sea salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Toast the oats for about 10-15 minutes until slightly brown and fragrant. Let cool and reduce oven to 325° F.

2. Soak the dates in water for about 10 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.

3. In a large bowl, combine seeds, nuts, dried fruits, chocolate, and sea salt.

4. In a small food processor, blend half the toasted oats (¾ C) into a fine, flour-like powder. Add the oat flours and remained whole, toasted oats to the rest of the dry ingredients and mix.

5. Combine dates in water with almond butter in food processor and blend until smooth. Stir into the dry mixture.

6. Line a shallow baking pan with parchment paper. Press the granola bar mixture into a ¼-½ inch thick layer. Press it in very firmly to prevent granola bars from falling apart after baking.

7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until firm and slightly brown.

8. Allow to cool completely and cut into bars or whatever shape your heart desires! You can wrap these individually and keep in the refrigerator or freezer to have on hand for a quick, healthy snack.

9. Share with someone you love and enjoy!

http://meals-to-heal.com/blog/a-recipe- ... nola-bars/

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