Healthy “Snickers” Bars
This healthy rendition of the Snickers candy bar may not be as good as the real thing, but they are close! Made with 3 simple layers and only 9 hearty ingredients! Instead of loading your body with empty calories, sugar and artificial flavors that will make you feel lousy, try this guilt-free snack that actually contains hidden benefits.
The base of these “Snickers” bars are made with peanut butter, coconut flakes, hemp hearts and oats. Natural peanut butter is a good source of healthy fats, protein, carbs and fiber. Be sure to choose a peanut butter brand that is least processed to prevent added ingredients liked sugar and trans fat. Look for peanut butter that contains only peanuts and maybe salt. Coconut flakes are a good source of fiber and potassium. When choosing coconut flakes, make sure they are unsweetened. Coconut flakes are sweet enough naturally without the added sugar. Hemp hearts are a great addition to any recipe, adding substance and nutrients without compromising the flavor. They are a complete source of protein, providing all 9 essential amino acids – 1 tablespoon contains almost 10 grams of protein! They are also a great source of both omega-3s and omega-6s, which makes them important for heart health. Lastly, the oats in the base add extra fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. When choosing oats, it is best to buy steel cut oats, which are typically the least processed. Stay away from instant oats!
The filling is made with only 2 ingredients: medjool dates and coconut milk. Medjool dates are considered a superfood for many reasons. They are naturally a very sweet fruit, making them a perfect sweetener in many desserts and a great source of high-quality carbs and fiber. Coconut milk is a good source of healthy fats and is a great alternative to cow’s milk, which contains added sugars. You can also add unsalted peanuts to the filling. The peanuts add the perfect crunch to this recipe while also adding some plant-based protein and fiber. They are also an excellent source of biotin, which is essential for healthy hair, skin and nails.
This recipe uses coconut butter and cacao powder to make a chocolaty top layer. Coconut butter is a great healthy alternative to butter, as it is a good source of fiber and healthy fats. The saturated fat in butter can decrease your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, and thanks to the abundance of lauric acid in coconuts, coconut butter will not just decrease LDL levels, but can also increase HDL (good cholesterol) levels, providing you with an overall better cholesterol profile. Nevermind that lauric acid is also great for the skin. Note that there is a difference between cacao and cocoa powder. It is important to choose a high quality cacao powder, which is richer in magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium. Cocoa powder, although cheaper, typically contains unnecessary fillers and less minerals and antioxidants.