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Homemade Oatmeal Bars: High Protein and Fiber, Low in Sugar

In the quest for wholesome, delicious and nutritious snacks that support a healthy lifestyle, this recipe of homemade oatmeal bars is one to try. Crafted with attention to not only flavor but also dietary inclusivity, these bars are gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free, egg-free, and soy-free, making them an excellent choice especially if you are performing an elimination diet. This recipe is fantastic because we leverage the natural sweetness of whole dates and the nutritional powerhouses of oats and various seeds, these bars offer a satisfying snack that's high in protein and fiber, yet low in sugar. 

The Nutritional Spotlight

Before we dive into the recipe and begin crafting these delectable oatmeal bars, let's delve deeper into the cornucopia of benefits they offer. Oats, as we know, are a fantastic source of whole grains, lauded for their heart-healthy benefits and their capacity to provide sustained energy—a crucial aspect for maintaining vitality throughout the day. The addition of whole dates not only imbues these bars with a natural sweetness, thereby eliminating the need for added sugars, but also enriches them with fiber, vitamins, and a host of essential minerals, contributing to overall well-being. If you are performing an added sugar detox this is a great snack to have on hand. 

The real nutritional MVPs in these bars are the nuts and seeds. These ingredients are not just fillers; they're powerhouses of nutrition, packed with proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. But perhaps most impressively, nuts and seeds are rich sources of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Amino acids play a pivotal role in the body, from repairing tissues to supporting the immune system. More interestingly, they are crucial for the synthesis of neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that communicate within the brain and between the brain and the body.

Neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine are influenced by the amino acids we ingest. For example, the amino acid tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, often dubbed the "feel-good" neurotransmitter. Serotonin plays a significant role in mood regulation, and its balance is essential for emotional well-being. Similarly, tyrosine is another amino acid found in nuts and seeds that serves as a precursor to dopamine and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters that influence focus, motivation, and alertness.

By incorporating a variety of nuts and seeds into these oatmeal bars—such as almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and hemp seeds—we're not just enhancing their texture and flavor. We're also providing the body with a rich supply of these critical amino acids. The diversity of nuts and seeds ensures a more complete profile of essential amino acids, supporting not just physical health through tissue repair and muscle building, but also mental health by positively affecting neurotransmitter levels. This comprehensive approach to nutrition not only makes our oatmeal bars a convenient and tasty snack but also a smart choice for supporting both physical and mental health. These bars are always something I keep in my freezer along with Organic Pharmer's Raspberry Oat Bar to satisfy hunger cravings, and sweet tooth desires. 


low sugar snacks

What You'll Need

To prepare these oatmeal bars, gather the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole pitted dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and then drained
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond butter (or any other nut or seed butter of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts (such as almonds, walnuts), roughly chopped go nut free and add pumpkin or sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water or almond milk (as needed for blending)

How to make it

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking dish with parchment paper. Begin by pitting the dates and soaking the whole dates in warm water to soften them, which will make them easier to blend into a smooth paste.
  2. Blend the Dates- After soaking, drain the dates and place them in a food processor. Blend until you achieve a smooth paste, adding a little water or almond milk if necessary to help the process.
  3. Mix the Dry Ingredients - In a large bowl, combine the gluten-free rolled oats, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, shredded coconut, mixed nuts, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well to ensure an even distribution of ingredients.
  4. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients - Add the date paste and almond butter to the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly until everything is well coated and begins to stick together. If the mixture feels too dry, add a bit more almond milk or water until you reach a sticky consistency.
  5. Press and Bake - Transfer the mixture to your prepared baking dish, pressing it down firmly and evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden brown.
  6. Cool and Slice - Allow the bars to cool completely in the dish before slicing them into bars or squares. This resting period helps them set and makes slicing easier.

Serving and Storage

These oatmeal bars are perfect for on-the-go snacking, breakfast, or a post-workout boost. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or refrigerate to extend their shelf life.

The carefully selected ingredients in this oatmeal bar recipe work synergistically to offer more than just a quick energy boost. They provide a sustained source of nutrition that supports heart health, digestive health, and mental well-being, making these bars an ideal choice for anyone looking to nourish their body and mind with wholesome, plant-based foods. Embracing the principles of whole, plant-based ingredients, these homemade oatmeal bars are a testament to the fact that you don't need to compromise on taste to enjoy a healthy snack. High in protein and fiber, yet low in sugar, they offer a sustainable, energy-boosting option for health-conscious individuals and anyone looking to enjoy a delicious, guilt-free treat.

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