Whether it is a long day of travel, a big teaching day or refueling after a winter hike, snacks are an essential part of my everyday. If I fail to have snacks on hand, my blood sugar plummets and it is hard to maintain a clear presence. To stay nourished and at the top of my potential throughout the day, I have an arsenal of snacks at home, at the office and tucked in my day bag. Most store bought snacks are loaded with sugar so I am regularly on a quest to make the most nutritious snacks from the comfort of my kitchen.
These no-bake cherry-pumpkin oat bars are superb as they are power packed with whole food ingredients and low in sugar. According to a Huffington Post article, pumpkin is claimed to impressively boost vision, heart health, mood and the immune system. You could swap out the nuts and dried fruit I chose, for any variety that you love.
It is not absolutely necessary, but for best digestibility, I soak and roast the nuts and seeds as well as roast the oats. Given these are no-bake bars they are best stored in the freezer. I take a few of out of the freezer in the morning, placing them in a container or wrap, then toss them into my bag for the day. Within a short time, they will thaw and be ready to eat.
4 c oats
1/3 c almonds
1/3 c pecans
1/3 c hazelnuts
1/3 c pumpkin seeds
1/2 c coconut flakes
1/2 c dried cherries
1 c almond butter
1 c pureed pumpkin, fresh or canned
1/4 c maple syrup
1 tsp salt
- In a food processor combine oats, nuts, seeds, coconut flakes and cherries, processing until chopped.
- Add remaining ingredients, process until throughly mixed. If your food processor can’t handle so much mass, you can remove from the processor, and mix in a large bowl with your hands.
- Press the mix evenly into 9×13 glass dish.
- Place in the freezer for a few hours until it becomes a hardened bar.
- Cut into squares and store the bars in a airtight container in the freezer until a short time before you are ready to eat them.