Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be difficult when you're constantly on the go, particularly as your need for a snack kicks in. One solution is to stock-up on granola bars, which are both easily portable and satisfying but if you take a look at the ingredient list on most supermarket brands of this staple, you might be surprised. Most likely, you'll see many items you cant pronounce, plus copious amounts of sugar. Understanding that such empty calories can cause weight gain -- resulting in back pain and injury why not consider making your own granola bars with all-natural ingredients that your body can love?
With a bit of research, we found a great recipe for homemade, healthy granola bars from minimalistbaker.com. These snacks have just 5 ingredients and only take about 30 minutes to make, so it's easy to give them a try.
Healthy 5-Ingredient Granola Bars
Serving size: 1 bar | Calories: 217 | Fat: 8g | Saturated fat: 1g | Carbohydrates: 31g | Sugar: 19g | Fiber: 4g | Protein: 6g
1. 1 cup packed dates, pitted
2. 1/4 cup honey (maple syrup or agave nectar for vegan option)
3. 1/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter or almond butter
4. 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped
5. 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
Optional additions: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc.
- Process dates in a food processor for about 1 minute, or until small bits remain. It should form a dough-like consistency.
- Optional step: Toast your oats in a 350-degree oven until they are slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw.
- Place oats, almonds and dates in a bowl and set aside.
- Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
- Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8x8 dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily.
- Press down on the mixture with wax or parchment paper until it is evenly flattened on top. Cover it and leave it in the fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.
- Remove bars from pan and cut into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container in either your pantry or your freezer. Bars will stay fresh for a few days.
Try this recipe at home and let us know what you think! Remember that, no matter what you nibble on, you should always choose something that has roughly 150 - 250 calories and at least 5g of protein and/or 5g of fiber. That will ensure you get the maximum energy and satisfaction out of your snack.
Your spine health begins with YOU, so take control of what you put in your body. By reducing your consumption of inflammation-causing foods, you can help reduce your pain and improve your overall health. Of course, if your pain has lasted longer than two weeks with no significant improvement, then its time to call Dr. Chetan Patel at the Spine Health Institute. He can help you get back on your feet and back to a healthy lifestyle in no time.