Blueberry Superfood Granola Bites

When you are following a restrictive diet (maybe you are gluten-free, vegan or diabetic), it can be hard to find snacks that are healthy, taste good and are easy to take on the go. I used to buy all kinds of granola bars, dried fruit snacks, protein bars, etc. But eventually I found out I was spending a lot of money on these packaged snacks when I could easily make my own. Not only is it healthier to make your own tasty treats, but it's easier on the wallet too! These superfood granola bites only took 15 minutes to make and before I knew it, I was munchin' away on some tasty bites!

The best thing about these bites is they are brimming with fiber! That's right, brimming! I know there are health foodies out there who get excited about fiber too. The oats provide soluble fiber which gives you that “full” feeling while dates and dried blueberries provide insoluble fiber, which helps regulate a healthy digestive system and adds bulk to your diet.

The almonds add protein (21 g per 100g!), and provide tons of magnesium, iron and calcium, not to mention healthy fats and fiber. You can choose any nut you like; cashews and macadamia nuts, however, tend to be higher in fat than most nuts, so keep this in mind if you’re watching your fat intake.

Flaxseeds are amazing for getting your intake of omega 3 fatty acids and are also extremely high in magnesium, which is essential for nerve transmission, bone formation and blood pressure regulation. If flaxseeds weren't enough, chia seeds also provide omega 3 fatty acids, which we all know are paramount to maintaining proper brain health.

These superfood bites are like a healthy version of a blueberry muffin and would be great with coffee or alongside a big glass of almond milk... Pop a few in your bag and you're set for a day of healthy snacking!

If you are without a food processor, do not fret! It is possible to make these without one (see below for instructions).

2 cups large oats

1/4 cup flaxseeds

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 cup raw almonds (or other assorted nuts)

Sea salt

1 cup honey dates

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

2-3 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

1/3 cup chopped dried blueberries

Food processor method: Combine almonds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, oats and sea salt in a food processor. Process until coarsely ground. Add in dates, maple syrup, vanilla and process for a minute or so or until dough starts to form. Add in dried blueberries and coconut oil, process about 30 seconds or until dough is completely formed.

Blender method: Combine oats, flaxseeds, chia seeds, almonds and sea salt in blender. Blend until coarsely ground, set mixture aside in a bowl. Combine dates, vanilla and maple syrup in blender with 2-3 tbsp. of boiling water. Blend until a paste forms (you may need to add more hot water depending on the power of your blender). Add date paste to bowl of coarsely ground dry ingredients, add coconut oil and dried blueberries, and then stir to combine.

With dough: Portion out 1.5-2 inch balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a glass, press down slightly to form disc. Cool in refrigerator or freezer. Makes 25-30 bites. Store in a sealed bag or container in the fridge.

Photo Credit: "superbites5" by Jaclyn Enchin is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Resources:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3163/2

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3085/2

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002136.htm

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