Up level your snack game with these No-Bake Apricot Almond Coconut Energy Bars PLUS get our top tips for healthy snacking!
Today we’re talking all about snacking and sharing an easy recipe for No-Bake Apricot Almond Coconut Energy Bars. We’re also sharing tips to help you snack healthier and stop you from going elbow deep into a bag of Doritos or polishing off a sleeve of Ritz crackers at 4 o’clock in the afternoon.
Snacks should be nourishing, they should be energizing and should be ‘just enough’ to give your blood sugar and metabolism a little boost to keep you going until your next meal.Up level your snack game with @madeinnature No-Bake Apricot Almond Coconut Energy Bars! Click To Tweet
No-Bake Apricot Almond Coconut Energy Bars are a perfectly packable and tasty snack.
They’re quick to make, high in satisfying fiber & healthy fats, refined sugar-free, made with only wholesome ingredients and hold up nicely in the fridge for a good week. They’re also great for summer because no oven is needed therefore avoiding the possibility of any fights with the air conditioning. We love to wrap em’ in plastic wrap for an easy grab-and-go snack, pre or post-workout fuel, or toss em’ in a cooler or bag to enjoy as a ‘pick-me-up’ at the lake, the pool, the zoo, on a hike or whatever summer day activities we’ve got planned.
Let’s talk about dried fruit.
Have you ever seen dried fruit that’s ridiculously bold and bright or has added sugars as an ingredient (as if dried fruit wasn’t already sweet enough…)? To us, that’s a big red flag because it means that artificial colorings or sulfur were used to achieve the bright color and/or some form of sugar has been added for even more sweetness. No, thank you! We like all things natural, which is why we love Made in Nature products.
Made in Nature organic dried fruits are made with absolutely no added sugars, are naturally ripened and sulfur dioxide is never used as a preservative. Wahoo! It’s our dried fruit go-to that we feel good about putting into our body and recommending to you.
In addition to several kinds of delicious dried fruit like the apricots we used in this recipe, Made in Nature has a variety of tasty and healthy organic snacks we love like Figgy Pops, Nuts Fusions (try the Maple Balsamic flavor!), kale chips, and coconut chips (the Italian Espresso Coconut Chips…wowzer!). With so many options we know you (and your children) will find something to love.
Made In Nature Dried Fruit has nothing added, it’s just delicious, naturally ripened organic fruit! That means that you won’t find any added sugar, artificial preservatives, additives, or flavors. Click here to see where Made in Nature products are available.
Before we get to the No-Bake Apricot Almond Coconut Energy Bars recipe, we want to share with you our Top 5 Healthy Snacking Tips.
These tips apply to both adults and children. They will help you snack healthfully and in a way that is mindful and won’t spoil your dinner. We hear all too often from our health-conscious readers and clients that they do great with making healthy food choices during the morning hours and through lunch but then the 3-5 o’clock hours hit and the pre-dinner munchies, grazing and snacking begins. That’s why we’re here, to let you know that snacking CAN fit into a healthy lifestyle when done right and to share with you our very best snacking tips to keep you energized and satisfied in a nourishing way.
5 Healthy Snacking Tips:
- Have predetermined options (aka Plan ahead) – choose 3-5 healthy snacks to enjoy throughout the week. Having limited options makes choosing a healthy snack easier. When you’re feeling your tummy grumble mid-morning or when 3 o’clock rolls around and you’re losing your steam, choose one of the predetermined healthy snacks to enjoy. Feel free to change up your options each week. This is also fun for kids when you involve them in planning of the snacks for the week! Example of healthy snacks include No-Bake Apricot Almond Coconut Energy Bars, a homemade mix of dried fruit and nuts (or Nut Fusion from Made in Nature), raw veggies and hummus, apple slices spread with almond butter, a yogurt parfait made with fresh berries or a smoothie.
- Prepare your snacks ahead – prepare as much as you can ahead of time so that choosing a healthy snack is easy. Prep and chop veggies, make homemade energy bars/bites or trail mix, wash fruit, pre-package snacks, assemble smoothie bags to keep on hand in the freezer, hard-boil eggs, etc. Spending an hour or two on the weekend prepping foods will help you make healthy snack choices all week long.
- Keep it simple – there’s no need to complicate things! Combine single ingredient foods to create a healthy and balanced snack. Similar to meals, include foods that combine two of the three-macronutrients which are carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables and gluten-free grains, proteins such as hard boiled eggs and Greek yogurt, and fats such as nuts, seeds and avocados. Combining macronutrients makes for a satisfying and well-balanced snack. See snack examples listed in tip number 1.
- Read the ingredients – if purchasing packaged snack foods, ALWAYS read the ingredients. Be on the lookout for added sugars, partially-hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners (like aspartame, acesulfame and Sucralose), food dyes, artificial flavorings and any ingredients that you can’t pronounce. If you’re uncertain of an ingredient, it’s probably best to leave that product at the grocery store and look for something that you feel really good about. Remember, what you bring home is what you’re going to eat and/or feed to your family. Choose wisely.
- Timing – it’s like your mother always said, “Don’t spoil your dinner.” And we agree! We recommend spacing out your meals and snacks so they’re about 3-5 hours apart. This way you don’t fill the tank too much just before a nourishing meal and your body has ample time to digest what you’ve already eaten. When you graze all day long and don’t allow for adequate time between meals, your body is constantly in digest mode, which takes away from doing other necessary things like repairing and recovering from everyday wear and tear. In addition, it’s not idea for optimal blood sugar management. Spacing meals and snacks apart every 3-5 hours will keep your digestive health and metabolism humming!
- 1 ½ cups raw almond
- 1 cup (6 oz. bag) Made in Nature dried apricots
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut shreds
- 2 Tbsp. almond butter
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
- ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- pinch of sea salt
- 1-2 Tbsp. water (if needed – add 1 tbsp. at a time)
- For a citrus twist, add ½ tsp. orange zest and juice from ½ an orange
- Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor except for the water. Process on low speed for several minutes stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Ingredients will start to come together after a few minutes. If you feel the dough is too dry add 1 Tbsp. of water at a time and continue to process until ingredients start to stick together (see photo above for visual examples).
- Transfer the dough to the loaf pan and press down firmly into the bottom of the pan. Top with coconut shreds (pressing them lightly into the surface) then place the bars in the fridge for 30 minutes or freezer for 10 minutes.
- After chilled, remove bars from pan. Cut into 8 bars or squares.
- Store bars in refrigerator.
We’d love to hear – what are your top healthy snacking tips?
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Also, featured in this recipe – Pure Indian Food Spices.
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