You know that 4 p.m. slump where you want something sweet and decadent but don’t want to feel bad afterwards? Well I know just the thing, my mango oat bars. They’re sweet, nutty, and muy tropical, just how I like it.
I love cookies and cakes but eating that makes me feel like I MUST eat a salad for dinner. And I’m not down with that every day. It’s too much pressure.
Instead, I’ve switched out something bad for something really good. These health bars are truly healthy and they take no time at all to make. They have protein from the walnuts and fiber from the dried fruit.
More importantly, there is no refined sugar – just dried fruits, nuts, oats, and raw honey.
I really try to limit my refined sugar intake because my Puerto Rican side is full of diabetes. And since diabetes is a diet-related disease, I do what I can to avoid it at all costs.
But, it’s so hard. Bad sugar – high fructose corn syrup I’m talking to you – is lurking everywhere. The good part is, this bar has none of that shtuff.
That’s the great thing about making your own food, you know exactly what’s in it and you usually have more. And I like more…
Just a couple of tips about these bars and the dried fruit in them:
- Make sure to purchase dried fruit without any added sugar. Manufacturers love adding extra sugar to these things and it’s not necessary at all.
- Touch the bag, if they feel rock hard, your bars will be rock hard. That’s no bueno so make sure the dried fruit is pliable and soft.
To make these bars extra protein-y, you can always add some protein powder. Either way, they really hit the spot. They’re perfect paired with that much needed second or third (don’t judge) coffee.
The only difficult part about these treats is having to wait for them to set in the freezer. I guess you could eat them straight from the bowl but you may end up with fewer bars. Not saying that’s ever happened to me though…
- • ¾ cup dates (about 5-7), pitted
- • ½ cup dried apricots (about 10 pieces), chopped
- • ¼ cup dried mango (about 4 large slices), chopped
- • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- • 1 tablespoon raw honey
- • ¾ cup walnuts, chopped
- • 1¼ cup old-fashioned oats
- • 8 thin strips of dried mango (from approx. 2 large pieces)
- Place the dates, dried apricots, dried mango, salt, and honey into a food processor and blend until it forms a ball. It should look like a thick paste.
- Add the walnuts and pulse until combined.
- Place the mixture into a bowl and stir in the oats until everything is evenly distributed.
- Press it into an 8 x 8 inch baking pan and freeze uncovered for at least 1 hour.
- Cut into 8 bars and garnish with strips of dried mango.