Puffed Amaranth Bars: The BEST Bar!
This summer I explored different bar options for the kids as a time saver while I was recovering from surgery. I had lofty hopes of finding a budget-friendly bar that met all of my nutrition parameters and tasted good. I was unsuccessful in my search. The kids LOVED several of the bars and I would definitely splurge on them in the future for isolated treats. But, none of them were sustainable for four kids.
Hence, my search for another bar! This puffed amaranth bar is a fantastic fit!! It is SUPER easy to make, nutrient-dense, the kids LOVE it, and cost-efficient.
Health Benefits of Amaranth!
Amaranth is a gluten-free grain that is very high in protein! One cup of amaranth has 28.1 grams of plant-based protein!!
It is high in the essential amino acid, lysine, which helps metabolize fatty acids into energy and absorb calcium!
Amaranth is high in fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol and aid in bowel regularity.
It has twice as much calcium as milk.
Amaranth is the ONLY grain to have vitamin C, it is also high in vitamin E, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium!
Energy AND Nutrient-Dense11:00 am Snack
My boys eat lunch this year at 11:00 am. When they sit down to eat, they have about 20 minutes total to eat. I need to make sure they have both the energy and nutrients they need to have good focus and energy for learning for the whole day. A traditional “kid” granola bar may provide energy but lack nutrients. Over time, these nutrient deficiencies add up! Hence the need to consistently find nutrient-dense snacks to fill the lunch box!
Total fat: 7.8 g
Total carbohydrate: 10.6 g
Total Protein: 3.7 g
Fiber: 1.5 g
1 cup puffed amaranth 1/2 cup hemp seeds 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, finely chopped 1/2 cup dried cranberries, juice sweetened 2 tsp lemon zest 2/3 cup almond butter 1/3 cup honey 1 tsp real salt 1 tsp cinnamon
Putting it all together
Line an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat the almond butter and honey over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, add the amaranth, hemp seeds cranberries, pistachios and lemon zest.
Add the cooled almond butter mixture to the large bowl and stir well to combine.
Press the mixture into the prepared baking dish and press it firmly into the bottom. Make sure the top is flat and even and it is pressed out to the sides.
Refrigerate for 4 hours to set and cut into squares.
Store in the refrigerator for 5 days or freeze for longer storage!