Super Healthy Dark Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Cherry Breakfast Bars

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Chocolate cherry vanilla bars recipe

Hello there! I hope you all are having a GREAT week! Mine has been busy but awesome at the same time. I decided to get a little creative between work and trying out a new workout (blog post to follow).

I had been playing with the idea of finding some healthier options for the most important meal of the day, breakfast. I decided I wanted to make a super healthy breakfast bar. It is the perfect fit for my busy lifestyle. Since I am working two jobs this winter and trying to fit in, preparing healthy meals, and working out on top of that, something that I can grab on the way out the door is perfect for me!


Related: The Best Healthy Breakfast Ideas For A Healthier You! A Week Of Choices


I also wanted to create a recipe with simple ingredients that didn’t involve a lot of work. I wanted something I could whip up reasonably quickly on a Sunday night and not have to worry about breakfast for the rest of the workweek. I think it was a total success!

I chose to use these three ingredients:

Applesauce, cherry vanilla granola, and creamy peanut butter.

I also used a few other ingredients from my pantry.

Dark chocolate chips, homemade vanilla extract, organic honey and salt.

Here is the recipe, and if you prefer to make your cherry vanilla granola, the recipe is below:

  1. Preheat your own for 350.
  2. Line a brownie pan with parchment paper and spray it with cooking spray.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl mix together 1/2 a cup of applesauce, 2 tablespoons of honey, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/4 of a cup of creamy peanut butter.
  4. Then add 2 cups of cherry vanilla granola, a 1/2 a cup of dark chocolate chips and a few shakes of salt.
  5. Spread out the mixture evenly on in the pan.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes and then let them cool for about 15 minutes.
  7. Cut onto bars and enjoy!

Homemade Cherry Vanilla Granola

If you would prefer to make your own cherry vanilla granola instead of buying it from the store, it’s actually pretty easy to prepare at home. Just take the following ingredients:

  • 1 oz coconut oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup almond slices
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup dried and diced cherries
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Now, in a small saucepan over medium heat, you want to combine both the honey and coconut oil and whish so that the mixture is well combined. Once complete, take off the heat and let cool.
  3. Combine all the remaining ingredients besides the diced cherries into a large bowl and add the coconut oil and honey mixture. Make sure the oats are well coated.
  4. Take a large baking tray, cover with parchment paper, and then spread the mixture evenly.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, then let the granola cool and after adding the cherries and mix.

Easy peasy!

These bars are simple, nutritious, and fabulous! I’m pretty sure I know what I am having tomorrow for breakfast too!!!! Next time I have friends over for brunch, I think I will whip up a batch of these and send folks home with them as little favors. They are so easy to make and so tasty!

Dark chocolate for the heart
Many recent studies suggest that the flavanols in dark chocolate are good for heart health. For example, an article published in the journal Circulation states that a certain amount of dark chocolate showed significant improvement in blood flow velocity, blood clotting, and the overall circulatory system in heart transplant patients – all within just 2 hours. Conversely, patients who had received only a placebo showed no improvement.

Flavanols for health
Flavanols are naturally occurring plant compounds and belong to the flavonoid family. They are potent antioxidants that are also known to affect heart health positively. Flavonoids are also found in tea, red wine, and many fruits and vegetables.

However, the flavonoids responsible for the health benefits of dark chocolate also make the chocolate bitter. Therefore, most commercial chocolate manufacturers remove them. However, manufacturers are not required to label this removal of flavanols.

However, even if nothing is removed, adding a lot of sugar can negate the beneficial effect of the phytochemicals, at least partially.

Light chocolate contains a few flavanols.
To get in the health benefits of dark chocolate, there should be an average of 53.5mg of flavonoids per bar. A bar of milk chocolate contains less than 14mg, and white chocolate contains no flavonoids at all.

However, in principle, the health risks of sugar and fat in chocolate should also be considered in this context. So cocoa and its antioxidants are very healthy. But, of course, the little bit of cocoa in conventional chocolate cannot compensate for the adverse effects of all the other unhealthy chocolate ingredients. Traditional chocolate is therefore not suitable as a source of antioxidants. To enjoy the valuable ingredients of cocoa, the following three options are recommended:

1. raw cocoa smoothie
A Raw Cocoa Smoothie is a chocolate smoothie in powder form. On the one hand, it lacks the unfavorable ingredients of conventional chocolate. On the other hand, in the best raw food quality, cacao contains exceptionally rich elements in antioxidants, such as lucuma, maca, and acai berry. The chocolate smoothie is sweetened with stevia. Its creaminess comes from coconut milk, and its authentic flavor gives it vanilla.

The Raw Cocoa Smoothie is quickly prepared, mixed with water to a delicious drink, and suitable for all people with little time. The chocolate smoothie is also ideal for the office. A shaker cup or the practical Twister (a small battery-powered blender) will also do if there is no blender there.

2. homemade drinking chocolate
Homemade drinking chocolate made from cocoa and almond milk is a wonderful way to enjoy antioxidants from cocoa and all the beneficial properties of almonds at the same time. Drinking chocolate made from cocoa and almond milk can be prepared cold or hot and suitable as a snack, dessert, and, of course, an afternoon alkaline cake.

3. dark chocolate: organic or homemade
For fans of the traditional chocolate bar, there are also delicious, but at the same time, healthy alternatives. You can buy one in organic stores or – even better – make it yourself. The chocolate should have a high cocoa content (60-70%), be sweetened with small amounts of an acceptable sweetener (xylitol, rice syrup, etc.), and be prepared with the best fats (e.g., organic coconut oil, organic cocoa butter, and possibly a little white almond paste (makes the recipe meltingly smooth).

If you make the chocolate yourself, you can ideally also use homemade date syrup as a sweetener. To do this, squeeze out some orange juice and mix it in a blender with pitted dates until a syrup-like consistency is reached and now use this date syrup just like rice syrup or honey.

 

 

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