You know that pregnancy craving you get sometimes after lunch, when you want a little something? Something sweet and satisfying, but not too heavy or super-filling? One of these bars is the perfect little something to satisfy cravings until dinner time.
This recipe makes a huge batch (about 20-24 bars) so keep them in your refrigerator as a grab-n-go snack. No artificial flavors, sweeteners, preservatives.
It’s important during your to make sure you are sufficiently fueled throughout the day to prevent overeating later. If you find that you consistently overeat during dinner or get the munchies at night, you may need to bump up your caloric intake earlier in the day. This means having a more hearty breakfast and lunch and adding in healthy snacks between meals so that you don’t come to a meal feeling ravenous.
Choose snacks that sustain energy and digest slower, like whole grains and food with naturally occurring sugar. This is particularly important during pregnancy as many expecting moms are prone to gestational diabetes and are more sensitive to sugar in their diets.
If you find that you are feeling starved when you sit down for a meal, try to eat slowly and mindfully. Eating slowly is not easy when you are super hungry and super pregnant! Some ways to make this easier is to take smaller bites - smaller than you might think. Also try putting down your fork or spoon in between bites.
These bars certainly meet the criteria for an A+ snack. Here’s a rundown of the main elements:
Dates: Filled with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and natural sugars (glucose and fructose) to give quick energy. One date alone has almost 2 grams of fiber, which promotes healthy digestion.
Oats: Rich in minerals, B-complex vitamins, and amino acids to help your baby develop and stay healthy. This grain is slow-digesting, meaning it will keep you satisfied longer.
Figs: Lots of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients. One serving of figs contain about 50 times more polyphenol (a micronutrient used to fight cancer and other degenerative diseases).
Bananas: We all know about the potassium, but bananas also contain good amounts of vitamin B-6, fiber, vitamin C, and magnesium. Bananas also contain high amounts of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin and helps to improve mood.
Ingredients: (makes about 20 bars)
3 cups oatmeal
2 cup puffed cereal (I used puffed kamut)
½ cup chopped almonds
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 cup medjool dates
1 cup dried figs
1/2 cup almond butter
3 overripe bananas
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
Put all wet ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth.
Fold the wet and dry mixes together until there are no dry spots.
Press dough into 9 x 13 inch pan lined with parchment. Bake at 250 F for 50 minutes. Carefully flip bars onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 F until edges are golden (about 20-30 minutes). You can experiment with a higher temperature from the beginning, but this is just what I used. Cut into desired size and wrap in foil or parchment paper and store in the refrigerator.
Note: Experiment with different ratios and varieties of dried fruit, nuts, nut butter, and seeds. Customize it to what YOU like. Eating healthy is all about nourishing your body with foods that make YOU feel good.
All Original Content. Copyright Athena Byers 2015, All Rights Reserved.