This pregnancy has been a bit different to my last one in terms of eating and food. With Olivia’s pregnancy I hadn’t yet changed my lifestyle (that came about because of her birth and was the inspiration behind starting this blog). So I was still a pretty unhealthy person, eating mostly processed foods and I was about 5 kilos heavier at the start of that pregnancy than I am this time. With Olivia’s pregnancy I craved Appletiser, strawberries, LCM bars and basically anything sugary and processed. Lollies were a daily feature – I even remember eating them in the middle of the night! Towards the end of the pregnancy I remember my husband going to the shops for a box of LCMs and Roll Ups and I ate both boxes in one sitting.
This time around I have been pretty relaxed with what I eat and have definitely strayed from my “normal” type of eating but am still wanting to stick to my “cleaner” way of life. I’m loving fruit of all kinds this pregnancy but have been wanting savoury more than sweet. In fact, apart from fruit and Flake chocolate bars, I’m only wanting savoury (anyone who knows me will tell you how odd this is!).
But when I need a snack for on the run, for Olivia, or just for a general healthy energy boost I found it’s hard to get it in savoury form. So I want to share this recipe with you because it packs a punch with the nutritional benefits yet isn’t overly sweet. I love these healthy energy bars because it’s easy to throw together and offers me plenty of goodness. The amaranth if gluten free, high in protein and contains the amino acid lysine which is missing in a lot of other grains. It’s also high in fibre and iron. The hemp seeds are one of the most nutritional seeds in the world! They’re high in protein and vitamins and is good at reducing the bad cholesterol. About one tablespoon provides around 11g of protein – by comparison, an egg has about 6g of protein and 30g of cheese has 8g of protein. It’s one of the slice recipes I have in constant rotation for our family.
Feel free to reduce the coconut sugar amount if you want it less sweet, or omit the dried blueberries. And excuse the gnarly scar from the tendon surgery on my hand in the picture below!
- 1 cup almond, roughly chopped
- 1 cup oats
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1 cup puffed amaranth
- 1 cup puffed brown rice (or sugar free rice bubbles)
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries (or cranberries)
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup rice malt syrup
- 4 tablespoons Nuttelex
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
Line an 8 inch square baking tray (any square brownie tray will do). Combine the nuts, oats, sunflower and hemp seeds in a large bowl. In a small saucepan combine the coconut sugar, Nuttelex and rice malt syrup. Bring it to a gentle boil over medium to high heat, stirring consistently. One bubbling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring every now and then. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla essence. Pour the mixture over the dry mix and stir with a spoon to combine. Add in the brown rice puffs and dried fruit (optional, tastes good without the fruit!) and combine.
Tip the energy bar mixture into your prepared tray and using another piece of baking paper, press down with your hands to flatten and compact the mix (as shown in the picture above). You can either leave it as is, raw, for about 4 hours at room temperature to set. Or you can bake for 10 mins at 150 degrees to help give it a roasted taste and then leave to cool at room temperature for 4 hours.
Once set, slice the mixture into bars in your choice of size and keep stored in an airtight container for up to a week in your cupboard or even in the fridge. Enjoy!