Monday, February 9, 2015

Almonds are YOUR Healthy Snack and Secret Ingredient (Mom's Secret Snack Bar recipe) !

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received a guide, free of charge, from, to assist me with this post, on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it


Ah the lowly almond.

So misunderstood and forgotten!

You may only think about almonds when you're passing the candy stack by the register when you check out at your grocery store.

But if you're smart and in the know, you know that almonds are really high in protein, have more Monounsaturated fats than peanuts (which helps to improve healthy (HDL) cholesterol levels, lowering bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and slimming fat around the waistline), their fiber helps to fill you up, and act as prebiotics, helping your gastrointestinal tract. Plus they vitamin E, calcium, potasium and magnesium (helpful for a healthy heart). A mere 23 almonds a day can lead to a much healthier you! 

So maybe it's time to substitute your typical peanut for more evolved almond, and get more health benefits than ever before!

Here's some ways we've made the substitution:

snack mix formula

1. I like to mix up our own snacks, to control what Miss Grace is actually eating. Standard mixes are not suitable for her, as they tend to have sugared candy in them or nuts that she does not like. She is pretty picking on nuts-liking only almonds and pecans. So by making our own mix, based on the mix above (generally adding a gluten free cereal in place of the granola), we get a mix that she adores, and I'm happy she's eating! As a busy morning time saver, once we make up a huge bowl of the mix, we make two weeks worth of mini snack bags of it for her lunches, and then throw the rest in a large bag for healthy after school snacking! 

2. Shhh, don't tell Miss Grace but I like to add ground almond and flax seeds into her smoothies and cookie bars,when I make them for her. She NEVER notices them by taste, and I know she's getting some extra healthy ingredients on the weekends (She likes her smoothies as breakfast on the go!). By adding them to snack bars, I can let her have a 'treat' that is still good for her!

3. By adding the ground almonds to MY smoothies, I can help the diet out, as those smoothies always seem to keep me full longer, and keep cravings at bay!

4, Did you know that protein, aka like that from almonds, can not only satisfy your hunger, it can help you sleep? Yup- even a tablespoon of nut butter before bed (especially if you're a shift worker),can help you fall asleep quicker and sleep sounder! I've been doing this for years, and it always works! Now that almond butter is more readily available, I've swapped to using it for a pre-bed time snack! 

So as you can see, almonds, in all their forms, are a healthy alternative, when preparing nutritious meals for yourself and your family!

I was happy to check out the almond page and come up with a great recipe for you!

I had recently seen a great post on Pinterest from Infinite Passion for a flourless peanut butter blondie and I knew I could convert it to almond based, and add some other ingredients to really take it up a few notches and make it more healthier (and yummier, though her original recipe IS tasty!).

Mom's Secret Snack Bar

Why call it Mom's Secret Snack Bar?

Cause once you taste it, you will NOT want to let your kids have it. You'll be screaming "mine, mine, mine" with glee, and hiding it from them! LOL

moms secret snack bars 1


1 cup almond butter 
1/4 cup honey 
1/8 cp coconut sugar
1 egg 
1/4 tsp Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4-1/2 cup raw cacao nibs (add to YOUR taste- I love them with chocolate, so I added closer to 1/2 cup)
Vanilla Sugar or Cocoa Powder (not pictures) for topping (optional)

Note: I didn't sneak any flax or chia seed into this batch, but that is another option you can use too.

And yes, I know it looks like a mad scientist at work with all those ingredients, pictures above, but trust me, the final flavor will have you rounding them up on a weekly basis!


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use coconut oil (or butter) to coat a  8" x 8" (for thicker) or 9" x 9″ (for thinner) square pan.

2. In mixing bowl, mix the coconut sugar and egg together, then add the honey. once combined, add the almond butter, vanilla, salt and baking soda, until you get a creamy texture, very similar to regular chocolate chip cookie dough.

3. Add in your cacao nibs and chocolate chips, carefully folding them in. You want to dive into the bowl, don't you? You know you'll have to taste test. So go ahead, we'll wait.......

Ready? You didn't eat the whole bowl did you?

4. Assuming you still have batter left (LOL), pour into into your prepared pan, making sure to get it into all the corners and have it even across the whole pan,

5. OPTIONAL- You can sprinkle the cocoa powder or vanilla sugar (or both, you evil creator) across the top of the batter, for even MORE flavor! 

6. Put your creation into the oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is a light golden brown. Keep an eye on it at 15 minutes, as you want it on the softer side for more flavor intensity!

moms secret snack bars 2

7. If you can handle it, let the pan cool, then cut and serve. 

Ummm didn't happen in my house- we lasted about 7 minutes and cute into it- the smell was just too intoxicating! As you can see I used a 9" x 9" pan, so my batch was on the flatter side. But that was all- they were described by everybody as AMAZING! No one could believe there was NO flour (super for those on gluten free diets!)! By adding the additional ingredients, it took the flavor more up to that of the infamously well loved  7 layer bars, but without all the bad stuff! AND because of the almond butter, a small piece fills you up and satisfy cravings! Plus you're getting some health benefits from the bars too! 

So I hope you can see where you can substitute almonds for your normal nuts and nut butter, and still come up with a great tasting snack that the whole family will fight for!

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