I have a serious Pinterest addiction. I have been browsing through a ton of energy bites and bars lately so I was inspired to come up with one today. I dug through my pantry looking for ingredients and found dried cherries and dates. I then remembered Lara Bars are made with cherries, dates, and almonds so of course I was going to try to duplicate it. If I have another addiction, it’s Lara Bar’s Cherry Pie. It really satisfies my sweet tooth. It would save me some money too since I buy Lara Bar’s weekly.
This combo of flavors really goes well together but I want to give the nutritional low down on why you should be eating cherries, dates, and almonds.
Anthocyanins are the antioxidants that cherries contain that prove to pack a powerful punch. Dried cherries, second to cherry juice, rank higher in antioxidants than frozen or canned. Recent studies are showing eating cherries may help decrease inflammation and risk factors for heart disease, along with helping arthritis and gout sufferers. The latest news you may have heard about cherries is the positive benefits of cherry juice. In a new study, exercisers had less aches and pains post exercise when drinking cherry juice twice a day.
Dates are often overlooked but they are packed full of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant. They are naturally dehydrated and a good source of fiber at 3 grams for a serving of 5-6 dates. Dates are naturally sweet and provide calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, selenium, and potassium. These minerals can work together to help lower blood pressure throughout the day.
Almonds are a rich source of Vitamin E and rich in monounsaturated fats. They even carry a qualified health claim stating that “eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, including almonds, along with a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.” In addition, almonds contain a good source of manganese, magnesium, riboflavin, copper, and phosphorus. These crunchy and delicious nuts provide 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein in a 1 ounce serving.
Now that you see that this recipe is oozing in antioxidants for better health, let’s proceed.
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Place dried fruit in mini chopper or food processor and pulse until it’s in tiny crumbles. Add almonds and pulse until all ingredients are crumbled and combined.
Roll into 1 inch balls or press into silicone ice-cube tray. I used this ice-cube tray I found at Ikea. Store in sealed container. Makes 12 cherry almond bites.
Sources: California Almond Board, California Date Commission, and Cherry Marketing Institute