Posted by: godshealingplants | November 24, 2020

CALCIUM RICH GRANOLA BAR

This healthy granola bar recipe is loaded with calcium-rich, dairy-free ingredients. The recipe has also been designed to deliver complementary nutrients so that calcium can be put to its best use. 

INGREDIENTS 

1 cup raw almonds

1 cup raw pecans

½ cup raw pumpkin seeds

¼ cup chia seeds

1½ cups oats

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil – you can use coconut oil if you prefer

6 large dried figs

6 dates

½ cup dried cranberries (or raisins)

1 cup peanut butter or almond butter

½ cup honey

1 tsp. kosher salt

2 tbsp. vanilla extract 

INSTRUCTIONS 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread almonds, pecans, and pumpkin seeds out on a baking pan and roast 10–12 minutes. Pumpkins seeds will turn from green to gold, and almonds and pecans should darken without burning. Allow the nuts to cool for a few minutes. Reserve a handful of whole nuts to garnish tops of bars. 

Turn the oven down to 300°F. 

  1. Into a food processor, add 1 cup oats, roasted nuts and seeds, and chia seeds.
  2. Pulse to chop until nuts are uniformly small and no whole oats are visible.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Then use a food processor to chop dried figs, dates, and cranberries.
  5. Similarly, pulse to chop until fruit chunks are uniformly small and no whole cranberries are visible.
  6. Transfer to the bowl with the oat, nut, and seed mixture.
  7. Stir in ½ cup whole oats and 3 tablespoons of olive oil, distributing evenly. 
  8. In a medium saucepan, add honey, salt, and vanilla and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, and let the honey bubble for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Turn off heat and stir in peanut butter or almond butter. Keep stirring until the nut butter of your choice is melted and then drizzle over the bowl of granola.
  10. Fold and stir until completely integrated. 
  11. Transfer granola mixture into a 9 x 13” pan lined with parchment paper.
  12. Spread the mixture out and press it firmly into an even layer using another glass-bottom pan or a flat-bottom measuring cup for pressure.
  13. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until it starts to turn golden around the edge.
  14. Remove pan from the oven and cut into bars while the pan is still hot.
  15. Let bars cool completely in the pan, then move parchment to a cutting board and break bars apart using a sharp knife.
  16. Granola bars can be served immediately or stored in an airtight container for up to a week. 

ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS 

Chia seeds, can deliver a significant dose of calcium. Chia seeds also contain boron, which is an essential mineral for growth and maintenance of bone and absorption of magnesium.

Pumpkin seeds, while pumpkin seeds do contain some calcium, they are an excellent source of vitamin K and possibly the best source of dietary magnesium.

Pecans and Almonds, nuts are another good source of calcium and magnesium, but also contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E – two powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients.

Figs, are rich in antioxidants and fiber, and contain more calcium than other dried fruits.

Moreover, figs provide potassium and vitamin K. Eighty percent of the potassium in your body is found in skeletal muscle, where it regulates cellular hydration and conducts electricity, allowing muscles to contract.

ENJOY!

REFERENCES 

  • NIH. “Calcium and Vitamin D: Important and Every Age.” NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center. Accessed October 19, 2020. https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/bone-health/nutrition/calcium-and-vitamin-d-important-every-age#b
  • USDA. “CHIA.” USDA Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. Accessed October 19, 2020. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/984343/nutrients
  • Cunnane, Stephen C., et al. “High α-linolenic acid flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum): some nutritional properties in humans.” British Journal of Nutrition 69.2 (1993): 443-453.
  • Iolascon, Giovanni, et al. “Are dietary supplements and nutraceuticals effective for musculoskeletal health and cognitive function? A scoping review.” The journal of nutrition, health & aging 21.5 (2017): 527-538.
  • Pizzorno, Lara. “Nothing boring about boron.” Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal 14.4 (2015): 35.
  • USDA. “Pumpkin seeds, unslated.” USDA Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. Accessed October 19, 2020. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/784459/nutrients
  • NIH. “Magnesium.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. Accessed October 19, 2020. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
  • Moshfegh, Alanna, et al. “What we eat in America, NHANES 2005–2006: usual nutrient intakes from food and water compared to 1997 dietary reference intakes for vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.” US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (2009).
  • De Baaij, Jeroen HF, Joost GJ Hoenderop, and René JM Bindels. “Magnesium in man: implications for health and disease.” Physiological reviews (2015).
  • Rude, Robert K., Frederick R. Singer, and Helen E. Gruber. “Skeletal and hormonal effects of magnesium deficiency.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 28.2 (2009): 131-141.
  • Lee, Young-Ho, Sang-Cheol Bae, and Gwan-Gyu Song. “Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: a meta-analysis.” Archives of medical research 43.5 (2012): 356-362.
  • Karlson, Elizabeth W., et al. “Vitamin E in the primary prevention of rheumatoid arthritis: the Women’s Health Study.” Arthritis Care & Research 59.11 (2008): 1589-1595.
  • USDA. “Figs, dried, uncooked.” USDA Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. Accessed October 19, 2020. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/786606/nutrients
  • Cheng, Chih-Jen, Elizabeth Kuo, and Chou-Long Huang. “Extracellular potassium homeostasis: insights from hypokalemic periodic paralysis.” Seminars in nephrology. Vol. 33. No. 3. WB Saunders, 2013.
  • New, Susan A., et al. “Dietary influences on bone mass and bone metabolism: further evidence of a positive link between fruit and vegetable consumption and bone health?.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 71.1 (2000): 142-151.
  • Fusaro, Maria, et al. “Vitamin K and bone.” Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism 14.2 (2017): 200.

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