Perfect Post Workout Snack: Nutty Fruit Granola Bars

First Published in the Buckhead Patch January 28, 2011 http://buckhead.patch.comSo what does a personal trainer have to do with eating? Lots! One of the reasons I love being a chef is the opportunity to motivate others to eat better. But it’s not just what we eat that makes us feel good. How we move, (or not), is part of feeling great. That’s why I’ve chosen to study with Jack Clamon, one of the most authentic and inspiring athletes I’ve had the pleasure to meet, a fellow Buckhead resident and Westminster alum.Jack is teaching me how to work out with kettle bells. You know – the funny looking bowling-ball-with-handles weights that have become popular lately? He has lots of gems of encouragement like, “Remember, you become the way your body feels”, or my personal favorite, “Own your body, Nancy!” His workouts are tough, but his personal care and attention to technique and form allow me walk out of the workout energetic and walking tall.Although our zeal for helping others take care of their bodies comes from two different perspectives, we share a common interest in living well. We talk a lot during our sessions about health- supportive eating. Here’s a recipe that I shared with him for a post-workout bar. It’s low in calories, full of protein and fiber, and easy to bake and enjoy after exercising, or anytime you need a healthy, delicious snack.Nutty Fruit Granola Bars1 Cup Raw Almonds1 Cup Raw Pecans3 Cups Oatmeal, Divided¼ Cup Whole Wheat Flour1 ½ Cups Chopped Dried Fruit4 Large Eggs½ Cup Dark Brown Sugar2 TB Canola Oil1 ½ Tsp Cinnamon½ Tsp Allspice½ Tsp Sea Salt2 Tsp Vanilla ExtractStep OnePreheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9″ x 13″ pan with foil, allowing it to overhang from the sides. Coat with non-stick cooking spray.Step TwoPlace the nuts and the oatmeal on two baking sheets with sides. Bake for 10 minutes or until toasted, stirring once. Chop the nuts finely in a food processor.Step ThreePlace the flour and 2 cups of the oatmeal in the processor and pulse until smooth. Combine with the dates, nuts and remaining cup of whole oatmeal.Step FourWhisk together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Stir in the oatmeal-almond mixture until well mixed. Spray your fingers with nonstick spray and pat the batter into the prepared pan.Step FiveBake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a rack for an hour. Using the foil as handles, remove from the pan. Cut into bars with a serrated knife. To store for the week, wrap bars individually in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge.

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