Snack Today: Buckwheat Energy Bars

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buckwheat-barsBuckwheat is a nutritionally dense food and is a great gluten-free alternative, and although people think it’s a grain, it’s actually considered a seed. Studies have shown that it offers a range of health benefits similar to those of nuts, in lowering blood glucose and cholesterol.

Buckwheat’s nutrient profile consists of higher protein content than most grains, including essential amino acids and 6 g of protein per 1/4 cup of dry seeds. It also contains soluble and insoluble fiber, flavonoid antioxidants such as rutin and quercetin, and a component related to B vitamins called D-chiro-inositol, which is known to help improve the action of insulin. Because of these characteristics, buckwheat is being researched as a potential functional food, which is a food used to improve or target specific health conditions.

The following recipe for buckwheat energy bars is a great way to introduce buckwheat into your diet. The bars are easy to make and are a wonderful snack that helps keep your energy levels up. You can vary the seeds, nuts and fruits based on your preferences and what you have on hand.

Buckwheat Energy Bars

• 1/3 cup organic buckwheat flour
• 1 cup chopped, unsalted nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts or pecans)
• 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
• 1/3 cup seeds (flax, chia, pumpkin or sunflower)
• 1 cup  chopped unsweetened dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, apricots, dates or cherries)
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease an 8 x 8 inch pan. Combine the dry ingredients and cinnamon together in bowl. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and honey on very low heat, then stir in vanilla. Pour the butter mixture over the flour and nut mixture and stir to combine. Press into prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until set. Let cool and cut into bars.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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