Newsworthy Headline

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In a Daily Mail Article written by Dr Sally Norton, she shared six foods that should add to your diet to help prevent heart attack, cancer and stroke.

I love a headline that grabs you! Below I’ve expanded on what Dr Norton wrote to inspire so you to add any of these to your diet as you find them.

Including a powerhouse of nutrition into your diet every day isn’t always easy. We are busy and until take out places start adding these foods (and more) into their menus, it’s on you to make it happen.

 

TART CHERRIES

Tart or sour cherries rank high on the antioxidant scale. The anthocyanins and other compounds have an anti-inflammatory effect on your body. Think post sports, sore knees, arthritic fingers and toes. I read that the anti-inflammatory effect rivals ibuprofen.

Consume: Fresh in season or drink Tart Cherry Juice

AVOCADO
Avocado has always been on the list of healthy foods, but it’s made it’s way into the spotlight of late. Full of monounsaturated fats–a neutral fat, it’s known to help lower LDL cholesterol and reduce plaque build up in arteries, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Consume: with eggs, salads, as a dip like guacamole or use it’s oil by making salad dressings, cooking with or avocado oil spray in your frying pan. A new product that blends both yum with this great fat is Buddha Bowl avocado-licious popcorn.

CRANBERRIES

More than an accompaniment to you Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey, cranberries are known to help alleviate urinary tract infections.
As many of you will know, cranberries have been used for years as an aid against urinary tract infections. Choc full of antioxidants, they help protect every cell in your body from heart to skin, internal and external. Polyphenols found in cranberries are anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and powerful antioxidant.

Consume: Just Juice Cranberry, dried cranberries but with no sugar like in Mike and Mikes Organic Sport Mix. *Avoid cranberry juice with sugar in it.

BLUEBERRIES

If you didn’t know that blueberries are a super food, where have you been? They are packed, yes packed, with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and fibre. These little babies are your answer to beating signs of ageing, improve eyesight, prevent cancer, enhance brain function and more. Blueberries should be consumed daily. Without fail. Ever.

Consume: Fresh or frozen, 100% Blueberry Juice, Organic Traditions Blueberry Powder

PUMPKIN SEEDS

Not just the ones that come out of your jack-o-lantern, these little green seeds provide protein, fibre, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorous, and is a rich source of zinc - important for immunity, cell growth and division, as well as sleep, mood, and eye and skin health. The use for them are endless, but the simplest is have them on your desk and snack at will.

Consume: Raw, Pumpkin seed oil, Zen Bev Pumpkin Seed Powder, Nuts to You Pumpkin Seed Butter, Omega Nutrition Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder.

CHIA SEEDS 

Yes they are the same seeds that became popular with the Chia-Pet. These little seeds are rocking the superfood charts. High, high levels of nutrients including iron, calcium and magnesium they are also low-cal for those still fat-phobic. Packed with omega 3 oils (excellent but still eat your fish) but beats any glass of milk to the calcium punch.

Consume: Nature’s Emporium chia pudding, Organic traditions chia seeds, Synergy Kombucha with chia seeds, Weeds and Seeds cereal.

Every time you eat or put food into your mouth, it’s an opportunity to nourish your body or not. That may sound heavy but it’s true. If you choose to eat a donut, you likely know by now that it’s not good for you. So if you do eat the donut, you’d better make up for it later. Those clients that I see in a rut where they are in denial about the bad choices that they are making are on that slippery slope to increased risk of cancer, heart disease, obesity or being overweight, stroke, diabetes or the new one diabesity.

 

Add these to your diet and you’ve just decreased that slope and turned it on it’s head.

 

Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are a powerhouse of protein, fibre, calcium, iron, vitamins and essential fats. It might seem like an odd thing to eat seeds and milk, but this is a meal or snack that will appeal to the whole family.

1/3 cup white chia seeds

1 1/2 cups milk

2 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla

Put all the ingredients in a medium jar. Cover with a lid and shake it all up.

Put in the fridge. Go back in an hour or so and shake it up again. Leave it overnight.

In the morning, pour about a cup into a bowl, add blueberries or other fruit, nuts or seeds.

Be sure to drink lots today as these seeds are fantastic fibre.

Is Grass-Fed Better For You?

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Is Grass-Fed Beef Better For You? Sprout Right Answers This on the BlogLike “organic” before it, grass-fed is the new nutritional buzz word. Companies are popping up here and there that offer products made from grass-fed animals – like grass-fed butter, grass-fed yogurt and cuts of meat from grass-fed cows. Should you care about going grass-fed or is this another fad?

What is Grass-Fed?

Cows are ruminants, meaning they evolved to eat grass, shrubs and other plant product. And yet, most methods of conventional farming have been created to place cows in economically-fortuitous feedlots where they are fed a diet of grains, usually soy, corn and corn by-products. Grass-fed cows, instead, are left to graze in fields where they obtain food from the ground, in the most natural way.

Why should you care what cows eat?

When we think of cows grazing in a field, we think of happy cows. When we think of cows sandwiched in feedlots and sometimes subjected to unsanitary conditions we of course think the opposite. There is this side to the argument. But there is also another reason why grass-fed beef is better… it is better for you.

How Grass-Fed is Better for You

What a cow eats affects the nutritional make-up of her body, which you then consume, whether as meat or in animal by-products like milk and yogurt.

Here are some key differences between grass-fed and grain-fed beef:

  • Grain-fed beef tends to be fattier. Less total fat means there might be as much as a 100 calorie difference in one six ounce steak;

  • Grass-fed beef contains more Vitamin E than grain-fed meat. Vitamin E is a vital nutrient that protects your cells from damage;

  • Grass-fed beef also contains more potassium, iron and zinc;

  • Grass-fed beef contains up to 5 times more Omega-3 fatty acids (the good kind of fat), compared to grain-feed beef. Both grass-fed and grain-fed beef contain around the same amount of Omega-6 fatty acids, but the ratio of Omega-3s to Omega-6s in grass-fed meat makes it a much healthier option.
    It also contains vitamin K2 that reduces calcification of the arteries and, therefore, heart disease;

  • K2 protects us from heart disease, ensuring healthy skin, forming strong bones, promoting brain function, supporting growth and development and helping to prevent cancer.

Grass-fed is clearly healthier for you, providing more nutrients and fewer fat and calories. For many people, the higher cost of grass-fed beef can make it difficult to make the switch. My advice: shop sales, get cozy with a farmer who raises grass-fed cattle (it is cheaper to buy directly from a farm), and do what you can.

Will you be switching to grass-fed?

Sources:

http://authoritynutrition.com/grass-fed-vs-grain-fed-beef/

http://blog.fooducate.com/2014/09/29/grass-fed-beed-healthy-or-hype/

http://chriskresser.com/vitamin-k2-the-missing-nutrient

 

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You Put a Nutrition Seal on What?

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You Put a Nutrition Seal on What on SproutRight.comThe grocery store shelves and cold cases are full of choices today. If you want to select a pasta for your dinner, for example, you can choose from a dozen different brands and varieties each offering some variation of taste, ingredient or feature. It can be hard, as parents, to know which products to choose for our kids, and how to make the healthiest choices that do balance out the other factors, like kid-appeal, budget and convenience.

I am not a big fan of “convenience foods.” And studies have shown, these processed products contain too much salt and sugar for young bellies. Recently, I talked about this on CBC News.

I prefer to suggest that parents eat as close to the earth as possible, opting for whole foods over processed foods, always fresh and organic where it is budget-friendly and available. As a nutrition expert invested in the health of families, I think it is my job to help guide parents towards these healthier options, while giving them solutions for how to make that work with their busy lifestyles.

I was surprised, to say the least, when I learned that Kraft Singles, a processed cheese product I like to call “plastic cheese”, has been given a seal by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It is the first product to announce they are a proud supporter of the “Kids Eat Right” program. The Academy contends the seal does not “endorse” the product but it sure looks that way to the consumer (and to Kraft who was quoted as saying it is an endorsement)! This seal makes parents believe that Kraft Singles is a healthy product and source of calcium and Vitamin D for their product. Dietitians have supported this, after all. It just isn’t true.

Marketing like this is trying very hard to make you believe a product is good for you. We need to be weary consumers, always.

Here are a few alternatives to Kraft Singles, which contain additives and products that are not good for growing bodies, and that supply Vitamin D and calcium that is not easily absorbed by the body.

  • Try real cheese. Made of cow’s, sheep’s or goat’s milk. There are many different varieties and, in moderation, cheese can be a very healthy food;

  • Replace cheese with a dairy-free option that has the taste or texture of cheese. You can make a cheese sauce with nutritional yeast, for example.

  • Reach for green leafy vegetables to make sure you and your kids are getting a good supply of calcium. This is a much more absorbable form of the mineral.

Be weary of marketing claims on processed products. If it’s in a package, wrapped in plastic, it’s less likely to be healthy. Make what you can in your own home, that way you know that it has the building blocks of good whole foods.

You can listen to my talk with Jerry Agar about the “Kids Eat Right” seal on Kraft Singles.

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What’s your craving trying to tell you?

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What Your Craving is Telling You on Sprout RightCravings can happen throughout the day. Some wake up craving sweets or salty foods. Then the rest of the day unfolds with a roller coaster of binge eating with what you fancy.

Do your cravings mean something though? Or is all down to willpower?

Here are a few key interactions that are good to know:

  • Chocolate cravings could have something to do with a deficiency of magnesium – raw cacao/nibs/beans or powder are excellent sources of magnesium as are whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, greens, fruit.
  • Salty cravings for chips or salted nuts could be telling you that your little stress glands–the adrenals are fatigued and crying out for help. Seeing a nutritionist or naturopath to get you on some balancing supplements like B complex and in particular B5 is a good start. More sleep, yoga, and mediation are also on the prescription for adrenal fatigue. Less of the intense workouts as that’s also seen as a stress in overworked adrenals.
  • Need that coffee every morning? Most of the population do. You could do with more sulphur cruciferous vegetables like kale, cabbage, broccoli and also cranberries, horseradish, asparagus, carob powder, garlic and onion.
  • Craving that burger or steak? That could be a lack of iron. Have your blood checked and see if symptoms of iron deficiency match how you are feeling.
  • Hungry in the evening? That’s because you didn’t eat enough during the day. Typical of those who skip breakfast or have a carb rich start to their day. Incorporate protein from eggs, cottage cheese, or low glycemic index foods like steel cut oats or quinoa flakes or something like chia seed pudding.
  • PMS cravings? The need for more food, and of course chocolate, can be because her body is preparing for pregnancy whether she is planning it or not. Hormones become more out of balance and mineral needs increase. Eat more fruits and vegetables throughout the month and less of the sugary sweet stuff and see what impact that has.

Cravings can sometimes be from a lack of willpower or emotional triggers, but with the above, it shows there’s more to it in some cases.

What are you craving right now?

Cashew Milk – A New Ingredient for My Smoothie

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Milk and I don’t get along. Haven’t for years. I’ve tried all animal milks; cow, goat and sheep, raw and pasteurized, and I get instantly mucus-y and my belly becomes distended and uncomfortable within a few hours. By the end of the day I wish I could put a pin in my belly button to let all the air or release the gremlin that seems to have inhabited my intestines. It’s not pretty and I end up feeling crappy.

I’ve tried, and made, just about every milk out there–even filmed a video with Jack LaLane years ago of how to make soy milk in his fancy juicer—I now stick with Almond and Coconut Milk as my go-to. I shouldn’t say I’ve tried them all actually, that would be a lie. A friend who is a Naturopath warned me off of Hemp Milk so I haven’t tried that yet. Took her word for it that there are better tastes out there.

A couple of weeks ago, I learned there’s a new kid on the block and have been asked to try it out to see what I think. It’s Cashew Milk. Silk® Original Creamy Cashew beverage is the first of its kind to hit shelves. I’m always game to try out a new product, so I said yes.

Enjoy Silk's New Cashew Milk by Sprout Right Smoothie Recipe - Image 1

 

I’ve gone through phases of eating and making recipes from some of my raw food recipe books and cashews are the main ingredient in many salad dressings, raw ‘cheese’ and more. Cashews are so versatile as well as high in calcium and vitamin D and make everything that much more creamy.

Back to this new milk. I use alternative milks in all my recipes. Quiche, soup, smoothies, pancakes and any other baking that asks for milk. I thought I’d try out the Silk® Original Creamy Cashew milk in my morning smoothie as it’s a daily staple and my kids are my guinea pigs with most new things.

The product is rich and creamy and in a smoothie it adds a bit of sweetness, without an overpowering taste. I don’t always use milk in my smoothie, my other option is coconut water, but this didn’t have an overpowering flavour and was a welcome change and addition.

Enjoy Silk's New Cashew Milk by Sprout Right with Smoothie Recipe - Image 2

 

Here’s my recipe. Try this, or create your own! 

About a cup of Silk® Original Creamy Cashew

1 cup frozen cherries, raspberries, blueberries and a bit of mango

handful spinach and sunflower seed sprouts

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 scoop Complete Protein powder

1 tbsp flax oil

Blend everything and serve straight away.

Will you add this great new milk to your shopping list? Find out more about it.

 

Visit drinksilk.ca for recipe ideas.

 

This post was generously sponsored by Silk® but the opinions and images are my own. For more information, please visit www.drinksilk.ca

5 Food Gifts to Bring to a New Mom

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5 Food Gifts to Bring to a New Mom on SproutRight.comWhen I first visit a friend or relative who has just had a baby, I usually have a gift for the new baby, something for a sibling (they need some loving and recognition as big bro or sis), and I always take food.

Sharing food is an investment in this baby’s future. Sounds a bit heavy for a pot of stew or soup, but it really helps out any new mom, even if she says she can do it all and doesn’t need anything. Not having to worry for one meal is like a week’s vacation in the early days.

Taking along a food that will help build her up after the marathon of labour, is loving, comforting and most importantly nutritious.

Freezer meals, snacks and soups make perfect fast food. Here are some ideas.

5 Food Gifts to Bring to a New Mom

 

- Breakfast or sinless desert like apple crumble (recipe below)

- Mix up a homemade trail mix with almonds, cashews, walnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, raisins, dried mulberries and goji berries. All nuts and seeds give brain boosting essential fats, give much needed protein and fibre. The dried fruit gives energy, iron and antioxidants.  Cleverly place it next to the chair she feeds in so she always has a snack when stuck for at least 10 minutes.

- Muffins to quickly grab and go with – like our Sneaky Little Muffins.

- Granola bars that aren’t laden with yeast-feeding sugar. If she or baby had antibiotics throughout the birth or just after, avoiding sugar is a bonus as some babies can develop yeast. This recipe doesn’t contain sugar so it’s perfect for her right now.

- Hearty soup made with lentils or beans for fibre, dark meat poultry for iron and protein, and homemade chicken stock that helps boost breast milk production and boost her immune system to keep everyone healthy. Add in veggies like carrots, onion, garlic, celery, leeks, sweet potato or squash and some greens for extra bone building nutrients.

If she shares with you that her baby is colicy or gassy, leave dairy and sugar out of whatever you choose to take. It could make the problem worse. The recipes here all are sugar free, so you’ll have a winner no matter what you choose.

Apple Crumble

 

This is a recipe based on my mom’s apple crumble. I’ve made it healthier while keeping it scrumptious.

3 cups sliced fruit: apples, peaches, pears, or a combo 750 mL

1 cup blueberries or other berries 250 mL

¼ cup 100% fruit juice 50 mL

1 tsp cinnamon 5 mL

Crumble Topping:

1½ cups rolled oats 375 mL

¼ cup maple syrup (or agave) 50 mL

¼ cup sunflower seeds, chopped 50 mL

¼ cup walnuts, chopped 50 mL

¼ cup unsalted butter 50 mL

1 tsp cinnamon 5 mL

1. In a bowl, toss the sliced fruit, blueberries, fruit juice, and cinnamon.

2. In another bowl, mix the oats, syrup, sunflower seeds, walnuts, butter, and cinnamon. Rub between your fingers to create a soft, coarse crumble.

3. Spoon the fruit mixture and its liquid into a pie plate. Top with the crumble mixture and bake in a 350ºF (180ºC) oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the fruit is fork tender and the filling is bubbling and thickened (can also be frozen before cooked). The top should be golden brown. Cool slightly on a wire rack before serving warm or at room temperature. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Nutritional Information

Rich in vitamin C, fibre, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, and complex carbohydrates.

 

Did anyone ever bring you a post-baby meal? What was your favourite?

Sneaky Little Muffins

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Sneaky Little Muffins Recipe - Sprout Right

These muffins make tasty snacks. I like to make and freeze a batch to defrost for an accompaniment to lunch or a snack on car rides.

2 overripe bananas

2 eggs

1 cup grated carrots (250 mL)

½ cup agave syrup (125 mL)

½ cup rice milk (125 mL)

6 tbsp melted butter (90 mL)

¼ cup grated zucchini (50 mL)

1/3 cup ground chia (Salba) (75 mL)

1¾ cup brown rice flour (425 mL)

¼ cup tapioca starch (50 mL)

2 tsp baking powder (10 mL)

1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)

1 tsp cinnamon (5 mL)

1. Beat the bananas in a mixer. Beat in eggs. Add carrots, agave syrup, rice milk, butter, zucchini, and chia; mix well and let sit for 5 minutes.

2. In another bowl, stir together rice flour, tapioca, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.

3. Spoon into 36 greased or paper-lined mini muffin cups and bake in 325ºF (160ºC) oven for about 25 minutes or until muffins are golden and lightly spring back when touched. Makes about 36 mini muffins.

Nutritional Information:

A healthy gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free snack containing beta carotene, potassium, fibre, protein, and trace minerals.

Nutrition Advice for a Good Sleep

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Nutrition Advice for a Good Sleep on SproutRight.comThere is a real synergy with good sleep and a healthy diet.  Having balanced blood sugar, the right nutrients available from food, and avoiding stimulants all help when trying to get a good night’s sleep.

There is a rhythm to daily energy and mood patterns that are run by your blood sugar balance.  Adults commonly feel tired, lethargic, low concentration, dizzy and maybe even get headaches when a meal is skipped or when they to get by on carbohydrate-based meals.

Here are a few tips for better nutrition habits that will lead to a more restful night.

Eat Regularly

Your day can look like; breakfast 8:00 am, snack 10:30 am, lunch at 1:00 pm, snack 3:30 pm and then dinner at 6:00 pm.  If your eating pattern doesn’t look like this, then think of how your energy level is all day long.  Crashing in the afternoon? Want to crawl under your desk for a quick nap after lunch?  Change a few things around and follow this time line and see how you feel.

Was that a bagel for lunch?  The carbohydrate value of a bagel is equal to four slices of bread.  It’s a heavy load giving you a boost of energy to be followed by a slump.  Try half a bagel with tuna, salmon or other protein rich topping.

High on nutrients, low on refinement.  It’s the brown versus white scenario.  The less a food is processed, the more it retains its nutrients.  Although breakfast cereals have added vitamins and minerals (they’ve been added after processing strips them out), it’s mandatory that they’re added, and aren’t naturally occurring as in steel cut oats made into oatmeal.

When eating nutrient packed, unrefined foods, your body benefits from vitamins, minerals, co-factors, proteins, carbohydrates, and everything else it needs to function.  A diet deficient in whole grains (rice, whole wheat, oats), fruits and vegetables, eggs, meat and fish will leave gaps in our daily needs.

Supplement before sleep

Calcium and magnesium, for instance, are calming minerals and very important for good quality sleep.  Taking supplements at bedtime sometimes helps your overall sleep pattern as deficiencies may upset sleep causing waking during the night or a difficulty falling asleep.

Don’t drink caffeine after lunch

Have you experienced the negative effects of caffeine?  Drinking a coffee late in the day or after dinner can keep you up for hours as you wait for that kick to wear off.  Make the switch to herb tea or an antioxidant rich green tea.  Although green tea naturally has caffeine, it’s a lower amount to coffee.

Cut out the late night snacks and drinks

Studies show eating at night slows down your detoxification overnight and leaves you feeling less rested when the alarm goes off. Cut off for your last bite at 8:00 pm.

Start to improve sleep patterns by improving your diet.  They go hand in hand.  Think of the benefits… feel great all day long, as well as get a good night’s sleep.  Sounds heavenly doesn’t it!

You might also like to read:

5 Breakfasts to Keep You Going Until Lunch

Finish 2014 Strong with these Health Tips

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10 Ways to Make Your Salad More Nutritious

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10 Ways to Make Your Salad More Nutritious by Sprout RightSalad greens piled high on your plate is always a welcome dish. A mix of iceberg lettuce with cucumber and tomato can be revolutionized so that your salad becomes a super healthy meal or accompaniment. Try adding some tasty and healthy extras like:

  1. First, start with a variety of greens. Choose from spinach, peppery arugula (also known as rocket), endive, mustardy watercress, chicory, and radicchio and super healthy greens of kale, chard and beet greens. Herbs of basil, cilantro, parsley or dill also can be torn and thrown in the mix.
  2. A handful of nuts add some crunch, minerals and essential fats. Try almonds—whole or bashed, walnuts, pecans, brazil or pine nuts.
  3. A staple to any veggie dish or salad are seeds. Toasted or plain, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, are the high in essential fats too.  Try poppy seeds for a nice change too.
  4. For a sweetened bite, dried fruit adds minerals including iron.  Choose from raisins, dried apricots, cranberries (look out for ones that are coated in sugar though) blueberries or cherries.
  5. Summertime is all about berries and soft fruits.  Fresh from the market or your back yard, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries or blackberries are all a powerhouse in antioxidants and vitamin C.  Other lovely additions of pear, apricot, plum, watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew.
  6. A salad needn’t have leaves in it.  Fresh vegetables can make up the bulk of any salad, mixed with rice, quinoa or noodles.  Create a rainbow on your plate of red, yellow, orange or green peppers, green beans, peas, avocado, asparagus, red or spring onions, tomato, broccoli, mushrooms, cucumber, corn, cauliflower or carrots with or with out green salad leaves.
  7. Make your own croutons from whole grain Mary’s Sticks and Twigs crackers.  Packed full of seeds and taste, they add a nice crunch to the mix.
  8. A sprinkling of your favourite cheese can make a salad.  Try blue, Stilton, feta, grilled halloumi, herb crusted goats cheese, fresh buffalo mozzarella or bocconcini.
  9. Protein to round off and balance your meal of chicken, fish, quinoa, beans, hardboiled egg or cheese above.
  10. And to top it all off, a lovely light dressing that compliments your creation.  Here’s one that’s fast and easy to make, and stores well.

Simple Salad Dressing

3/4 cup (175 mL) olive oil

1/3 cup (75 mL) lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp (30 mL) agave syrup or honey

Salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients in a jar, shake well before using.

This article originally appeared on iVillage.


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Homemade Granola Bars are a Healthy Snack

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Homemade Granola Bars on SproutRight.comIt’s a scenario we’ve all been in before – its 3pm after a Saturday of sports and activities, long car rides and errands. The kids start out getting a little whiny, but by the time you pull into the driveway they are full out angry … or “hangery” that is! It’s a situation you can avoid by packing a healthy snack full of protein and nutrients that will satisfy hunger, which will quell the whining, and give your kids a boost of energy to make it through until dinner.

Our Go Faster Granola Bars is a favourite recipe amongst Sprout Right families. These homemade granola bars pack protein, fibre and just a bit of sweet to satisfy mid-afternoon munchies. They are easy to tote around in your purse – try stuffing a few bars into a re-usable sandwich bag for after sports when kids need quick fuel to keep their blood sugar stable, and to repair muscle tissue.

Here is the basic recipe for our Homemade Granola Bars, but feel free to make them your own. Mix up the add-ins for a recipe that is unique to your family. And because they are homemade, you can be sure they don’t have added sugar, preservatives, unhealthy fat and excess sodium (all which can be found in your store-bought granola bar varieties).

Homemade Granola Bars by Sprout Right: Go Faster Granola Bar Recipe

1 cup Nature’s Path Millet Rice Flakes cereal

1 cup whole rolled oats

3/4 cup dried fruit (raisins, chopped dates, apricots)

1/4 cup sunflower, pumpkin, or sesame seeds

1/4 cup chopped almonds

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

2 tbsp coconut butter or unsalted butter

1/4 cup almond butter

1. Mix cereal flakes, rolled oats, dried fruit, seeds, and almonds in a bowl.

2. Gently heat brown rice syrup, coconut butter, and almond butter in a large saucepan until melted and smooth. Add dry ingredients to saucepan and quickly stir well to coat. Press into an 8-inch (2L) square pan.

3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and cut into squares. Store at room temperature.

Makes about 16 bars,

Vary the different types of dried fruit and seeds you choose to use. The possibilities are endless! Enjoy.

Here are more healthy snack ideas.