* Gluten-Free * Grain- Free * Dairy-Free*
I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen lately, developing recipes for my Heart Health Class coming up on February 22nd. This one turned out perfect on the very first try. I love when that happens!
Some of you might be asking, what qualifies a recipe heart healthy? Well, here’s a quick low-down on what makes these bars a healthier snack with heart health benefits! What they don’t contain is just as important as what they do contain!
Here is what they DON’T contain:
• Refined sugars
• Heated oils
• Artificial additives
• Inflammatory grains
Here is what they DO have:
• Healthy omega- 3 fats (hemp seeds)
• Raw nut and seeds (almonds, cashews)
• A good amount of fiber (almonds, hemp seeds, dates)
• Anti-inflammatory spices (cinnamon, cloves, ginger)
• Antioxidants (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, camu camu powder, cranberries)
• A good amount of magnesium (almonds, cashews, hemp seeds, dates)
Gingerbread Pumpkin Seed Bars Featuring Camu Cranberries!
• 3/4 cup almonds
• 3/4 cup cashews
• 8 medjool dates, pitted
• 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
• 1/2 cup hemp seeds
• 1/2 cup *Camu cranberries
• 3 Tablespoons water
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon allspice
• 1/4 teaspoon cloves
1. Place all ingredients(minus the cranberries and pumpkin seeds) in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
2. Pour mixture into a bowl, and mix in the cranberries and pumpkin seeds.
3. Cover a baking sheet in parchment paper, and press mixture into the pan. Smooth out the mixture with the back of a spoon.
4. Place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to allow to set, then cut in squares.
Will keep fresh in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Did you know that nuts and seeds are rich in magnesium?
Research extending more than 70 years has found that low magnesium levels contributes more to heart disease than elevated cholesterol, or a diet high in saturated fat.
One particular study found that people with the highest blood levels of magnesium had a 40 percent reduction in the risk of CVD, compared to those with the lowest magnesium levels.
Part of the benefit appears related to its synergistic effect with calcium to help regulate electrical impulses and prevent calcium from depositing in soft tissues. Magnesium is also a natural muscle relaxant, which can help relieve stress and lower blood pressure.
Camu Camu Berries
Camu camu is a low-growing shrub found throughout the Amazon rain forests of Peru and Brazil. It produces a lemon sized, purplish red fruit with yellow pulp. This fruit is packed with more natural vitamin C than any other food source recorded on the planet!
Vitamin C greatly benefits cardiovascular health. It is vital to the production of collagen, which is not only great for the skin but also keeps arteries soft and flexible, helping to prevent hardening of the arteries!
Camu Cranberries is a product available by Central Roast, a company that sells nut and seed dried fruit snacks, using only pure, all-natural ingredients.
I recently discovered their Camu Cranberries in the natural food section of a Sobey’s grocery store. All they are is dried cranberries sweetened with apple juice and dehydrated camu camu powder. They’re the true star of these Gingerbread Pumpkin Seed Bars, adding a tangy, mouth-watering punch that compliments the cinnamon and ginger!