No weight loss diet should be completely devoid of a bit of carefully portioned indulgence now and then. And when you get to eat something that’s indulgent AND contributes beneficial nutrients and helps you lose weight – it feels like you’ve hit the jackpot.
These Dark Chocolate Nut Butter Bars are sooooo delicious that no one eating them would ever suspect that they are not only dairy, gluten and grain free, but they are also chalk full of super-food ingredients scientifically proven to help you lose weight and improve your health.
Regular, daily consumption of nuts has been shown to help with weight loss, to lower cholesterol, improve insulin sensitivity and improve heart health in people while also providing a good source of healthy fatty acids, protein, vitamin E and minerals such as magnesium. Find out more about how nuts help you lose weight here.
Flax seeds are a valuable plant source of omega-3, vital to the brain and that helps to boost cognition, happiness, learning, and memory. Beyond the brain, it’s the heart that greatly depends upon eating more omega-3s . Omega-3 lowers bad cholesterol by reducing levels of bad fats (triglycerides) while simultaneously raising good fats (HDL) in the blood. Omega-3 fats make blood more slippery, which reduces the likelihood of artery disease. Studies have also shown that omega-3s help to reduce appetite and improve weight maintenance.
Then there’s beans (yes – beans – but don’t get scared, no one but you will know these dark chocolate bars contain them, and you can close your eyes when you add them to the mixing bowl). Studies show that people who eat more beans not only do better with weight loss, shrinking one’s waist-line and improving one’s blood sugar control, but bean dieters also experience additional health benefits such as improved digestion, metabolism, immunity and more. Discover how eating more beans can help you lose weight even more effectively than simply cutting calories, here.
Or….just forget about what science says, and try these bars for what your taste buds say. Nom nom nom nom nom nom….
Chewy Dark Chocolate Nut Butter Bars
1 ½ cups garbanzo beans or white beans
3 Tbsp natural almond butter, cashew butter or walnut butter
¼ cup ground flax seeds
1 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
¾ cup coconut sugar (or 1 tsp powdered stevia-inulin blend, for a sugar-free version)
¾ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar-free dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.
Blend all ingredients except the chocolate chips in a powerful food processor, and blend until smooth. Pack the batter firmly into the baking pan, flattening it down and filling the entire pan. Bake for 35 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow it to cool and firm up for at least 15 minutes on the counter. Cut into bars.
Makes about 15 bars.
Nutritional Information per serving: 95 calories, 15 grams carbs, 3 grams fat, 2 grams protein