When 2 p.m. rolls around, most of us are looking for a snack. But it’s not always easy to find heart healthy, sweet snacks that are good for your heart and your waistline. Don’t fear. Arkansas Heart Hospital dieticians are here.
Our nutrition experts got in the kitchen and crafted easy, sweet and heart healthy snacks that are perfect for a quick breakfast, an afternoon snack or a bite before your workout.
Honey Nut Granola
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds (shelled)
- 1/3 cup avocado oil
- ½ cup honey (for less sugar added, use Swerve granulated sugar substitute)
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- In a large bowl, stir oats, nuts and sunflower seeds together. In a separate bowl, mix oil, honey, vanilla and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
- Spread mixture onto two ungreased baking sheets and bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove the sheet from the oven and stir. Return to oven and continue baking until golden brown for about 10 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it cool before storing.
- Add dried fruit such as blueberries, kiwi, apricots or cranberries if desired.
Serving size: ½ cup
- Calories: 528 calories
- Fat: 36 grams
- Sodium: 5 mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 45 grams
- Dietary Fiber: 8 grams
- Total Sugars: 16 grams
- Protein: 13 grams
- Potassium: 452 mg
- Magnesium: 168 mg
- Iron: 4 mg
- Prep time: 15 minutes
- Total time: 15 minutes
- Makes 14-15 servings
- 1 cup pitted dates. If dry, soak in warm water for 10 minutes, then drain well.
- 3 tbsp peanut butter or almond butter (for less sugar added, use unsweetened)
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips (for less sugar added, use extremely dark chocolate or Lillie’s chocolate)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds, whole
- 2/3 cup oats
- Pulse pitted dates in a food processor or blender until they are small pieces that can form into a ball. If you do not have a blender, you can cut the dates with a knife.
- Add oats, melted chocolate, chia seeds and peanut butter and pulse until well combined. Small consistent pieces are desired, but not overly processed.
- Carefully roll into one-inch balls.
- To set, pop in fridge or freezer for 15 minutes.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to one week; freeze for up to one month.
Dark Chocolate Bark With Strawberries and Pistachios
- 16 oz. Dark chocolate (at least 72% cocoa) melted
- 1 cup freeze dried strawberries, chopped
- ½ cup pistachios, chopped
- ½ cup toasted coconut, chopped
- Sprinkle of salt
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Microwave chocolate in 20-second intervals, stirring in between intervals, until melted.
- Stir half of the ingredients into the chocolate and pour the mixture onto the parchment paper. Spread it evenly with a spatula.
- Top the mixture with the remaining ingredients.
- Refrigerate 30 minutes to one hour.
- Use a sharp knife to break the bark into bit-size pieces.
Head to our blog to find more heart healthy recipes for every meal plan, occasion and season.
If you’re ready to start your journey to a healthier, active lifestyle, our team is here to discuss the best bariatric surgery option for you. Visit bmi.arheart.com to learn more, see if you qualify for surgery and to watch our free, no-commitment online seminar.