This would have to be one of my favourite recipes for a QUICK snack. Taking only 5 minutes to prepare, it is perfect for when you want something nutritious and fast. These 5 minute Maca bars are packed with goodness – Maca powder, cranberries, sesame seeds, coconut oil.
I like to add Maca powder for its amazing health benefits. Known as the “Peruvian Ginseng”, Maca is nutritionally dense with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to support energy, immunity and mood. It contains vitamin C, vitamin B, calcium and iron.
Cranberries also have great benefits. Antioxidants and phytonutrients in cranberries, such as oligomeric proanthocyanidins, anthocyanidin flavonoids (which give them their bright red color), cyanidin, peonidin, and quercetin, have unique health-impacting attributes. (Scientists say it’s possible that the anthocyanidin strength in cranberries is increased when they’re water-harvested, due to the amount of natural sunlight they’re exposed to.) Some contain stroke- and cardiovascular disease-preventing compounds that discourage cholesterol from forming in the heart and blood vessels.
Research bears out that cranberries also protect against cancer, particularly breast cancer, due in part to potent antioxidant polyphenols.
The fiber in cranberries is another big benefit, providing 20% of the daily recommended value in every serving for maintaining a flushed system. The same amount is found in manganese. One serving of cranberries also provides 24% of the daily value (DV) in vitamin C, along with vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), the only form of this powerful antioxidant actively maintained in the human body.
Another awesome ingredient in these bars are sesame seeds. One of the initial oil seeds known to humankind, sesame seeds have been widely employed in culinary as well as in traditional medicines for their nutritive, preventive, and curative properties. Sesame are an important sources of phyto-nutrients such as omega-6 fatty acids, flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants, vitamins, and dietary fiber with potential anti-cancer as well as health promoting properties.
And the final ingredient worth mentioning is coconut oil. “Coconut oil is the healthiest oil on earth,” says Dr Bruce Fife, who runs the Coconut Research Center in the US. While he doesn’t dispute that the oil, extracted from the meat of mature coconuts, is mostly made up of saturated fat, Fife says scientific evidence shows it is a healthier version.
“Coconut oil is unique because it is composed predominately of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs),” he says. “The size of the fatty acid is extremely important because physiological effects of medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are distinctly different from the long-chain fatty acids more commonly found in our diet.
“It’s the MCTs in coconut oil that make it different from all other fats and, for the most part, gives it its unique character and healing properties. Few foods nowadays contain MCT. By adding coconut oil to your diet you can literally eat your way to better health.”
He cites a long list of ways coconut oil has been found to benefit human bodies. He says it:
- Protects against heart disease by increasing good cholesterol and lowering the ratio of bad and good cholesterol.
- Helps treat malnutrition because it is easy to digest and absorb.
- Kills disease-causing bacteria, fungi, yeasts and viruses because of the antimicrobial effects of its fatty acids.
- Helps diabetics by slowing sugar release into the bloodstream.
- Prevents strokes and brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
- Boosts metabolism and increases energy because it is more likely to be burned as fuel than stored as body fat.
I think you will agree that these bars are a great way to add extra nutrition into your family’s diet and they taste amazing. Like all sweet treats you will need to eat them in moderation (if you can). I store ours in the freezer to hide them from the kids 🙂