By now, you have most likely noticed the many superfruits making an appearance in our markets and recipes. And what is so special about these so called superfruits? For starters, they are loaded with a variety of nutrients that your standard apple, orange, or banana just doesn't provide. They are known to have stellar amounts of anti-oxidants that protect our cellular health and keep our immunity strong.
Two of the super fruits used in these granola bites are goji berries and dragon fruit. If you haven't yet tried either one of these, you are going to love them! Goji berries have been thought to possess some anti-aging effects. Woo hoo! They are also an immune system builder, and provide good support for our kidneys and liver. Their anti-inflammatory properties are great for cardiovascular health as well. Goji berries are a good source of iron, amino acids, and in just one ounce, you get 4 grams of protein! That's awesome!
Dragon fruit may be a new one for some of you. It is also referred to as pitaya. And where does this special fruit come from? It grows from cacti. If you are lucky enough to come across one in your produce department, grab it and try one. Just slice it in half and you scoop out the insides and eat it. You may find it resembles kiwi in its mildly sweet flavor and texture. There are lots of little seeds that are incredibly nutritious. Sometimes you can find them in freezer packs in your frozen foods section. Those are commonly used to make pitaya bowls which are similar in concept to the acaí bowl.
Dragon fruit is good for maintaining good heart health, digestion, and skin health. It's rich in fiber, Vitamin C, and calcium. Speaking of skin health, dragon fruit has also been known to help treat acne by blending the fruit with some water to create a paste. Then apply it to the acne infected areas and allow it to soothe your skin. It will also help prevent future breakouts. In this recipe, we are using dried dragon fruit which comes in thin slices. You are going to either use a knife to cut them or tear them into small pieces.
These granola bites are nut free. Using a combination of tahini butter, coconut cream concentrate, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, coconut, and honey. If you don't want to be overwhelmed by sesame (the tahini butter and sesame seeds), some other seeds that can be used are flaxseeds and hemp seeds. I combined them with these two delicious dried super fruits and the combination is irresistible. You are left with a feeling of feeling satisfied without filling up on empty calories. That makes them the perfect snack. Packed with protein and other nutrients, these granola bites are a wise choice any time of day.
Feel free to sub the tahini butter and seeds with a nut butter and finely chopped nuts if that is your preference. Some other super fruits that are worth mentioning as options are goldenberries, bilberries, and mulberries. Any combination of these berries would be delicious. You can cut these bites into your desired size. I like cutting them into 1 inch squares. They are the perfect size to just have a bite or two of something when those cravings strike. You could easily cut these into bars as well. Just make sure to store them in your refrigerator. Freezing them is also an option for longevity.
1 1/2 cups gluten free quick oats
2 Tbs raw sesame seeds (hemp or flaxseeds work as well too)
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/8 cup chia seeds
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup goji berries
1/4 cup dragon fruit, torn into small pieces
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup tahini butter
1/2 cup coconut cream concentrate
1/2 cup raw honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Line a 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper going in both directions. This makes it easy to lift the bars out once they have firmed up.
2. Mix the oats, seeds, coconut, goji berries, dragon fruit, cinnamon, ginger, and sea salt in a large bowl.
3. In a small saucepan over low heat, add the tahini butter and coconut cream concentrate. You don't want the mixture to get super hot. Just warm enough so that the ingredients are easily stirred and softened. Remove from heat and stir in the honey.
4. Once combined, add the vanilla to the saucepan as well, then pour the mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix everything well. I find it easiest to use my hands to ensure everything is thoroughly combined.
5. Then add the mixture to the 8x8 baking dish. Firmly press the mixture down into the pan so that it is packed nice and tightly to the bottom and edges of the pan. Cover the pan and place it in your refrigerator.
6. Allow at least two hours (or overnight) for it to firm up. Then slice the granola bites up into your desired size. Store in your refrigerator.