Friday, April 11, 2014

Blue & Green "Kind" Bars

I haven't talked a lot about my current job on here, but I thought today would be the perfect day to do so. To the people in my community and thousands of people across the United States, today is a special day: April is National Donate Life Month and April 11th is National Donate Life Month Blue & Green Day!

I'm an employee at a nonprofit called Donate Life America, where we work to increase awareness about organ, eye and tissue donation and encourage others to register to be donors. Did you know that nearly 29,000 lifesaving transplants were performed last year alone? Miracles are happening every day through the gift of donation, both deceased and living. That being said: There are currently over 120,000 people on the UNOS waiting list to receive a transplant. Livers, kidneys, hearts, lungs, pancreas, intestines...there aren't enough donated to keep up with the dire need.

We can all help in a few different ways, mainly by registering to be a donor through our state registries (click here) and by staying healthy to keep our names off the list. For Blue & Green Day, I'm sharing a recipe that's intended to be more than just the colors to promote awareness. The ingredients are natural and nutritious to promote health. These bars are packed full of power foods that taste awesome and are "kind" to your entire body: organs, eyes, tissue and all.

Blueberries are one of my favorite foods, and it just so happens to have tons of benefits! These sweet berries contain lots of antioxidants, which strength your ability to fight infection and disease. They also have high levels of vitamin C, fiber, manganese (bone health) and compounds that reduce inflammation. (Source)

Pistachios contain more antioxidants (eye health) and vitamin B6 (supports healthy blood, thus general organ health).  

Walnuts specifically helps liver health and functioning through glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids. 

Pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, are high in magnesium. Did you know that magnesium is essential for the body to function? People with kidney disease are susceptible to magnesium deficiency (source).

Almonds alone pack a mean punch: In addition to the protein/fiber/fatty acids, they are high in vitamin E (heart & brain heath, etc), vitamin B (energy production), and mono-saturated fat (heart health). They are also believed to help cut cravings, thus reducing the risk of obesity (source).

These are a perfect breakfast or afternoon snack, that provide energy with a touch of protein and fiber.

Blue & Green "Kind" Bars
Servings: 18 bars

1 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted almonds
3/4 cup pistachios
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup puffed quinoa or puffed millet
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup golden cane syrup or brown rice syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt (use less if some nuts are salted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Prepare a 9x13 baking sheet or dish with nonstick spray. Also spray the bottom of a coffee mug and spatula for later.
  • Combine nuts and seeds on a large cutting board and roughly chop (over half can remain whole). Add to a large bowl with flaxseed and puffed quinoa (or millet), and set aside. Finely chop 1/2 cup dried blueberries, keeping the remaining half whole. Add to bowl with nuts/seeds.
  • Attached a candy thermometer to a small saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Add honey, syrup, vanilla and salt and bring to a low boil. Stir often and let mixture come to 260 degrees. 
  • At this point, immediately remove pan from stovetop and pour over prepared nut/seed mixture. Stir quickly to evenly coat, and then pour into the prepared baking sheet. Use your hands to press  and spread mixture down, filling in any holes and gaps. Then use the bottom of the coffee mug to further compress the mixture (I placed a piece of parchment on top of the mixture to avoid too much mess).
  • Allow the bars to cool for 20-30 minutes. Tip the bars out on a clean surface and cut into 18 bars. Store individually-wrapped in the refrigerator for optimum freshness (also helps prevent too much stickiness).

Notes: Based on recipe by The Yummy Life


  1. These look delicious! I definitely need to give these a try!

    1. Yes, you need to! SO addicting! Let me know how it goes :)

  2. Hi - Found you at the VA Bloggers link up. These look so yummy and promote a good cause too! We eat KIND bars like crazy at my house, so I may give these a try if I am feeling adventurous. Thanks!!

    1. Aw, I'm glad you found me! Kind bars can be a little pricey, so it's good to have this up your sleeve. I was surprised at how easy it was!

  3. Awesome! Can't wait to make these! Thanks for sharing!