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Amaranth is a South American superfood grain that can be popped much like corn. Brown rice syrup has a lower glycemic index than other sweeteners, so this bar won’t send your blood sugar soaring.
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/3 cup almond butter
1/2 cup amaranth
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 tsp. orange zest
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. sea salt
In a small saucepan, heat brown rice syrup and almond butter over medium heat, stirring often, until a smooth mixture forms. Set aside.
In a pot over medium-high heat add 1 Tbsp. amaranth and cover. As soon as the grains begin to pop, shake the pot vigorously for about 10 seconds, or until the popping stops. Remove popped amaranth and place in a large bowl. Repeat with remaining grain 1 Tbsp. at a time, turning down the heat slightly if needed.
Stir pecans, raisins, chia seeds, orange zest, cardamom and salt into the popped amaranth. Mix in the syrup-almond butter mixture until everything is moist. Place mixture in a greased or parchment-lined baking pan (8 in. x 8 in.) and press down firmly into an even layer. Refrigerate for 2 hours, then slice into 12 bars.
Nutritional info: 146 calories, 3g protein, 9g fat (1g saturated), 26g carbs (3g fiber), 74mg sodium