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Cherry-Chocolate Granola Bites

A Reader Recipe: Chunky Cherry-Chocolate Granola Bites

FitSugar reader JuicyNoelle came up with this special cookie for Valentine's Day; she posted the recipe in our Healthy Recipe group.

Tied with a festive pink ribbon and a little love, I’m hoping these cookies will be perfect for Valentine's Day. The whole-grain oats, nuts, and cherries in these cookies add heartiness, while the melted dark-chocolate chunks deliver bursts of richness. The chia seeds pack a nutty punch, and they are rich in fiber and omega-3s, too — perfect for supporting vibrant hair and skin during these cold weeks of February.

Learn more about the recipe after the break!

Chunky Cherry, Chocolate, and Granola Bites
Makes 32 cookies (120 calories per cookie)

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup natural cane sugar
1 organic egg
1 teaspoon good vanilla extract (I like Madagascar pure vanilla extract)
1 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup dried coconut
1/2 cup spelt flakes or rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped into chunks
1/2 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup good dark chocolate chips (more than 60 percent cocoa)
1/2 cup peanuts or walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons raw chia seeds
6 tablespoons almond milk, plus extra
3 tablespoons good extra-virgin olive oil

Better-for-you ingredients
Learn more about the better-for-you ingredients in this recipe:

* Chia seeds — Cleansing divas love the versatility of chia seeds. Chia seeds are rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to support healthy skin, hair, and joints. In addition, omega-3s are valued for their ability to fight heart disease, support a healthy immune system, and help protect against abnormal blood clotting. Chia seeds are also believed to be useful in the fight against depression.

* Whole-wheat pastry flour — A healthier alternative to white all-purpose flour, whole-wheat pastry flour has a lighter and more enjoyable texture in baked goods than regular whole-wheat flour.

Find the full recipe at the blog Green Lemonade and don't forget to post your own recipes in our Healthy Recipe group!

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