Modified from Sally’s Baking Addiction blog.

In the time of COVID we are all looking for ways to get outside, find the sun, feel a bit carefree, and find ways to improve our energy and immune systems. Nuts and seeds have a benefit of adding many trace minerals and nutrients to our diet. They also provide healthy fats to nourish our skin, boost our mood, and decrease inflammation. To focus on and improve men’s health, we took this great Chocolate Cherry Almond Snack Bar recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction and added a few of our own ingredients. Our additions and the reason for adding them follow the recipe. In the coming weeks, we hope you get outside and take advantage of all the beauty Colorado has to offer.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 12 bars


Chocolate Cherry Almond

Snack Bars


  • 1/3 cup (114g) honey or brown rice syrup*

  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/3 cup (40g) almond meal*

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1 Tablespoon (15g) almond butter

  • 2 cups (280g) whole almonds, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 cup (60g) dried cherries, roughly chopped

  • 1/3 cup (58g) mini chocolate chips


    1. Black Sesame Seeds (called Hei Zhi Ma in Chinese Medicine): The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what organs and meridians they target. As such black sesame seeds are thought to target the Kidney and the Liver. According to TCM, the Kidneys do not only regulate the urinary system but also play a key role in the reproductive system and the growth and aging process of the body. The Liver on the other hand is often referred as the body’s “general” because it is in charge of regulating the movements of Qi and body fluids. It also takes a leading role in balancing our emotions. Also helpful to reduce constipation. Credits Recommended, approximately 1/3 cup.

    2. Cornelian Cherries (also called Shan Zhu Yu in Chinese Medicine): In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), cornelian cherries are plants that belong to the ‘Herbs that stabilize and bind’ category. This category of herbs is used for treating abnormal discharges and displacement of organs. This includes conditions such as diarrhea, discharges from the vagina, penis or rectum as well as prolapse of the uterus or rectum. It is important to note that herbs in this category only treat symptoms, so one should also use herbs to treat the underlying Deficiency. These can be purchased at an asian market and swapped out for the standard dried cherries that are in the recipe. Credits

    3. Fresh Ginger (also called Sheng Jiang in Chinese Medicine): Fresh ginger is a plant that is Warm in nature. This means that fresh ginger tend to help people who have too much “cold” in their body, although with less effect than a plant that would be Hot in nature. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Those who have too much cold in their body are said to either have a Yin excess (because Yin is Cold in nature) or a Yang deficiency (Yang is Hot in Nature). Depending on your condition fresh ginger can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang. It can be combined with a small amount of tangerine peel to aid digestion and support the lungs. Credits Recommended, approximately 2 Tbsp.

    4. Tangerine Peel (also called Chen Pi in Chinese Medicine): In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), tangerine peel are plants that belong to the ‘Herbs that regulate Qi’ category. Herbs in this category typically treat a TCM condition called ‘Qi Stagnation’. Concretely it means that Qi is blocked in the body’s Organs and Meridians, most typically the Stomach, Liver, and to a lesser extent, the Lungs. In modern medicine terms, Qi Stagnation often translates into psychological consequences such as depression, irritability or mood swings. It’s also frequently associated with conditions such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menopausal symptoms, the development of breast swellings as well as various digestive disorders. Credits Recommended, approximately 1Tbsps.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 300°F (149°C). Line an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the bars from the pan. Set aside.Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix the honey, vanilla, almond meal, salt, and almond butter together until combined. Fold in the almonds, cherries, and chocolate chips until combined.Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan and press very firmly into an even layer. You really want it packed in tight- as tight as possible. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack for 1 hour, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 1 more hour. This helps firm up the bars which makes them stay compact. Remove bars from the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. Individually wrap each bar in plastic wrap or parchment. Store at room temperature for 1 week or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. I find they get a little sticky at room temperature over a few days, so I prefer the refrigerator.


  1. Freezing Instructions: These bars are freezer friendly. After wrapping individually, freeze for up to 3 months and thaw before enjoying.

  2. Sweetener: I do not suggest a thinner sweetener like maple syrup or agave– honey or brown rice syrup is perfect.

  3. Almond Meal: You can use store-bought almond meal or almond flour, or you can make your own. Start with 1/4 cup of slivered, sliced, or whole almonds. Pulse them in a food processor until a crumbly meal has formed. Do not run the food processor continuously; you may end up with almond butter. Little pulses are best. You will end up with around 1/4 cup almond meal.

  4. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls, Cuisinart Food Processor, Ninja Master Prep, Mariani Pitted Dates, Square Glass Baking Dish

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