I’m a busy person, and while I would love to stop the clock and sit down for a nutritionally sound meal three times a day, that ain’t happening. Snacking on the go is a must, and in addition to the standard fruit and trail mix, I like to jazz things up by baking bars with seeds and whole grains. One of my favorite seeds to bake with is the chia seed.
I know, I know…I’m very suspicious of any food that is lifted up on a pedestal and hailed as a “superfood.” That said, chia seeds are kind of super. They’re a fantastic source of iron, omega-3 acids, antioxidants, fiber and calcium, plus they hold a lot of water so they’re good for hydration.
I found a recipe on Oh She Glows that includes three different kinds of seeds, including chia seeds, and had to give it a go. I made a couple changes and am happy to share my take below.
Click here for the original recipe, but please note that this is not actually a “Sugar Free” recipe as the title bills it; rather it uses whole dates in place of refined sugars, making it “Refined Sugar Free.”
Chewy Baked Fantastic-ness
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup hot water
3/4 cup packed pitted Medjool dates (note: these are whole dates, not oat-flour date pieces)
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup dried fruit (choose a fruit without any additional sweetener or sulfur added)
2 Tablespoons of cacao nibs
1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a 9-inch square pan with two pieces of parchment paper—this is a sticky mixture, so make sure the pan is covered in both directions.
2. Add rolled oats into a high-speed blender (I used my Nutribullet). Blend until a fine flour forms. Add oat flour into a large bowl.
3. Add hot (not boiling) water and pitted dates into the blender or Bullet and process till they’re very smooth.
4. Add all of the ingredients into the bowl with the oat flour and stir well until combined.
5. Spread the mix into the pan evenly You can use lightly wet hands to smooth it down if necessary.
6. Bake at 325F for about 25 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then lift it out and transfer it to a cooling rack for another 5-10 minutes.
7. Slice them into 12 bars and enjoy!