HIGH PROTEIN CHIA BREAKFAST BARS
Recently, my friend Carroll mentioned that she was “looking for a breakfast bar recipe – one high in protein and fiber using date sugar or molasses and nuts and seeds.” Well, Caroll, I think I have one for you! Here is a delicious, nutrient dense energy bar. It’s going to be very versatile because you can switch the ingredients to keep things interesting! They are a snap to make and are filled with nuts, seeds, healthy fruit, fiber, protein and natural fats. Along with a cup of hot tea or coffee, they will make you a perfect grab and go breakfast. I might suggest you even pair it with a nice tart, crunchy apple or a tangerine or orange which are also packed with healthy vitamins and fiber! One of these power bars will help you feel fuller longer because they are a concentrated energy source with a low glycemic index that will prevent any major jags in your blood sugar levels keeping your energy stable. You will feel fuller longer.
Warning: Because these are really, really tasty you may be tempted to eat more than one. One bar is a serving … and will give you the excellent nutrients that you need for breakfast. 🙂
Servings: 12 bars Prep time: 10-15 min No cook time
- ½ heaping cup raw almonds
- ½ heaping up walnuts*
- or any other nut of choice
- 1/2 heaping cup dried, pitted Medjool dates that have been soaked in boiling water for 2 minutes to soften – this was about 8 big fat dates
- 1/3 cup just nuts walnut butter or nut butter of choice
- 3 heaping Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp molasses, organic maple syrup, honey or agave
- 1/4 cup chopped dried plums (prunes) cranberries or chopped apricots are pretty too
- 1 to 2 tbsp organic coconut flakes
Take an 8” x 8” or 9” X 9” pan and place a piece of parchment or wax paper into the bottom of the pan.
Next, in a food processor place nuts and blend for about 30 seconds or until nuts are fairly well ground.
Add drained dates, nut butter, 2 Tbsp chia seeds, vanilla and sweetener of your choice.
Make sure your mixture is sticky, that’s what the sweetener assists with. If it seems a bit dry or too crumbly, the bars won’t stick together will fall apart so add just a bit more nut butter instead of more sweetener. This will also help the dried fruit you garnish with on top to stick.
Remove mixture from food processor bowl and press it into the base of your prepared pan using the back of a spatula or other implement to flatten and smooth it down. You are looking for a bar about ½ inch or so thick.
Sprinkle the surface of the mixture with a dried fruit and a scant tablespoon of coconut cranberries and remaining tablespoon of chia seeds, pressing down gently with your fingers and spatula so that they adhere snugly into the surface.
For one last time, fold the sides of the parchment or wax paper inward, one at a time, over the mixture and gently press down one last time with your hand on top of the paper.
Next place the pan in the fridge and allow the mixture to firm up for about 1 hour or so. You can speed this up a bit by placing in the freezer for about 30 minutes and then pop into the fridge.
When you’re ready to slice the bars, gently pull up on the ends of the paper and slip onto a cutting board and cut into squares as desired. I actually cut 12 portions from my 8” x 8” pan – it’s just that Kirsten, Eigo (who came down to see me in It’s a Wonderful Life” and I each had to sample one before I took the pic! Yes, they are yummy and passed the “Eigo” test!
Until ready to eat, store in the fridge in an airtight container.
Note: This recipe can be very versatile because you can use any nut of your choice, any nut butter of your choice and any dried fruit of your choice to garnish the top.
Check this out: Here are some important facts to let you know combinations such as this bar are good for you:
- Dates: High in fiber; an excellent source of potassium and calcium; 277 calories in a 100 g serving (that’s about 6 or 7 big, fat Medjool dates)
- Chia seeds offer plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants and an impressive array of minerals. Unlike flaxseed, chia does not have to be ground to be absorbed and usable by the body)
- Walnuts: Packed with protein, high in fiber and also contains healthy fats omega-3 fatty acids
- Almonds: Raw almonds are gluten-free; good source of monounsaturated fat which lowers LDL cholesterol level; are magnesium rich, high in Vitamin E and loaded with Vitamin B6
- Molasses: One of two sweeteners (the other is date sugar) that actually has some healthy attributes: highest in manganese and copper also has magnesium and iron
- Prunes: Dried plums have Vitamin A, beta carotene, Vitamin B6, potassium, calcium and a great source of Iron