February 19, 2014

Chia Oat Energy Bars {Recipe}

I woke up this morning with a weird craving for some kind of chewy oatmeal bar. A healthy one. So after I got the Bebe situated and fed, I took to the kitchen to start mixing and experimenting. I knew I wanted oats, chia seeds and coconut oil to be included so I just kind of started adding from there and I have to say...these puppies turned out DELISH. They are egg free, dairy free and free of both refined sugar and refined flour. Anytime I want to make a recipe "clean" I typically replace butter with coconut oil, all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour), refined or brown sugar gets replaced with either raw honey or 100% grade A maple syrup and if I want to cut out the egg, I use a chia egg.

I like having things like this on hand so that I can grab them and go, especially if I know I'll be out and about running errands. They keep me from binge-eating scones from Starbucks while I'm on the road. There's nothing more depressing than getting in the car later on and finding a bunch of pastry crumbs on the driver's seat...at least if these bars leave crumbs, they'll just be a reminder that your ass remained disciplined that day.

If you aren't yet familiar with chia seeds, GET ACQUAINTED. Seriously. These little seeds are jam-packed with healthy benefits. Here's a nifty little article that gives you a rundown of why you should be getting jiggy with chia seeds: click me, baby!

After I ate 2 of these bars, I decided I could have probably cut down on the honey added (I used 1/2 cup, but if you don't have much of a sweet tooth, you could cut down to 1/4 cup). Other than that, there's not much else I'd change about this recipe. Here's what I did (recipe below photo)...

2 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 c. whole wheat flour (I buy mine in bulk at Fred Meyer or Winco)
1/2 c. chia seeds (I buy the Nutiva organic brand from Costco, but you can buy in bulk as well)
1/2 c. unsweetened coconut (optional)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 c. 100% grade A maple syrup
1/2 c. raw honey (you can cut down to 1/4 cup if desired)
1/4 c. molasses
1 tsp vanilla
3 TBS coconut oil, melted (I get the Nutiva organic brand from Costco)
1/2 tsp salt

Combine all dry ingredients and mix well in a large bowl, set aside. Melt coconut oil in a separate bowl and whisk in remaining wet ingredients (maple syrup, honey, molasses). Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch dish. I pressed it all down to make it very compact by spraying the back of a spatula with oil (so it wouldn't stick). Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes. Let bars cool COMPLETELY before cutting into 2x4 squares (or whatever shape blows your skirt up). Voila! Enjoy!

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