I’ve been on a real Chia Seed kick for the last year. I put these little guys in everything – yogurt, overnight oats, and now I make protein bars with them, too!
If you have never had chia seeds, or you’ve seen them in the store and are hesitant to try them, here are a few things that may sway you:
- They are a great source of healthy fats, fiber and protein. Just one tablespoon has 70 calories, 3 grams of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, 6 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein
- Chia seeds have no taste. That is why they are easy to add to anything.
- The seeds expand when they touch liquid, so many people use them as a thickening agent to make healthy puddings and smoothies. (Warning: getting a chia seed stuck in your teeth is worse than getting a poppy seed stuck. As I said, it expands…so I just hope you have a hand mirror or an honest friend nearby…)
For all of those reasons, chia seeds are a great addition to these bars. They blend right in with the nuts and dried fruit, and add a great dose of fats, protein, and fiber.
With no added sugars, these chia bars are super healthy. So long processed granola bars and high-fructose corn syrup! We are all about real, nutritious ingredients nowadays.
These bars are very easy to make – everything goes in the food processor. When all of the ingredients are blended together I roll out the mixture with a rolling pin and then cut them into 6-8 bars. I then place the cut bars in the freezer to harden.
Tip: The first time I made these, I rolled out the mixture, froze it, and then tried cutting the bars. It was a bad move. The bars ended up crumbling so much that 1/3 of the mixture went to waste. My advice is to definitely cut, then freeze.
Wrap these bars up individually for the perfect grab-and-go healthy snack. C’mon, get on the chia kick.
Chia Protein Bars
3/4 cup almonds, unsalted
1/4 cup pistachios, unsalted, shells removed
1/4 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup raisins (or dried cranberries)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I love this kind)
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
2 Tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
Grind the almonds and pistachios in the food processor until they become like course sand (not too fine), about 30-40 seconds. Then add the dates and the raisins and grind again for another 30 seconds. Next, add the protein powder, applesauce and coconut oil. Grind for an additional 30 seconds until the mixture is well combined and moist and slightly sticky (If the mixture is not moist enough add about 1/2 Tablespoon more of coconut oil and mix again).
Remove the mixture onto a large cutting board. Place a large piece of wax or parchment paper over the mixture and using a rolling pin, roll the mixture into an even thickness. Cut into 6-8 bars and leave on the cutting board. Place the board in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer and wrap individually in saran wrap. To ensure shape and freshness store the bars in the fridge for one week or in the freezer for up to 2 months (I can assure you that they will be eaten long before that, though). I prefer mine straight from the freezer!
Tip: I have also divided the mixture into 6-8 balls and pressed each ball down into a muffin pan. I then put the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes. After, I used a knife to help me remove each chia portion from it’s muffin cup and wrapped them individually in saran wrap.