Chia Seed Protein Bars

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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!

Chia Seed Protein Bars Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

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…)

Chia Seed Protein Bars Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

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.

Chia Seed Protein Bars Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

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.

Chia Seed Protein Bars Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Wrap these bars up individually for the perfect grab-and-go healthy snack.

 

Chia Seed Protein Bars
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup almonds, unsalted
  • ¼ cup pistachios, unsalted, shells removed
  • ¼ cup pitted dates
  • ¼ 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
Instructions
  1. 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, chia seeds, 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 ½ Tablespoon more of coconut oil and mix again).
  2. 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!
Notes
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.
 

23 Comments

  • September 21, 2013 - 10:15 pm | Permalink

    These look sweet and delicious!! Creative. Definitely going to try this one!

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      September 22, 2013 - 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Mer! You will love them. Grain free and coconut oil 🙂

      • Anabel
        January 6, 2015 - 4:49 pm | Permalink

        Hi Rachel! This is exactely what I’ve been looking for! It sounds delicious. Do you happen to know the nutrition facts? calorie per bar, protein, fiber, sugar…?

        Thx
        ~Anabel

        • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
          January 6, 2015 - 5:00 pm | Permalink

          Hi Anabel, I am glad these bars look good to you! I haven’t calculated the nutrition information, but I would recommend using http://www.myfitnesspal.com/ as brands of ingredients will vary in nutrition information. It also depends on what size you cut the bars. I will say that they are VERY nutritious – lots of protein, fiber and healthy fats 🙂 Let me know how you like them!

  • Daphne Raj
    December 3, 2013 - 1:15 am | Permalink

    you mean shelled pistachios right? As in shells removed?

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      December 3, 2013 - 9:42 am | Permalink

      Hi Daphne, yes sorry for any confusion. I just updated the ingredients list. Shells removed!

  • Kat
    February 9, 2014 - 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Do you not need to soak the chia seeds before using them?

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      February 10, 2014 - 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Kat, no need to soak them! Just use them right out of the package.

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    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      February 19, 2014 - 9:03 am | Permalink

      Thanks for trying (a version of) my recipe!

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  • Cassie
    May 20, 2014 - 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Any ideas for them being tree but free? I can’t do almonds or coconut. Or whey or soy. I was thinking peanut butter, cashews and dates. Thoughts?

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      May 20, 2014 - 8:22 pm | Permalink

      Cassie, I think that combo would work – peanuts just have a stronger taste than almonds (and that is not a bad thing!). You can sub the coconut oil for any other oil and feel free to add in additional dried fruit for more flavor. Let me know how they turn out!

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  • Meg
    September 1, 2014 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

    I just made these and they are so good! I thought eating right out of freezer would be weird but it’s refreshing. I baked half the batch and cut into bars for a different texture too and they still tasted great. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      September 2, 2014 - 7:51 am | Permalink

      That is so great, Meg! I am thrilled you love them as much as I do!

  • Jennifer
    September 22, 2014 - 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have a food processor but I have a Ninja Blender do you think that would work?

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      September 23, 2014 - 7:25 am | Permalink

      I think you should give it a try! As long as it can chop the nuts, you should be fine.

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  • DJ
    September 30, 2016 - 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I tried making them last night…and they turned out delicious!!! I also added organic peanut butter powder and made them into little balls. Love ’em!

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      September 30, 2016 - 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Oh that sounds like an awesome idea! I’ll have to try that!

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