Tag Archives: Chia Seeds

Snacks Vegan

No-Bake Nut and Oat Granola Bars

Where did June go!? Is it me, or did it just fly by? We were so busy all month with our trip to Chicago, friends’ events and a recent visit to New Jersey. I feel like I’ve hardly had any time to pop-in and say hi to you guys.

No-Bake Nut and Oat Granola Bars Recipe

I thoroughly enjoyed being home for three days over 4th of July weekend. June’s schedule left me very little time for recipe development, so I was excited to have a few extra hours to spend in the kitchen. I have a backlog of recipes I’ve been meaning to try this summer.

No-Bake Nut and Oat Granola Bars Recipe

On Sunday we had exactly zero plans (yay!), so I spent the afternoon trying three new recipes. These No-Bake Nut and Oat Granola Bars were one of them. I am usually wary of no-bake recipes because the texture can often be pretty funky. But, these bars were GREAT! All you have to do is press the mixture into a baking dish, place the dish into the freezer for a couple hours, slice, and enjoy! Easy peasy. Freezing is key – otherwise if you try to slice them, they’ll just fall apart into a crumbly mess.

These No Bake Nut and Oat Granola Bars couldn't be easier! They're the perfect portable snack or breakfast when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I absolutely loved the flavor of these granola bars. They’re packed with fiber (oats and dried fruit!) and healthy fats (nuts and chia seeds!), making them a healthy and delicious mid-day snack. Plus, they’re gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and refined-sugar free! So you can definitely make them for your friend who has ALL the food allergies…you know who I am talking about ;-)!

These No Bake Nut and Oat Granola Bars couldn't be easier! They're the perfect portable snack or breakfast when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The recipe makes 10-12 bars. If you’re only making them for yourself, you can cut the recipe in half OR place half the sliced bars in the freezer until you’re ready to eat them.

 

No-Bake Nut and Oat Granola Bars
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 10-12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dates
  • ¾ cup almonds, toasted
  • ¼ cup pecans, toasted
  • 1.5 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1.5 Tablespoons chia seeds
  • pinch sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Line an 8x11 or 9x9 baking dish with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, soak the dates in water for 15 minutes.
  3. Place the almonds and pecans in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped, about 15 seconds. Make sure not to process the nuts too fine - you still want chunks. Combine the almonds and pecans in a large bowl with the oats, chia seeds, salt, and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Stir in the raisins.
  4. Drain the dates, reserving a few Tablespoons of the water. Place the dates in the food processor with the almond butter and vanilla. Process until smooth, adding one Tablespoon of reserved water as needed. Add the date mixture to the nut and oat mixture. Stir well - you may need to use your hands to thoroughly combine.
  5. Spread the mixture into the greased baking dish, using the back of a rubber spatula to press the mixture completely flat. Cover and place the dish in the freezer for 1.5-2 hours until hard. Remove from the freezer and using a sharp knife, slice into 10-12 bars. Wrap individual bars in saran wrap. Store in fridge or freezer until ready to eat.
 

These No Bake Nut and Oat Granola Bars couldn't be easier! They're the perfect portable snack or breakfast when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Breakfast Smoothies Vegan

Chia Seed and Turmeric Smoothie

Turmeric is going to be the hot new health trend this year — I promise you. This powerful spice detoxes your liver, has the ability to kill cancer cells in the body, and protects your brain from Alzheimer’s disease. Betchya didn’t know all of that, did you?

Try this healthy and detoxifying Chia Seed & Turmeric Smoothie Recipe! It's vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Turmeric is most commonly used in curry and other ethnic dishes, so it might be a bit surprising for some of you to see it used in a smoothie. When Williams-Sonoma reached out to me to participate in their “Not Your Typical Smoothie” week, I knew turmeric would be the perfect ingredient to change things up.

Try this healthy and detoxifying Chia Seed & Turmeric Smoothie Recipe! It's vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

On its own, turmeric has a fairly bitter taste, so if using it in a smoothie you really have to mask it with other yummy ingredients. The dominant flavors in this smoothie come from mango, banana, cinnamon, and ginger. The turmeric and chia seeds (healthy fats, antioxidants, and protein galore!) are hidden in there for an extra nutritional boost.

This smoothie is great to drink right when you wake up in the morning – especially if you are looking for something to cleanse your system. It really couldn’t get healthier than this!

 

Chia Seed and Turmeric Smoothie
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk
  • 3 large ice cubes
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup frozen mango
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • Stevia (optional)
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the almond milk, ice cubes, banana, mango, turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger in a blender and blend until almost smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the chia seeds and blend for an additional 15 seconds until smooth. Taste the smoothie and add stevia and coconut flakes as desired.
 

This post was inspired by Williams-Sonoma, but the recipe and all opinions are my own. Thank you for your support.

 

Try this healthy and detoxifying Chia Seed & Turmeric Smoothie Recipe! It's vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

Breakfast

How to Make Overnight Oats

I’ve been getting lots of questions on my Instagram about how I make my Overnight Oats. If you google “Overnight Oats” you will find hundreds of different ways to make them, but the basic idea is that you soak oats in some form of liquid in the fridge overnight, so that in the morning all you have to do is eat!

I love making overnight oats to have on busy weekday mornings when I get home from the gym before I rush off to work. I make them so often now that I don’t use an measuring cups or spoons, but I measured everything out this time, so I could show you guys how I make them.

How to Make Overnight Oats

The basic ingredients you will need are: plain greek yogurt, almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla), rolled / old-fashioned oats, chia seeds, and a fruit of choice (optional).

How to Make Overnight Oats

Start with a large jar or tupperware of choice. The most DELICIOUS way to make overnight oats is to put all of the ingredients in an almost empty nut butter jar, like you may have seen on my Instagram. This way the oats soak up the peanut buttery taste overnight and every bite is extra yummy.

photo 2 photo 5 photo 1

I think these pictures prove that I finish way too many jars of Peanut Butter and Almond Butter….

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Okay, here it goes! We’re makin’ oats, guys:

First, put 1/3 cup oats in your jar.

How to Make Overnight Oats

Then add 1/3 cup each of almond milk and greek yogurt. I use plain greek yogurt because I like to sweeten my oats with fresh or frozen fruit. Feel free to use a flavored greek yogurt if you wish, though.

How to Make Overnight Oats

Next, add 1 teaspoon of chia seeds and mix everything up! Note: chia seeds are NOT optional for overnight oats. They play the essential role of thickening the oats overnight.

How to Make Overnight Oats

I then like to top everything off with about 1/4 cup of frozen fruit. As I have mentioned before, I love buying frozen fruit because I never have to worry about it going bad if I don’t eat it fast enough. In this recipe the frozen fruit will defrost in the fridge overnight, so the berries will be juicy and ready to eat in the morning.

How to Make Overnight Oats

And, that’s it! Put the lid on your jar or tupperware and place it in the fridge overnight. Wake up, stumble into the kitchen, pull your jar from the fridge, grab a spoon, and dig in. Your oats will be ready to eat and you don’t even have to lift a finger in the A.M.

I know, you’re welcome 😉

How to Make Overnight Oats
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup plain greek yogurt (I use non-fat)
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • Stevia, to sweeten (optional)
  • Frozen or fresh fruit of choice
Instructions
  1. Combine the first five ingredients in a jar or tupperware. Stir well to combine. Top with fruit and put the lid on the jar. Place in the fridge overnight to soak. In the morning, take off the lid and enjoy!
 

Snacks Vegan

Chia Seed Protein Bars

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.