Raw Chia Seed Energy Bars

These have become my favorite afternoon pick me up. They’re wickedly indulgent. Soft and chewy, sweet and salty, and coated in a delicious vegan chocolate sauce. They have my heart.

I watched a documentary, yesterday, called That Sugar Film, about a healthy Australian man who vows to eat 40 teaspoons of sugar a day (160 grams). He does it only by eating foods that are seemingly healthy… like granola bars, cereals, yogurts, breakfast drinks, and juice. It’s nauseating to watch what happens to his body at this level of sugar (which is the same amount that the average teenager also eats). He gains just over 18 pounds, has a lovely jiggly belly, experiences mood swings, and gets extrememly tired if it’s been too long since his last ‘hit’. It’s making me think twice about packaged foods and my husband is probably annoyed by it.

The convenience of packaged granola bars swept me off my feet when I had a baby. My favorite are Kind Bars. Specifically, Chocolate Cherry Cashew at 14 grams of sugar and the Dark Chocolate Nuts and Spices at 5 grams of sugar. What this means is that the Chocolate Cherry Cashew contains 3 1/2 tsps of sugar and the Dark Chocolate contains 1 1/4 tsp of sugar (obviously the better choice).

chocolate chia seed bars

Take a look at your favorite nutrition bars ingredient label and divide the grams of sugar by 4. This will give you the amount of teaspoons of sugar in that bar. Then, the next time you’re pouring your morning coffee with sugar, measure out that amount. I like to envision pouring it in water and asking myself if I would ever drink it… uh no.  It’s an eye opening experiment.

Anyway, these bars are 100% wholesome and 100% good for you. Plus, they are delicious.

One note, I added Maca Powder to these but it’s optional. Maca has the ability to help balance your hormones and up your energy levels – After having a baby, that’s essential. If you have any sort of feminine hormonal issues, I seriously recommend trying it. 1 tsp a day is all you need to start. It took about 2 weeks for me to see changes.

Without any further ado…

chocolate chia seed bars

Raw Chia Seed Energy Bars

Raw Chia Seed Energy Bars

Ingredients

  • For the Bars
  • 1 1⁄2 cups raw pecans
  • 1 1⁄2 cups pitted medium Medjool dates
  • 1⁄2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tbsp coconut nectar or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2-3 tsp maca
  • 1⁄4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds, soaked in 1⁄4 cup filtered water for at least 1 hour

  • For the Chocolate Topping (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut nectar or maple syrup
  • pinch of salt

Method

  • Line a 9-inch square baking dish with a piece of parchment paper or seran wrap. Allowing it to go up the sides of the dish. You can also use a plastic ziplock container and just line the bottom. Once frozen you can just pull the sides of the plastic away from the bars. Then use that container to store the bars later.
  • Combine all the ingredients except for the chia seeds in a food processor and process until mixed well. Add the chia seeds and process until well combined. The mixture will feel slightly wet.
  • Don't worry if some of the dates are not fully broken down... they make a tasty bite.
  • Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Place the dish in the fridge and allow the mixture to set for at least 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate topping. In a bowl, stir together all of the ingredients. Melting the coconut oil if necessary. Pour the chocolate sauce over the date mixture and place back into the freezer to set for 30 minutes.
  • Once it has set, remove it from the refrigerator and cut into 3-inch x 11⁄2-inch bars with a sharp knife. I find it helpful to wet the knife with hot water and then cut them. Serve the bars at once, or cover the bars and store them in the fridge or the freezer for up to 1 month. Have a square when you want something sweet.
  • Notes

    By Larisa at www.modeleatsblog.com

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