Chia Seed, Fruit and Nut Oat Bars and The Wonders of Chia Seed

 

These oat bars are simply delicious as well as having some fabulously healthy ingredients that will benefit both you and your children. The recipe contains the same basic ingredients as the previous flapjack recipe but with a few added extras for a wonderfully tasty snack bar.

Chia Seed, Fruit, Nut and Oat Bars (makes 14 bars)

 
250g salted butter
200g golden syrup
150g unrefined sugar
50g desiccated coconut
25g sesame seeds
25g chia seeds (available from supermarkets / health food stores)
50g of finely chopped ready to eat apricots
85g of raisins or sultanas
85g of finely chopped mixed nuts
350g organic porridge oats
 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C / 347F /Gas Mark 3 or 150°C / 302F / Gas Mark 2 if using a fan assisted oven.
  2. Weigh out all the ingredients apart from the golden syrup.
  3. A good tip is to add the butter to a medium sized saucepan and place on your digital scales before turning on the display.
  4. Pour the golden syrup over the butter until you have measured out the 200g required.
  5. Add the unrefined sugar and then warm over a medium heat until the ingredients have completely melted.
  6. Put the mixed nuts through the blender until finely chopped.
  7. Add the coconut, sesame seeds, chia seeds, nuts, apricots and raisins/sultanas into the pan and stir.
  8. Add the porridge oats and stir until the oats are completed coated with the mixture.
  9. Place the mixture in a greaseproof lined metal tin approximately 7″x10″ in size and spread evenly.
  10. Cook in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Stand for an hour before dividing into bars and leave to cool completely before removing from the tin to give the bars time to set.
  12. Enjoy!
 

Chia is, appropriately, the Mayan word for strength. Chia seeds were an important energy source for Mayans, Incas and other ancient cultures, and remain a dietary staple in many South and Central American countries.

Some nutritional highlights:

  • Just 1 tablespoon of chia seeds contains 5 grams of fibre, 3 grams of protein, 2282 mg of Omega 3 and 752 mg of Omega 6 fatty acids!
  • A significant concentration of fibre combined with their ability to absorb 10 times their weight in water also makes chia seeds excellent for maintaining regularity.
  • This fibre content also helps normalise blood glucose levels by slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar.
  • Chia seeds contain respectable concentrations of potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and manganese.
  • Emerging research suggests that including chia seeds as part of a healthy diet may help improve cardiovascular risk factors such as lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.
  • Chia seeds are extremely nutrient-dense, with one of the highest antioxidant concentrations of any known food! (For more information about superfoods and nutrient density, check out What are Superfoods?)
  • Weight Loss. The essential fatty acids contained in Chia seeds helps to boost metabolism and promote lean muscle mass. The seeds are sometimes added to food to provide bulk and nutrients while adding very few calories. For these reasons, many people have found Chia quite useful in weight loss and weight maintenance.
  • High Quality Protein. Chia seeds contain about 20% protein, a higher percentage than found in many other grains such as wheat and rice. Chia seeds contain strontium which helps to assimilate protein and produce high energy.

Suggested uses for chia seeds: sprinkle on your breakfast, mix with yogurt, porridge, add to salads, smoothies, stir fry dishes, soup and of course yummy flapjacks!

Information sourced from: One Green PlanetEat Right and What’s Cooking America

 

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