AN ARRAY OF RECIPES AND TIPS

"IN THE STYLE OF" GRAHAM


3.12.2013

CRANBERRY CHIA ENERGY BARS- CLEAN EATING


If you like walnuts and cranberries, I think you will like this energy bar. However, it is highly adaptable so choose whatever flavor combinations sound best to you...maybe almond butter and dried cherries or possibly peanut butter with dried apples and raisins. This energy bar is soft, sticky and naturally sweet...loaded with nuts, seeds, fiber, protein and natural fats. Perfect little on-the-go snack.
 
Cha Cha Cha Chia - (I hate that my brain sings that song every time I look at chia seeds!) 

I have jumped onto the chia bandwagon...I sprinkle them on granola, in yogurt, on my smoothies and fresh juice, on salads and add them to baked goods.

I use both chia and flaxseed but have been leaning more towards chia lately. Chia and flaxseed are both nutrient rich; high in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.  However, chia does not have to be ground to be bioavailable (ie: to be absorbed and usable by the body). Flaxseed should be ground so it is easier for your body to digest. It is possible that whole flaxseed could pass through your intestine undigested, which means you won't get all of the health benefits it has to offer. mayoclinic.com

Flaxseed has a similar nutrition profile to chia although it contains slightly less omega-3 fatty acids and half the amount of protien, but flaxseed has the added benefit of containing lignan phytonutrients - which have antioxidant and other properties. There have also been some studies showing potential benefits of flaxseed for the health of the prostate gland and possible benefits for the cardiovascular system. whfoods.org
 
 
I have a new love in my life...and his name is Rufus.
 

Cranberry Chia Energy Bars- Clean Eating
Adapted from Inspired Edibles
Makes about 8 bars or 16 squares

1 cup raw almonds or any nut of choice
1/2 cup dried, pitted dates, that have soaked in boiling water for 2 minutes to soften (you can substitute dried cherries or figs)
1/3 cup walnut butter or nut butter of choice
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey or pure maple syrup
1/4 cup dried cranberries
To make walnut butter or any nut butter you simply process nuts until they form a ball in the food processor. Here is a detailed recipe for Walnut Butter.

Place almonds in blender or food processor and blend for about 30-60 seconds or until nuts are fairly well ground. Add well-drained dates, walnut butter, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, vanilla and honey/maple syrup blending until the entire mixture is well combined.
 
Important: You want to make sure that the mixture is sticky - if it is too dry, add a touch more nut butter.  If the mixture is too wet, add more dry nuts/seeds.

Place a piece of wax or parchment paper into an 8" x 4 loaf pan.
Pour mixture into loaf pan, cover it with wax paper and press it down and into the corners of pan using the bottom of a flat glass or flat dish or fingers.
Sprinkle the surface of the mixture with remaining tablespoon of chia seeds and cranberries...
press down gently so that they adhere to the surface.
Place the pan in the fridge and allow the mixture to gel into a singular slab for about 1 hour or so.

To slice bars: remove the pan from the fridge and gently lift the wax/parchment out of the pan and onto a cutting board.
 


Slice the slab into 8 bars or 16 squares. Store any remaining portions in the fridge.
 
 

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