Presumably many of you are heading back to work or school after this weekend, so I thought I’d give you a little something sweet you could pack along with you. These little bars are absolutely loaded with seeds: quinoa, chia, sunflower seeds are the main stars, and flax seeds play a supporting role.
The bars are held together with a mixture of almond butter and date syrup. Date syrup, yo! It’s a great natural sweetener made from nothing but dates which have been stewed and pressed. It’s got a dark colour similar to molasses, and great natural caramelly flavour. If you don’t have date syrup handy you could try subbing in honey or brown rice syrup, though I have not tested these bars with those sweeteners.
Think of these as a super seedy protein packed naturally sweetened energy bar. All those seeds bring lots of good nutrition to the table, like omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and dietary fiber. It’s important to remember they’re also pretty energy dense, so these are not intended for snacking on sedentary days.
Can I tell you who is not going to be having a sedentary day tomorrow? My lunatic husband. Paul, together with his racing partner Björn, is going to be tackling what has been touted as one of the toughest one-day endurance races in the world. The race is island to island (ö till ö), where teams of two will be swimming between and running across 26 islands in the Stockholm archipelago. It’s a total distance of 75km, 10km of swimming and 65km running. Did I mention that they swim with their shoes on and run in their wetsuits? There’s a nice little article about the race here, and live coverage will be here beginning at 5:45am CET tomorrow.
Last year Paul and Björn won the race and set a new course record at 8hrs 35mins. I think defending a title is much more nerve wracking than going after one in the first place, and I know that for a lot of our friends and family tomorrow is going to be a nail-biter of a day. This is not a very spectator friendly sport , so I’ll be heading out to the finish line and following along online all day. I’ll definitely be packing a few of these super seed bars along with me.
Ch-ch-ch-chia! Chia seeds are a concentrated source of the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), are rich in dietary fiber. They are an excellent source of essential minerals such as phosphorous, manganese, calcium, sodium and potassium. Due to the exceptional water-absorption properites of chia, it can help prolong hydration and help the body retain electrolytes at times such as during exertion. Whole, water-soaked chia seeds are easily digested, and their nutrients can be quickly absorbed by the body. Once soaked, chia seeds bulk up, then work like a cleaning crew in our digestive systems. As they move through the intestinal tract, they help to dislodge and eliminate accumulated waste in the intestines. Many people find their stools also become more regular once they eat chia.
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa
- ½ cup chia seeds
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup almond butter
- ½ cup date syrup
- Line a 9x9 square baking pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F.
- In a large bowl, combine oats, quinoa, chia, sunflower, flax, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine.
- In a small saucepan or microwave proof bowl, combine the almond butter and date syrup. Warm slightly, and stir well to combine.
- Pour the date syrup almond butter mixture over the dry ingredients, and mix everything together.
- Press the mixture into the prepared baking sheet. Wet hands or an additional sheet of parchment paper over the top can be used to press the mixture smoothly to the edges of the pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool the pan on a wire rack.
- When the seed bars are completely cool, lift the edges of the parchment to lift the bars out of the baking tin.
- Slice into 12 equal bars.
- Separate bars with pieces of parchment paper, and store in an airtight container.