Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Chia Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

I am a creature of habit.  

I have a cup of coffee every morning and one of three breakfast selections.  I take the dog for a walk and sometimes I do something really radical like change the route to spice things up for her. 

Dogs like new smells and don’t give a damn about human idiosyncrasies.

I have an exercise routine and schedule and I regularly record my workouts and what I eat in  Sometimes the Ap chides me and reminds me that “if every day were like today you’d weigh 3000 pounds.”  This little prod used to bother me but now I simply readjust and get back on track realizing that bad eating days are sometimes good for the soul.

And really yummy.

In my view, if we deprive ourselves of everything we enjoy, then life is just one more chore and who needs or wants a 24/7 chore, right? 

Anyway, to keep my occasional debauchery and periodic overindulgences in check and to remind me to log-in to the tool every day, I also follow on Facebook.  They post motivational articles and healthy recipes and recently, this little jewel appeared in my feed:

Notice my comment.  

And, hell yes, I did make them. 

And, hell yes, they are delicious.

Make them! Please.

A few years ago, I did not know a chia seed from a chia pet, let alone know how completely good the seeds are for you.  Coincidently, and in case you are wondering, these healthy chia seeds are the same chia seeds used to grow those “ch-ch-ch-chia pet” plants popularized in the 1980’s!

I liked the bald guy one….it reminded me of someone I used to work for.

There is a notion that chia seeds help you lose weight by expanding your stomach making you feel full so, theoretically, you’ll eat less.  Both scientifically, and in my humble and non-scientific opinion, the jury is still out on that assertion....anything that makes my stomach expand can’t be a good thing.  In moderation, the tiny black seeds really are healthy for you.

Chia means strength and they are indeed energy boosters thanks to healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. They are an unprocessed, whole grain food but are easily absorbed by the body.  They have a nutty flavor and are typically sprinkled on cereal or yogurt or added to drinks and baked goods, such as with these breakfast bars.

Chia Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

1½ Tablespoons chia seeds
¼ cup Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I used 1% milk and a splash of vanilla extract)
2 ripe bananas, mashed
¾ cup old fashioned oats
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
¼ cup chopped dates (I used crainsins)
¼ cup dark chocolate chunks or carob chips
1 Tablespoon creamy almond butter
large pinch of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, stir together the chia seeds and almond milk and let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, or until the chia seeds have created a nice gel-like consistency. Pour the chia seed gel into a medium sized mixing bowl and add in the mashed bananas, oats, coconut, almond butter and cinnamon until well combined. Gently stir in the dates and chocolate chunks. Scoop out dough (about 1-2 tablespoons worth) onto a baking stone or a greased cookie sheet and use a fork to press the dough down a little to make more of a cookie shape. You should get about 15 cookies. Place in oven and bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies have browned a tiny bit.  Cool and enjoy.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1 cookie Calories: 79 Fat: 4g Carbohydrates: 12g Sugar: 6g Fiber: 2g Protein: 2g

No comments: