We are always looking for a healthy substitute to those, sugar and preservative filled, store bought granola bars and these healthy oatmeal bars are the perfect fix. We love making healthy alternatives to those classic not-so-healthy treats. Our healthy oatmeal bars are packed with fiber, protein and a delicious blend of spices, that will be sure to win over even the pickiest of snackers. Along with being a yummy treat, we use buckwheat flour, as a gluten-free alternative and an additional source of fiber, making these little guys gluten free and great for our digestion. However you cannot have these while on the 21-Day Clean Program, but once off these bars are great to enjoy in addition to having a daily scoop of Move to regulate bowel movements!
The main ingredient of our healthy oatmeal bars are, yep you guessed it, oats. Oats add a chewy texture to the bars and also help to bind all the ingredients together. Oats are a great food addition to help with an overall healthy heart, they help to lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. Oats have a very high fiber content, which can help with digestion and to reduce hunger, while keeping you full longer, making these healthy oat bars a great snack in between meals. That’s why we use them a lot in our meals, including making a cup of Easy Overnight Oats!
Chia seeds can be used as an alternative to eggs in baking, by making a chia “egg” by soaking ground chia seeds in water, this will form a gel-like texture similar to that of an egg. This is extremely beneficial for those on a vegan diet or on the cleanse.
On their own chia seeds are a very nutrient dense superfood, they are rich in fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as helping to boost energy. Chia seeds are also super loaded with antioxidants, making them great for your skin, by helping to speed up the skin’s repair system and to prevent further skin damage.
Contrary to its name buckwheat is not wheat, it is actually a plant whose seeds are ground up into flour. Buckwheat is a naturally gluten-free alternative to wheat flour which can come in handy in many baking recipes.
Buckwheat is known to help contribute to blood sugar control as well as being great for digestion.
Makes: 6-12 oat bars
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes
1 tablespoon ground chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons water
¼ cup coconut oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
2 tablespoons nut/seed butter (almond, sunflower, pumpkin)
¾ cup coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup buckwheat flour
¾ cup oats (look for Gluten-Free certified)
½ cup finely ground almonds (almond flour can be used too)
Preheat the oven to 350°F
Make chia gel by combining 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons water. Let stand for 5-10 minutes until it becomes a thick gel.
In a food processor, blend the coconut oil, sugar, nut butter, and vanilla until well combined. Used a rubber spatula to scrape the sides then add in the chia gel. Pulse to incorporate.
Mix together the remaining “dry” ingredients then add to the processor and pulse to incorporate. If too thick, transfer to a bowl and use a wooden spoon to mix thoroughly.
Spread the mixture into an 8×8 Pyrex baking dish, lightly oiled and lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 30 minutes before checking. The top should be golden brown but still slightly soft to the touch. Bake for an additional 15 minutes if necessary.
Remove from the oven and let cool. The bars are a bit crumbly if you cut them while still warm.
Store in an airtight container and consume within a few days, or wrap and freeze for future snacks.
Recipe by Frank Giglio
Photography by Kristin Dillon