Flax Snack BarsPosted on Feb 12, 2014
You might know that I’ve been experimenting with eliminating all grains from my diet since this summer. Not just gluten but all grains including oats, quinoa and buckwheat. It’s part of my quest to heal my digestive tract and it does seem to be making a difference. So I’m very clear here, I’m not saying that everyone needs to give up grains, it’s just what I’m trying right now!
I’m telling you all of this because I found eliminating all grains to be very tricky at first. I had my head wrapped around gluten-free without too many problems but no grains….ugh! Oats and quinoa especially since I enjoyed them in the morning and used them to make homemade snack bars. We eat homemade energy bars a lot since we’re often on the go or need a quick energy bite before or after a run or bike ride. I wanted a way to make them without grains.
What’s a girl to do? Start experimenting in the kitchen, of course.
Luckily, I got some great inspiration from my mentor, Andrea Nakayama at Replenish PDX. In her EstroZen Detox this past fall, she shared a recipe for Flaxie Maxie Bars and I fell in love!
I talk about flax seeds a lot because they are rich in omega 3’s which help reduce inflammation. They also help prevent cancer, regulate blood pressure, and help remove excess estrogen from your body. Flax also has soluble fiber which can help keep you regular no matter what your digestive issues are. Yeah Flax!
If you’re new to flax, there are a few things you should know. Your body can’t digest the whole seed. It won’t hurt you to eat it whole but it will just go right through undigested. It’s best to grind it first to make sure it’s bioavailable. You can buy the whole flax seed (golden or brown) and grind them yourself in a little coffee grinder (sans coffee) or a Magic or NutriBullet. I typically grind a cup or two at a time. Flax can go rancid so it’s best to keep it in the freezer or fridge.
The easy way to add flax to your diet is too add 1 tablespoon to your breakfast. I use it to make a grain-free porridge or add it to my smoothies. A fun way to get more flax is with these Flax Snack Bars which were inspired by Andrea’s Flaxie Maxie Recipe.
Flax Snack Bars
These are grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and sugar-free BUT big on taste… I promise! These tasty treats are inspired by my mentor, Andrea Nakayama from Replenish PDX
1 cup seeds of your choice (sunflower, raw pumpkin seeds)
1 cup nuts of your choice (walnuts, almond, pecans, cashews or mix or sub more seeds if allergic to nuts)
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup fresh ground flax seeds
1/2 cup goji berries or other dried fruit
1/2 cup nut butter of choice (almond, sunflower, cashew, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
a few pinches of sea salt
6 -10 drops liquid stevia (start with 6 drops and add more if you like it sweeter)
Directions: Line an 8×8 glass dish with parchment paper. Put the nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, ground flax and goji berries in the food processor. Pulse until coarsely ground. Don’t go to long or you’ll have nut butter!
Add the ½ cup nut butter and pulse a few more times. Add the coconut oil along with remaining ingredients. Process until well combined. Press mixture into the glass dish (on top of the parchment paper).
Chill in refrigerator for 1- 2 hours, until mixture hardens. Cut into bars and store in refrigerator. If you plan to pack them for lunch or a trip, store them in the freezer before you go since they will soften if they are not refrigerated.