Chia & oat energy bars
One of my favourite snacks before hitting the climbing wall or gym is a Chia Charge bar - I love their salty goodness. These bars are packed full of energy and typically keep me full till after my workout. The only problem is they're not cheap and with two of us nomching down on them before a session - it eventually adds up.
Here is my affordable and 'sugar free' version of these... I've played a bit with the ratios and basically followed the ingredients on the back of the packaging, except for the sugar and flour part. I've tested these on my guinea pigs and they all agree they taste the same, if not better, than the originals.
You can use any syrup for this recipe, including golden syrup if you like, but I recommend using a sugar alternative such as rice, honey, maple, stevia, or coconut syrup to make these better for your body and your energy levels. If you want to learn more about alternative syrups check this post on I Quit Sugar. I personally prefer to use rice malt syrup, which is a blend of complex carbohydrates, maltose and glucose, it's also slow-releasing and doesn’t dump on the liver as much as pure glucose does. I also like to use honey and maple syrup, I to combine these together when baking. Do what you like best.
- 750ml oats - I used a mixture of rolled and chopped, but use whatever you have
- 250g unsalted butter melted
- 150 ml milled flaxseeds
- 150ml chia seeds
- 100ml ground almonds
- 1tsp salt flakes
- 250ml rice malt syrup (or another type if you prefer)
- Preheat the oven to 190°C.
- Gently melt the butter in a pan.
- Mix all the dry ingredients except the salt flakes in a bowl.
- Add the syrup and melted butter to the dry ingredients and mix for one minute or until well combined.
- Sprinkle the mixture with the salt and repeat the last step.
- Line a square tray that is around 21x21cm with baking paper. This doesn't have to be exact science, the bigger the pan the thinner the bars, and the thinner the bars less cooking time will be needed - and vice versa. Math. Plop all the mixture into the baking pan and press the mixture flat with your hands.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown with darker edges.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan.
- Once you're sure its ready, pull on the baking sheet and lift the slab out of the pan and onto a chopping board. Cut into desired sizes and remove the baking paper.
P.s. These are obviously not an everyday healthy snack. These are high in energy - there's around 350/400 calories per a bar depending on what size you cut the pieces. I like cutting mine into generous slices, as I eat mine before going to the gym. That being said, they do make for a tasty treat when being lazy too.