I always find myself slightly hungry between breakfast and lunch. I am normally at work by 7 which means I am finished my smoothie by 7:30 and do not eat lunch till 12:30 after I get my 30 minute walk in. I didn’t want a snack that was full of sugar and a short energy boost. I wanted something that was heathy and energizing, yet satisfying.
As you all know I just love Julie Morris’s Superfood Smoothie book. I love how that book has given me the foundation for helping me experiment on my own healthy smoothies. Since I loved this book so much I decided to borrow Julie’s other book Superfood Kitchen from the library. In that book I came across the recipe for these Lemon Bars.
The Superfood used in this recipe is chia seeds. These seeds are no longer just used for “Chia Pets” anymore. Chia seeds have been around for thousands of years and used to keep strength and energy for long journeys. For a tiny seed they are packed full of nutrients to give you long-lasting energy. It also offers support to the immune system, helps lower inflammation, contains calcium, minerals, and iron, plus promotes a heart health. On top of that, chia seeds are packed with antioxidants and are a great source of fiber. Who knew this little seed could do so much back in the 80’s?
Since Chia seeds really do not affect the taste of recipes, you can add them to just about anything. I always put one to two tablespoons in my smoothies every morning, They can also be used in a gel form. The gel acts like a binding agent similar to eggs and can easily replace them in recipes. I did that when making these bars. There are a few minor tweaks to the original recipe since the first time I think they came out a bit dry. For me they have become the perfect healthy-satisfying mid-morning snack. What is your favorite morning snack?
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of chia seeds
- juice from one lemon
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup of flour *see notes
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut, divided
- lemon zest from one lemon
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup of applesauce
- 1/4 cup of maple syrup or agave nectar
- 5-6 dates or figs finely chopped (pits removed)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease 8x8-inch baking pan (I used coconut oil)
- Mix the juice from the lemon + water with the chia seeds and let sit for about 20 minutes stirring it once or twice during that time. While the chia gel is forming take all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, coconut, and lemon zest) and blend them together. In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients (coconut oil, applesauce, maple/agave nectar, and dates/figs) and mix well. Once the chia gel has set mix that into the wet ingredients as well. Slowly add the wet to the dry making sure to coat the dry evenly with the wet.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. While still warm cut into squares.
- You can easily use any flour. I had whole wheat flour on hand and used that. You could replace the flour with any gluten free flour as well.