Super Seed GRAWnola Bars

 In Plant Based Recipes, RAWk On!

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Super Seed GRAWnola Bars

Aside from being super tasty, these Super Seed GRAWnola Bars offer up quite the nutritional combo-healthy carbs, protein, fiber, (healthy) fats and naturally sweet goodness!  This recipe yields 20+ bars and is great to make in advance and stored in the freezer or fridge.  Have these as a quick go-to for breakfast, snacks, pre or post workout, or to satisfy that sweet tooth.  And not to worry; this recipe can be easily modified if you don’t have all the ingredients on hand.  For instance, if you don’t have all the different types of seeds you can just use one or two of the ones you have as long as it totals 1 and1/4 cup. If you are not wanting to skimp on the protein, keep in mind hemp seeds contain the most protein out of all the seeds–a whopping 11 grams per 3 Tablespoons! If you don’t have any almond butter or tahini (sesame seed butter), any nut butter will work.  I love the richness (and calcium, iron and potassium!) the molasses adds, but if you don’t happen to have any unsulphured molasses on hand you can just substitute it with more pure honey or soaked dates. The carob or cocoa can be omitted but I think this is one of the flavors that adds to the balance of the sweetness–and let’s be real–everything tastes better with a little bit of chocolate (flavor) in it!  As with all my recipes, they are here to serve as a guideline and inspiration for your own creations 🙂  So go on and create!

*Ingredients- *As always, use organic when available

  • 2 & 1/2 cups groats, steel cut or rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, dried & unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, raw & hulled
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds, raw & hulled
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds          IMG_6212
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds, hulled
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2-3 Tablespoons carob, cacao, or cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup almond butter or tahini
  • 1/2 cup pure honey or pitted, chopped, soaked dates
  • 1/3-1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil, liquified
  • 3 Tablespoons unsulphured molasses
  • 1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:                                                                                                                       In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients (the first 10 ingredients).  In a separate (medium sized) bowl add wet ingredients and whisk together until well mixed.  Add the wet mixture to the large bowl containing the dry ingredients.  You can stir the mixture using a wooden spoon but I have found that hands work the best.  Before mixing, add a little coconut oil to your hands and then mix until ingredients are well combined.  Tear off two pieces of parchment or wax paper (about 15-18 inches in length). Line a baking sheet with one of the pieces of parchment/wax paper. Place GRAWnola mixture on the parchment/wax paper covered baking sheet and cover with the other sheet paper. Using your hands and or rolling pin, firmly press down and distribute mixture evenly to about 1/2 inch thickness. Place in the refrigerator for at least two hours so that GRAWnola mixture can firm up.  Remove from fridge (along with the top parchment paper) and cut into bars (2×3-4 inches in size).  Makes 20+ bars.  Once cut, individually wrap in plastic wrap, parchment or wax paper (plastic wrap tends to work the best for me) and then add to a large ziploc bag. Store some in the fridge and the rest in the freezer.

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Oats- *Groats, Irish, steel cut or rolled (*Groats would be the most “raw” choice, but Irish, steel cut, or rolled oats would work, too).  You can learn more about the difference between the oats here:  http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/types-of-oats
Oats are a good source of healthy carbs, soluble fiber and protein and helps to stabilize blood sugar, lower “bad” cholesterol and keep hunger at bay.

Shredded Coconut (dried & unsweetened) is a good source of fiber, minerals (such as iron, potassium, manganese and selenium), and medium chain fatty acids.

Sunflower Seeds are rich in minerals, plant sterols and Vitamin E which help lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and colon cancer.  Vitamin E not only protects us from inflammation but also acts as an antioxidant which helps protect and repair cell damage.

Pumpkin Seeds are a great source of zinc which help boost the immune system and fertility.  Subsequently, they contain sterols which help protect against hormone based cancers.  They also contain a good source of heart healthy and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega 3’s, Vitamin E, folate and magnesium.  Pumpkin seeds also contain a good source of iron which is important for healthy blood cells and energy.

Hemp Seeds are a high protein seed containing all nine amino acids. There’s a whopping 11 grams of protein in just 3 Tablespoons of hemp seeds! And, unlike soy, hemp seeds are highly digestible and do not contain phytic-acid (acid that prevents us from absorbing minerals). Hemp seeds are a good source of fiber, trace minerals and healthy fatty acids.

Chia Seeds- you can read about my love for chia seeds in my last post, Ch-Ch-Chocolate Chia Pudding http://www.viovitalityinsideandout.com/rawknrecipesch-ch-chocolate-chia-pudding/

Sesame Seeds are rich in minerals, plant sterols and the antioxidant lignan sesamin.  Lignan sesamin help lower bad cholesterol, blood pressure, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.  Sesame seeds are a great source of calcium, copper, iron and zinc.

Raisins contain healthy sugars fructose and glucose which is a good source of energy.  They also aid in digestion and the absorption of vitamins minerals, and proteins.  And, raisins contain polyphenolic phytonutrients which not only have anti-inflammatory             properties but antibacterial properties, too.

Carob, Cacao, or Cocoa Powder- Cocoa contains a host of benefits; among them are polyphenols which have anti-inflammatory effects.  Learn more about the difference and benefits of carob, cacao and cocoa here: http://vegetarian.about.com/od/beverage1/a/Difference-Between-Cocoa-And-Cacao.htm
http://www.livestrong.com/article/467552-carob-vs-cacao/

Cinnamon helps stabilize blood sugar and lower bad cholesterol.  It is also contains antioxidant polyphenols that have anti inflammatory and anti-microbial effects.

Sea Salt serves as a source of electrolytes–electrolytes aid in hydration and in preventing muscle cramps and heat exhaustion.

Nut Butters, almond in particular, is a great source of Vitamin E,  a fat-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E helps protect the cardiovascular system along with tissue repair.

Pure Honey With a flavor sweeter than sugar, pure honey offers up more than an enhanced flavor-it offers up enhanced health. It contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.  Pure honey promotes good bacteria in the gut, serves as an antiseptic and antibacterial, and heals the skin.

Dates serve up a lot of natural sweetness along with a nutrients such as Vitamin C, potassium, fiber and iron.

Unrefined Coconut Oil:  I can go on and on about the benefits of coconut oil (…stay tuned for that post…) but I’ll keep it short and sweet here 🙂 Unrefined coconut oil helps lower cholesterol, aids in digestion and weight management, stabilization of blood sugar, reduces cardiovascular disease, and is nourishing to internal and external health.

Molasses, organic and unsulphured, is a good plant based source of calcium, potassium, and iron. Molasses is is the natural byproduct that’s produced when cane sugar is processed. It has a rich and robust flavor.

Vanilla adds  a pleasant, flavor and aroma along with fairly high levels of antioxidants.

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