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October 01, 2010

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Comments

Williamk

These bars look terrific -- seriously tempting. My favorite vegan/organic/cold-pressed bar has always been the Organic Food Bars -- the original (http://www.allstarhealth.com/f/organic_food_bar-original.htm) plus other flavors -- but yours are better calorie and omega-3 wise for sure. Thanks for sharing. BTW, what the omega-3 status of peanuts in the TJ peanut flour?

Judy Crockett

Sounds great. Would anything bad happen if you taosted the walnuts for extra flavor?

Jenna Puckett

I wonder if you can do the same thing with almond flour? I've always like almonds way more than peanuts.

Steven Rice Fitness

It's not often I read a recipe and actually prepare it, but this will be an exception. I love and already eat everything here, but not in this combination. I have (another) new trainer job so I'm going to need snack food.

A few weeks ago the "nut guy" at the farmers market told me when I asked about his lack of walnuts that they are harvested in October, so any others I found had been sitting around all year, probably gassed.

I think you mean "pitted" not "unpitted" in the recipe.

Gael in Vermont

You are TOO much, Deb!!!!! I love the idea of these bars. I don't live near a Trader Joe's so I'll have to find some other source for chia seeds. Is there a substitute by any chance. I'm definitely trying these. I'm also thinking they wouldn't be bad with a touch of espresso powder to make them...mocha flavored! And, yes, I'd surely toast the walnuts to amp up the flavor. Thanks so much for sharing.

Healthy Librarian

William,

Peanuts are not a good source of omega-3s--the idea of using PB2 or Trader Joe's peanut flour is because you get the flavor, protein, & nutrients of peanuts without the fat--and the omega-6 content drops down considerably in defatted peanut flour compared to the full-fat version. I always top my PB2 muffins with chia or flax. But, that's about all I know.

Judy,

Sure, toasting the walnuts would make this even more delicious! Great idea--but another step in the process.


Jenna,

I like your idea of trying to make "almond butter" out of almond flour--I wonder if almond butter is defatted, like peanut flour--I'll have to check the labels--but it makes sense to me. I like almond butter a lot more than peanut butter, too!

Gael,

You can find chia seeds at any health food store, and many grocery stores, these days. It's widely available. Actually, Trader Joe's doesn't have the chia. That's where I found the inexpensive peanut flour.

Steven,

Let me know if you make the bars--and how they turn out.


Sugar Pie

These bars sound great--except for the 15.4g of, albeit naturally-occurring, sugar. High ORAC ranking or not, I gave up Larabars, myself, because the high natural sugar content was spacing me out so much.

Though yours sound so scrumptious--maybe I could just make them half the size! If you have other ideas of how to make them with fewer dates, I'd love to hear about it! Thanks so much for your inspiration!

By the by, what kind of dates did you use? And I wonder what kind are used in Larabars? I think there might be quite a difference in sugar content. But maybe I'm just super-sensitive to sugar since according to this http://www.livestrong.com/article/193428-calories-in-date-fruit/ all dates are considered low-glycemic...

Hank Roberts

We tried the PB2. Tasted okay, too sweet (and smooth not crunchy, alas). Still as tempting as peanut butter. Ate several PB sandwiches the first day,

Bad gas and the runs the next day.

I thought, oh, coincidence. Waited a week, tried another PB2 sandwich. Same, er, outcome.

It's composted.

Eagerly awaiting reviews of the peanut flour.

Healthy Librarian

My husband thought the peanut flour tasted just fine--we added some salt & sweetner--but you could leave it out, Hank.

For anyone else reading this--my husband has no GI issues with PB2 at all--and he has a sensitive stomach.

Not sure what caused your GI distress, Hank. So sorry it didn't work out for you!

Nina

These sound great and are similar to the delicious Clif Nectar Dark Chocolate Walnut bars that have been discontinued.

The brachial artery test sounds like a very useful diagnostic. Is it available to the general public anywhere?

Here is an article by Dr. Esselstyn describing the procedure.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0876/is_97/ai_n21193775/?tag=content;col1

Healthy Librarian

Jenna,

Unfortunately, the only almond flour I saw in stores was from Bob's Red Mill & it was loaded with fat--14 grams for 1/4 cup serving. I'm assuming the peanut flour at TJ's & from PB2 is defatted, and that's why it's so low in fat. Too bad the almond flour won't work!

Virtual_jk

We give these the 3littlegirls seal of approval. Everyone loves them. They were super easy to make--except I had to run to the store for cocoa in the middle. Your pictures were helpful, too. Thanks! I love that these are low in omega-6s. My only complaint is that clean up requires soaking and then some elbow grease to get off the sticky dates.

Healthy Librarian

Hi JK,

Happy to hear from you! I'm thrilled to get a 3littlegirls seal of approval!! It's time for me to make a brand new batch--I've run out

Betsy

The chocolate chia bars is a great recipe! My 15yo son and I loved these -- and he's a typical teenage boy (read: no health nut). I think he ate more than I did, but then he can afford to. Mine weren't really raw, I guess, since I just used the Hershey's cocoa I had in the cupboard. I added a little water to the dates to make the paste, since the dates had been in the fridge awhile. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. We'll definitely make these again. Thank you!

Betty Amer

I made the bars with Medjool dates--only had black chia but they worked out fine since the bars are dark anyway. I also toasted the walnuts (not much extra work using a toaster oven, and I like the flavor better). I really like them as a nutritious snack, and I'm so glad you posted about them.

Emily

I made this bars today after reading your blog last night and becoming inspired to make some changes in my diet (which I've been feeling ill at ease with lately but lacked the umpf to tackle). Anyway, the bars are quite tasty, but I didn't have any oat flour so tried ground flax seed instead. Personally, I like the flavor of flax, so while more textural than oat flour, it seemed to work as a substitution. Maybe my food processor is too small, but I found the dates to be really hard to deal with! They kept clumping into a ball rather than forming a paste. After many stops and starts to get them spread around I finally had a paste.

Healthy Librarian

Emily, glad the flax worked out OK for you. The only reason for the oat flour is to "de-stickify" the bars. If you aren't going to stack them, it wouldn't be a problem if you didn't sprinkle them with anything.

I didn't think they really needed to have the oat flour--I just stacked them on waxed paper. If the dates are too clumpy, they may be a bit dry--and it's hard to know which are going to be too dry. I've had to add some sprinkles of water when I had a dry batch of dates. Some people even soak them in water & then pour the water off. But I agree with you--the mixing of the dates was the hardest part.

Steven Rice Fitness

I finally got around to making these for my Thanksgiving trip from California to Ohio. They turned out great, and helped sustain this hungry vegan. My miniature food processor did have a struggle, but a better one should do fine.

Cindy Marsch

Just made these and am enjoying a small serving before grading more papers this Saturday afternoon. I don't have a food processor, so I tried it in my Vita Mix and got a little worried about burning out the motor--had to keep scraping out the sticky dates and finally mixing the other things in on a plate at the end. But never fear, they turned out great. I didn't have chia seeds, so I used flax meal instead.

To have more manageable serving sizes (calorically), I divided the recipe into 16 balls, for about 110 calories apiece. Then to quick-chill I divided one ball into three marbles and stuck them in the freezer. Very nice size, and about 40 calories each--good to remember. :-)

Thanks!

Healthy Librarian

Cindy, yikes, I know just what you mean about worrying about the VitaMix motor burning out. I got an errant pit caught in the processor blade & almost burned out the motor--luckily it just stopped. Forgot to mention that if the dates are too dry, it's best to add a little water to the mixture. Try some chia, next time-it's got a nice texture & crunch! Glad to hear your version worked well. Like the idea of making balls & chilling quickly.

Chris G.

I finally made these. AWESOME! I also tried a variation on the theme, adding ~12 oz of *apricots* to the dates and no cocoa. Different flavor (obviously) but equally yummy. I am happy to no longer buy expensive and omega-6-laden Larabars or other pre-made bars. THANK YOU!

Chris G.

Finally made these...wonderful.

Tried a variation too: +~ 1 cup dried apricots; no cocoa or vanilla; bars pressed into in a porcelain baking pan. Seemed as good as the original, yet a nice variation with additional vitamin A and C

JF

So good. My kids are excited about having a new lunch box treat. I can feel good about packing them these.

Lynn

I made the chia bars and they didn't come out as plump as yours, more like a fruit rollup size. Maybe I pressed them out too much. But...I love the way they taste.

The Healthy Librarian

Dates can have variable amounts of water in them. You want to use very fresh plump dates. Might that have been the problem? When my dates aren't moist enough, I've added drops of water.

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