Berry Filled Chia Oat Bars

Energy bars, protein bars, cereal bars””how often do you unwrap a packaged snack  to satisfy hunger and keep you  moving until your next meal? Buying a box might save you money, but if you purchase them individually, expect to dole out a dollar or more per bar. It can add up! Instead, make a batch of your own with healthy, whole-food ingredients  and sweet, fresh fruit as filling. I pack mine in individual wax bags so they’re easy to grab when my family is headed out the door.

chia bars with coconut oil

Save on Nutiva extra virgin coconut oil–the “secret ingredient” in these healthful bars!

IngredientsBase/Topping
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup quick oats
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ to ½ cup ground goodness (options include flaxseed, chia seeds, sesame seeds, nuts, raisins or a mixture)
¼ tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup brown sugar (may substitute mashed banana, honey or agave syrup*)
½ cup coconut oil

Filling
1-3/4 cups fresh berries
3 Tbsp. water
1-1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Directions

1. In a large bowl, combine all base ingredients (mixture should be crumbly but slightly bound together). Set aside.

2. For filling, combine berries, water and lemon juice in small saucepan; bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until slightly thickened. (Tip: For sweeter flavor, add about a tablespoon of sugar or sweetener of choice.) Remove from heat.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Press half of base/topping mixture into 8″x8″ pan, patting down firmly. Spoon filling over base. Bake for 20 minutes.

4. Remove pan from oven. Add remaining base/topping mixture to create a top layer. Bake an additional 30 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool before slicing into bars.

* To replace brown sugar with honey or agave syrup, use ½ cup and add an additional ¼ cup of whole wheat pastry flour. Or, replace brown sugar with a medium-sized banana, mashed.

Tips and varioations:

  • If you’d prefer to use less coconut oil, simply reduce the amount and add a little water instead.
  • No fresh fruit on hand? Use prepared/premade jam instead. Use 1-1/2 cups with a small amount of water added.
  • Try using other fruits such as apples, pears or figs for the filling””just dice or mash down once cooked. You could also use applesauce.
  • Try using chocolate as filling. The possibilities are endless! Just be sure to use about 1-1/2 cups of filling in the recipe.

Dana Zucker is a home cook that likes to do it her way! She gets creative with nutritious ingredients to keep her active family””teenage twins and a vegan, triathlete husband””healthy and happy. Cooking with organic, local and whole food ingredients is key, whether she’s whipping up an early-morning breakfast, prepping afterschool snacks or getting dinner on the table at 10 p.m. Dana says, “We do eat out sometimes, and even cheat with some pre-made foods. But I try to balance making delicious foods with the reality of a busy schedule.” Dana’s recipes are a great starting point to find a style of cooking that works for your family. Her advice? Keep it real””and keep it easy!

Dana Zucker

Dana Zucker is a home cook that likes to do it her way! She gets creative with nutritious ingredients to keep her active family””teenage twins and a vegan, triathlete husband””healthy and happy. Cooking with organic, local and whole food ingredients is key, whether she’s whipping up an early-morning breakfast, prepping afterschool snacks or getting dinner on the table at 10 p.m. Dana says, “We do eat out sometimes, and even cheat with some pre-made foods. But I try to balance making delicious foods with the reality of a busy schedule.” Dana’s recipes are a great starting point to find a style of cooking that works for your family. Her advice? Keep it real””and keep it easy!

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About Dana Zucker

Dana Zucker is a home cook that likes to do it her way! She gets creative with nutritious ingredients to keep her active family””teenage twins and a vegan, triathlete husband””healthy and happy. Cooking with organic, local and whole food ingredients is key, whether she’s whipping up an early-morning breakfast, prepping afterschool snacks or getting dinner on the table at 10 p.m. Dana says, “We do eat out sometimes, and even cheat with some pre-made foods. But I try to balance making delicious foods with the reality of a busy schedule.” Dana’s recipes are a great starting point to find a style of cooking that works for your family. Her advice? Keep it real””and keep it easy!

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