Raspberry Chia Energy Bars

Whew! I’m still recovering from the shock of finding 3 high-fructose sweeteners in “healthy” chia bars at the Whole Foods check-out counter. Agave syrup, Brown rice syrup, and Apple juice concentrate are hidden sugars that destabilize metabolism. But not THESE bars! With fresh raspberries, chia seeds, and your choice of zero-glycemic sweeteners, they’ll give your blood sugar a break. Or use raw honey. Yummilicious! These bars are high in protein, omega-3’s, and the secret ingredient is – you guessed it – fresh beet. Look for beets that have the greens attached because they’re less bitter. The leaves are great in smoothies and stir-fries.

I used white chia seeds so the red color comes through. If you use black chia seeds the bars will be black in color, and still delicious. It’s important to use freshly ground flaxseeds immediately, as the delicate oils can develop free radicals after grinding. For that reason I keep whole flaxseeds in the refrigerator, and grind them just as I need them. These bars are super-easy to make, and quicker if you have a food processor, but it’s not required. If you prefer to use a blender, liquefy the raspberries and sweetener together, and then mix the rest by hand in a mixing bowl. I made a large 9 x 13-inch pan because these freeze beautifully, and I can enjoy them for a while. Or keep them in the refrigerator for about 4 days. Makes about 24 to 36 bars depending on how you cut them.

raspberry-chia-energy-barsSpread into a 9 x 13 pan while it’s still soft, smooth it flat, and chill well for about an hour.

Raspberry Chia Energy Bars

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Ingredients

  • 6 ounces fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup sweetener such as Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener, or 2 2/3 tablespoons PureLo Lo Han Sweetener by Swanson, or 2/3 cup raw honey, or your favorite sweetener.
  • 1/2 teaspoon unprocessed salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, grated finely
  • Coconut butter, 151 grams if hard, and 2/3 cup if soft. (If you’re mixing by hand, soften it by placing the container in a bowl of warm water)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped almonds, soaked and toasted if possible (See All About Nuts)
  • 3/4 cup chia seeds, white or black
  • 3 tablespoons golden flaxseed meal, freshly ground (I use a hand-held grinder)
  • 1/4 medium beet, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure Vitamin-C crystals or powder. (Optional, for a fruity taste. Find in the supplements section of any grocery.)

Instructions

  1. Use a 9 x 13-inch pan, and cover with parchment paper so it hangs over the sides like handles.
  2. In a food processor, add the raspberries and sweetener. Process until completely liquefied.
  3. Add the salt, cinnamon, ginger, coconut butter, vanilla, and mix again until smooth.
  4. Add the shredded coconut and mix briefly to combine.
  5. Last pulse in the chopped nuts, chia, and flaxseed meal briefly. The mixture will begin to thicken.
  6. Working quickly while the mixture is still soft, press into the pan and smooth flat. Chill for an hour. Then remove from the refrigerator, cut into bars, and...oh well, I don't need to tell you what to do now.