When my girls were little, they swam on the neighborhood swim team, and eventually swam with a homeschool group. I always enjoy making healthy snacks for them in general, but homeschool swim was no joke – they were totally wiped out afterwards. They were starving after swim, so I would meet them with a nutritious snack in the van, and most often these energy bars.
This recipe calls for quick oats, which are just partially ground rolled oats – same stuff from which instant oatmeal is made. Don’t get carried away with grinding them in your food processor or you’ll end up with oat flour. If that happens, save it and make my oat flour bread, and try again.
These energy bars taste like a treat, with chocolate chips and peanut butter. Nestled in the goodness are ground flax seeds and chia – nutritional powerhouses. Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language. According to ancientgrains.com, “This probably has to do with the large amounts of energy provided by chia seeds. Ancient warriors attributed their stamina to this tiny seed. This still holds true for certain groups of people today. The Mexican Tarahumara tribe is famous for their runners. These runners drink a mixture of chia seeds, lemon, and water called Iskiate. After drinking this, they are said to be able to run hundreds of miles.”
As for flax, it’s rich in fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, and compounds which reduce the risk of osteoporosis. This seed also has potassium and protein. Together, flax and chia make for a remarkable duo for keeping the body fine tuned. Sneak both into baked goods and smoothies – my daughter Anna uses them almost daily in her smoothie bowl creations. I keep a container of each flax and chia on my kitchen countertop for easy access.
These energy bars have been my go-to from when my kids were little competing in swim, to now long (very long, so very long) speech and debate tournaments. (Any NCFCA families out there?) I’m sure I’ll be packing these up and sending them to college in a couple years too.
No Bake Energy Bars
2 cups rolled oats, divided
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup chia seed
1/2 cup protein. powder
1/2 chocolate chips
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup honey
Pulse 1 1/2 cup oats in food processor almost to the flour consistency, but still with texture.
Combine ground oats, remaining 1/2 cup rolled oats, and flax seed through raisins.
Stir together well, and then add peanut butter, coconut milk and honey.
Combine well, and press into a greased 8×8 dish.
Chill, cut and enjoy!