Chia Oatmeal Energy Bars & Coconut-Oat Macaroons

Hi from Chicago! My mom and I are headed to the gym, but I figured I would check in real quick! My 5 1/2 hour ride went rather quickly (I love when that happens), and it was good to catch up with the fam last night. I even had time to squeeze in grading assignments, so it was quite the productive evening. Oh, and a good, deep sleep…ah 🙂

During my car ride yesterday, I packed a bunch of snacks. I ended up having a Papaya Coconut Muffin, a Chia Oatmeal Energy Bar, and a Coconut-Oat Macaroon. And an apple and a banana. I think all the working out I’ve been doing really revved up my appetite yesterday. Plus my lunch was a 6″ turkey sub from Subway at 11:15am…so not filling.

The recipes for the Chia Oatmeal Energy Bars and Coconut-Oat Macaroons were both made for guest posts at Get Healthy with Heather and The Athlete’s Plate, respectively. Of course I wanted to let you all in on the recipes, and I’ll let you know when the guest posts go up!

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Chia Oatmeal Energy Bars as seen on The Healthy Apron

1/2 cup whole wheat (pastry) flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup natural almond or peanut butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup black strap molasses
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
2 Tbsp chia seeds + 3 Tbsp water, mixed to form a gel
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup dried fruit (I used a dried berry blend)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 Tbsp chia seeds, to garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.

Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl, set aside. In another bowl beat nut butter, sugar, and black strap molasses with an electric mixer until well blended.

Whisk eggs in a small bowl. Combined 2 tablespoons chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water in a small dish and allow to form a gel for 3-4 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

Add eggs, vanilla and chia gel to nut butter mixture. Beat until smooth. Mix in the flour mixture with a spoon. Fold in oats, dried fruit, and walnuts.

Press batter into the greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Sprinkle top with remaining 2 tablespoons chia seeds.

Bake bars until browned. About 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan on a cooling rack. Cut into 24 bars.

Nutrition Information (per bar): 138 calories; 5.8 g. fat; 9 mg. cholesterol; 71 mg. sodium; 19.8 g. carbohydrate; 2.8 g. fiber; 3.6 g. protein (…and 420 mg omega 3 fatty acids per bar)

Result: I think many people lack omega 3’s in the diet. Incorporating chia seeds into the diet is a great way to increase omega 3 fatty acid intake. These were easy to make and froze great. They traveled well and were soft, with the crunch of nuts. Mmm! Enjoy!

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Coconut-Oat Macaroons adapted from Detox Blonde Macaroons, found on Oh She Glows and Healthy Food for Living, originally from Healthy Hoggin

2 2/3 cups (8 oz) shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup reduced-fat shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 vanilla beans, insides scraped out for use
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a food processor, process 2 2/3 cups full fat shredded coconut for about 5-8 minutes, until a thick, smooth coconut butter forms, scraping down the sides as needed.

Stir to combine the coconut butter and all of the remaining ingredients in a bowl.

Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the bottoms of the macaroons are lightly browned.

Allow the macaroons to sit at room temperature on the baking sheet for about 30 minutes, or until they firm up and cool down. Yield: 28 macaroons.

Nutrition Information (per macaroon): 62 calories; 2.8 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 42 mg. sodium; 9 g. carbohydrate; 1.1 g. fiber; 0.5 g. protein

Result: If you are a coconut lover, don’t pass these up! These are quick & easy to make and have a wonderful coconut, almond, and vanilla flavor all in one! Despite my initial instinct to add chocolate, these are perfect as is! Enjoy!

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And I can proudly say that I have not only tried coconut butter, but MADE coconut butter. Coconut butter is coconut…processed to a paste-like consistency. Nothin’ to it! See?!

Question: What’s your favorite road snack?

Have a dandy weekend!! 😀

Share With Your Friends!

23 Comments

  1. April 22, 2011 / 7:32 am

    Oh those look familiar 😉

  2. April 22, 2011 / 8:11 am

    As you stop into Chicago, I am leaving. Enjoy your stay! 🙂

    I alway seem to switch it up when it comes to road snacks. I need stuff to munch on (8 hours is a long drive!). Most recently, I’ve gone for pretzels and swedish fish. There’s no rhyme or reason…

    • Nicole
      Author
      April 23, 2011 / 8:06 am

      Have a good trip! That is a LONG drive, oy! And pretzels and Swedish fish? Can’t go wrong with either…ever 🙂

  3. April 22, 2011 / 8:25 am

    I’m so glad you got to Chicago okay! And that you’re having fun with the fam!

    These sound like the perfect pre-workout/long car ride/study break snack. Especially those chia energy bars. Love!

    • Nicole
      Author
      April 23, 2011 / 8:06 am

      They are! But I’m excited for your marathon cookies now that my chia energy bars are gone! 🙂

  4. April 22, 2011 / 8:37 am

    Oh nicole I’m going to have to make these! I love your version (and the fact that you cut almost 100 calories per bar! Nice! Have a fun time in Chicago and happy easter!

    • Nicole
      Author
      April 23, 2011 / 8:05 am

      Thank you! Happy Easter to you! Thanks for posting the recipe, they were wonderful!

  5. April 22, 2011 / 9:45 am

    Both recipes sound delicious! And I’ve never actually tried coconut butter but maybe I should since I love coconut 🙂 Oh and I almost was going to make your papaya coconut muffins again yesterday but somebody ate all the papaya! LOL For some reason, I thought they would be great for Easter….

    • Nicole
      Author
      April 23, 2011 / 8:04 am

      LOL! Papaya can disappear very easily…so good 🙂 They would be great for Easter, though!

  6. April 22, 2011 / 10:08 am

    Isn’t it amazing what you can create by just sticking something in the food processor for a heck of a long time?! Love it!

    My favorite road snack is homemade trail mix – nuts, dried fruit, coconut and of course some sort of chocolate!

  7. April 22, 2011 / 11:34 am

    Glad you made it home safe Nicole – sorry our weather is so cold and shitty!

    Have fun with your Momma and have a great Easter! 😀

    • Nicole
      Author
      April 23, 2011 / 8:04 am

      So far, a blast…but this weather, ugh!!!

  8. April 22, 2011 / 7:06 pm

    Glad you made it to your family safe and sound. Enjoy your visit!!! My favorite road trip snack is sooooo bad – Tim Horton’s “Timbits”. (little doughnut holes) I certainly don’t get then all the time, but they ARE fun on the road. Have a great weekend.

    • Nicole
      Author
      April 23, 2011 / 8:03 am

      Mmm…Tim Horton’s everything! Their coffee is the best! I have purposely not tried the Timbits because 1) I love doughnuts, 2) I frequent Tim Horton’s for coffee, and 3) it’s best to sometimes not know what you’re missing ;0)

  9. April 23, 2011 / 7:47 am

    Ut oh, I think I’m going to have to make these for Nick…he LOVES coconut!! Me? Not so much, but it’s growing on me.
    My favorite road snack is probably….veggie chips, a jar of peanut butter, bananas, and of course my granola and granola bars!
    Hope you have a nice Easter weekend Nicole.

    • Nicole
      Author
      April 25, 2011 / 12:10 pm

      Thanks, Gina! If Nick loves coconut, he would probably adore these 🙂 They’re so easy to make, too!

  10. Liz
    April 25, 2011 / 10:20 am

    I whipped up some coconut-oat macaroons on Saturday…. sooo good! I brought them to Easter dinner and my family loved them! My mom and I had a tradition of buying chocolate macaroons when they were in the store around Passover. These were way better than anything we ever bought!

    • Nicole
      Author
      April 25, 2011 / 12:10 pm

      That makes my day to hear! I loved them, too! As did my family…I took a bunch home for Easter and they were GONE! 🙂

  11. Shirley
    April 28, 2011 / 1:43 pm

    These Coconut-Oat Macaroons look divine and so simple. I think I will make them for my sister next time she visits. She loves coconut (and her husband doesn’t) so its a secret little way to let her know, I really was thinking of YOU, lol.

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