Tag Archives: chia seeds

Quinoa, Cinnamon And Chia Seed Bars

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It’s been a lot of years since I have eaten store-bought muesli bars. They have too much sugar for my liking and added preservatives that I just don’t care for. I prefer to make my own.

This simple recipe is adapted from one I wrote for Who Magazine last year.

Oats and quinoa flakes are combined with spices, dried fruit and nuts. It uses rice bran syrup as a natural alternative to highly processed sugar, and chia seeds soaked to a gel to help hold it all together during baking.

 

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Using rice bran syrup makes these quinoa and chia seed bars low Gi, and that’s a good thing! Low GI foods are digested slower, causing a lower rise in blood glucose levels making it a more sustainable energy source, which also keeps you fuller for longer.  Yay! 

For those of you with children who face the weekly ordeal of packing lunch boxes,(I have two of them that like to inspect the contents of their boxes each day), teach them good food doesn’t come from a packet and add these to their weekly routine.

For hikers and bushwalkers, these bars can quickly become a backpack staple, and one you’ll be happy to have near by when hitting those mountains.

And if you are the type of person to have breakfast on the run (not me, I am truly dedicated to this first meal of the day, and cannot leave home with out it) these bars would get you off to a good start.

Get baking!

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Quinoa and chia seed bars 

1 tbsp (Australian standard size: 20ml) black chia seeds

1/2 cup rice bran syrup

1/4 cup rice bran oil, or grape seed oil

2 tbsp honey

1/2 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup quinoa flakes 

3/4 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 1/2 cups trail mix (dried fruit and nut mix)

Pre heat oven to 175C

Place the chia seeds and 1/4 cup of cold water in  a small bowl, whisk and stand for 10 minutes till chia seeds turn to a thick gel.

Place the rice bran syrup, oil, honey (if using) and spices in a small saucepan, bring to the boil, turn off the heat and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the quinoa flakes, rolled oats, shredded coconut and trail mix.

Add the soaked chia seeds to the warm rice bran syrup and whisk to combine. Pour onto the quinoa and oat mixture and stir till well combined.

Line a 30cm shallow baking tray with baking paper. Place the quinoa mixture  into the lined tray and using a spatula press it firmly all over till it’s smooth and level.

Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Allow to cool slightly in the tray before cooling on a wire rack.  Once bars have cooled, use a sharp knife to cut bars to desired size. Store in an air tight container for up to one week.

Note: For a vegan version of these bars, leave out the 2 tbsp of honey.

(C) Copy right foodfrommichelleskitchen 2016 –  Quinoa and chia seed bars

 

 

 

 

Coconut Pepita and Chia Biscuits with Dark Chocolate

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I have to admit, I’m more of a cake-kind-of-girl then a biscuit one. It’s not that I don’t appreciate a good biscuit. I do. Actually, I’m sharing this recipe with you now because this IS a good biscuit. It’s a great biscuit. It’s crunchy…not too sweet…and can actually be debated that’s it’s kind of healthy.

And what makes it so? Wholemeal flour is a good start – sure beats processed white.

Then there’s the pepita seeds – the pretty green seed taken from inside a pumpkin seed – which by the way are full of iron, magnesium and zinc.

LSA mix – ground linseed, sunflower, almond meal – is in here too. That adds some healthy omega-3 fats.

Chia seeds are full of calcium and high in antioxidants – apparently they have higher levels than blueberries! – and they replace the need for egg – remember this recipe?.

And coconut, well, I just love coconut…

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These biscuits have a similar method to an Anzac biscuit, only they’re healthier.  The melted chocolate on top is totally optional and not altogether necessary. If I’m short on time I skip the melted chocolate part and leave them as is.

My kids love it when I bake these biscuits. Actually, my husband probably loves it just as much they do, maybe more. He’s a biscuit-kind-of-guy. He’s been known in the past to buy horrible supermarket biscuits. He practically has to sneak them in the door so I don’t give him a lecture on how foul they are, how full of processed rubbish they are, and how overly sugared they are – poor guy, must be tough being married to me.

He does love these though and if I’m trying to get him on board for some favour I need doing then a batch of these oh-so-good-biscuits are a great place to start.

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If you want to make these for the kids to take to school, yet your having to follow strict school guidelines about no food with nuts (this is seriously out of control this whole allergy thing) then leave out the LSA mix and add an extra 2 tbsp wholemeal self raising flour. That keeps them nut free and school lunch-box-friendly.

Coconut pepita and chia seed biscuits with dark chocolate

Ingredients

100g butter

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2tbsp hot water

160g wholemeal self raising flour

2 tbsp LSA mix (ground linseed, sunflower and almonds)

80g brown sugar

60g shredded coconut

70g pepita seeds

80g dark chocolate bits, plus extra for melting if desired

Pre heat oven to 175C OR 155C fan forced. Place the butter, honey, chia seeds, bi carb and hot water in a small saucepan. Stir over a medium heat till butter melts. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Place the wholemeal flour, LSA mix, brown sugar, shredded coconut, pepita seeds and chocolate bits in a medium size bowl, stir till well combined. Make a well in the center of the flour.  When the butter mixture has cooled add to the flour mixture and stir till dough comes together.

Line two trays with baking paper. Take a spoon of biscuit mix and roll it into a ball, place it on the lined tray then use your finger tips and palm of hand to flatten to a circular shape. Continue with remaining mix till all biscuits are rolled and flattened.

Bake in the oven for 18 – 20 minutes, or till golden and cooked through. Cool biscuits on a wire rack. If you are drizzling with the extra chocolate – this is optional and feel free to skip this step – place melted chocolate in a snap lock bag, snip off the end, and drizzle biscuits in a zig zag manner. Allow chocolate to set. Store the cold biscuits in an airtight container for 5-6 days.

Chocolate, chia and banana cake

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It’s high time I posted a cake recipe. The last cake recipe I shared was an old favourite I’ve been baking for years, one my sister has taken to and now bakes for any and every occasion a cake is required. But this little beauty is a new recipe. It’s based on a simple banana cake but tweaked with the addition of chia seeds and dark chocolate. The dark chocolate is of the high cocoa bean variety. I tend to use 70% cocoa bean chocolate in ALL my baking now and often buy the organic and fair trade blocks.  It’s bitter slightly tangy flavour is preferred to the sugary milky chocolate that’s so often sold to home cooks. Plus, dark chocolate contains higher amounts of antioxidants and flavonoids, that’s gotta be a good thing right?

 

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The delight in learning how to use chia seeds has come through my baking. When you soak chia seeds in water, they turn to a thick gel and can actually replace the use of eggs. Soaked chia seeds act in much the same way as eggs do in baking by holding the cake together. I have a cherry and chia seed cake I like to bake. The chia seeds give it a chewy outer crust whilst keeping it moist, much the same as a cake rich with eggs would. I’m into this chia seed thing.

It’s inevitable, especially when you have kids in the house, to always have a few over ripe bananas gathering spots in the fruit bowl. The positive aspect of this is, overripe bananas are the ones to use in your baking. Brown spotted bananas have the best flavour and sweetness for banana cakes, muffins or loaves.  And over ripe bananas can be frozen too, so there’s no need to toss them out. Rejoice in the brown spotted banana! Freeze them with their skins removed and you’ll have them on hand at any time a banana cake is required.

 

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Chocolate, chia and banana cake

Ingredients 

125g softened butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 large ripe bananas, mashed

200g plain flour

50g wholemeal self raising flour

1 tsp bi carb soda

1 egg

2 tbsp chia seeds

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp mixed spice

Pinch salt

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

 

Pre heat oven to 180C. Line a 23cm spring form cake tin with baking paper. Place chia seeds in a small bowl, add 1/4 cup cold water and whisk to combine, set aside for 10 minutes. In  a separate bowl, sift together the plain flour and bi carb soda, add the wholemeal flour, spices and a pinch of salt.

Place softened butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream till well combined. Add egg and beat till combined. Add mashed banana and soaked chia seeds, beat to combine.  Add prepared flour with spices and milk, beat slowly till combined. Add chopped dark chocolate and fold till just combined.

Place mixture in prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes. Stand for 10 minutes. Remove spring form cake tin and allow cake to cool on a  baking rack. Once cake is cool, cut into wedges and serve as is or with double cream.

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