It’s already the middle of January and I’m finally getting into the training swing of things. Niggles are the bane of every runner’s existence and it can be frustrating dealing with them at the start of a season when you’re raring to go start the new year’s build. On the bright side, it’s only the start of the season so there’s still plenty of time to get fit and rip it up in the spring! One of the key things to do while injured is to remain motivated and busy with other things. Incorporate cross training (assuming it doesn’t aggravate the injury) and do other things you love, which in my case means cooking.
While I’m in the middle of a big build, healthy snacks are essential to ensure I’m getting an adequate amount of healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates. One of my favourite snacks – and yes it goes well with tea – is homemade granola bars. Early during the life of this blog I made healthy five-ingredient granola bars but this week it gets a little seedier. From the same Minimalist Baker Blog comes these super seedy granola bars. Incorporating a variety of seeds adds great texture, good nutrients and essential fiber content, but not enough fiber to make them a poor choice to eat before workouts!
They’re great for a between meal snack, a pre- or post-workout fuel source, or as a sweet little morsel to have with an evening cup of tea.
Super Seedy Granola Bars
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Yields 10 bars
- 1½ cups rolled oats
- ½ cup raw almonds, walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 heaping, packed cup dates, pitted*
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds (roasted or raw)
- 2 tbsp flax seeds (ground or whole)
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- ¼ cup agave nectar or maple syrup
- ¼ cup creamy, salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
- Optional additions: chocolate chips, dried fruit, other nuts, banana chips, etc.
- Toast your oats and almonds in a 350 degree oven for 13-15 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
- Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about a minute). It should form a dough-like consistency.
- Place oats, almonds and dates in a large mixing bowl. Add seeds and set aside.
- Warm agave and peanut or almond butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout. Use a spoon or your hands to thoroughly mix.
- Transfer to a small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily.
- Cover with parchment or plastic wrap and press down with something flat, such as a book, to get them really packed tight. This will help them from being crumbly. Chill in the fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.
- Remove bars from dish and chop into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days.
*If your dates don’t feel sticky and moist, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes then drain before processing. This will help hold the bars together better.