I've been toying around with a lot of nut and seed bars lately, and after making these sesame chia seed bars last week I was feeling like trying an alternate version with coconut sugar, a higher temperature, and a slightly shorter baking time. The result was: sweeter bars, with a hint of caramel taste, and a good balance between chewy and crunchy. I loved them.
So besides being sweet and lightly crunchy, these bars are obviously perfect for a snack, as a quick breakfast bar or a power bar, or as a simple homemade lunchbox treat -- brownie points for lunchbox-friendliness especially, as they're nut-free! :) .
They come together easily, thanks to the binding property of the the chia seeds, and with only a few ingredients they make a tasty and filling simple treat.
They're already quite allergy-friendly (nut-free, gluten-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, etc.) and alternative diet-friendly (vegan, paleo, and gf), but see the notes in the recipe on how to make these coconut-free as well, if you're not a coconut lover.
These sweet and lightly crunchy sunflower and chia seed bars make a wonderful breakfast bar, power bar, or lunchbox treat (they're nut-free, vegan, gluten-free, paleo, and oil-free).
- Pre-heat oven to 375F. Line a small baking tray (I used one that’s 7″ x 10.5″, but anything of a similar size will do) with some parchment paper and set aside.
- Place all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir everything together to combine. Let sit for 15 mins, stirring occasionally.
- After the 15 mins have passed, give the mixture another stir to make sure it’s well-combined. Then transfer it into the prepared baking tray. Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven for 55 mins. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for about an hour. Once completely cooled, cut into bars and enjoy!***
*If going for a coconut-free alternative, can use date sugar, sucanat, maple sugar, etc. Or brown sugar if not refined sugar-free.
**I used white chia seeds because I liked their color and because that's what I had on hand, but black chia seeds would work fine too.
***Storage notes: the bars can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container, if consumed within 2-3 days. Otherwise they can be stored in the fridge for a longer shelf-life, or frozen for later use.