Get Our FREE Cookbook!

From cookies to bars, breads to muffins you're sure to find something special to bake in this FREE cookbook -- Healthy Everyday Baking. DOWNLOAD your copy today!

E-Book
  • Blog
  • »
  • Chocolate-Hazelnut Chia Bars with Sea Salt

Chocolate-Hazelnut Chia Bars with Sea Salt

April 07, 2015
Featured in: Food Rx
Jump to recipe
These Chocolate Hazelnut Chia Bars with Sea Salt are made with real, simple ingredients and make a great snack!

Hi all! Excited to be here on Healthy Aperture, sharing my first post for the new series Food Rx. As a long time reader and fan of Healthy Aperture, I'm thrilled to be sharing my recipes with you all! First, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Rachael Hartley, private practice dietitian and blogger at Avocado A Day Nutrition. I love everything to do with food – eating, cooking, reading cookbooks, going out to eat, traveling and exploring new cuisines. I suppose the label foodie would fit! It’s my passion to help my readers and clients rediscover the joy of eating with delicious, nourishing foods and a holistic approach to eating.  

Here on Food Rx, I'll be highlighting a different functional food each month, sharing health benefits and using it as an ingredient in a nutritious and delicious recipe. When it comes to functional foods, everyone has heard the saying by Hippocrates, “let food be thy medicine.” Although I hate to associate food with something that's choked down with a glass of water, it's true. Food is medicine, with more power to heal, nourish and promote wellbeing than any pill. Although there's no single food more powerful than a pattern of eating rooted in whole foods, there are some foods that have more powerful benefits than others, and that's what I'll be sharing here!

For my first post, I decided to start with a bang and highlight a functional food that I think you’ll be pretty excited about – chocolate! Yup, that’s right!

Chocolate is a functional food because it’s a rich source of flavanols, a type of antioxidant that stimulates the arteries to relax, which improves blood flow. Of course, this is great for heart health, but it also has other benefits. Studies have found the improved blood flow from chocolate can boost athletic performance by improving muscle endurance, making chocolate not only a delicious, but useful preworkout snack. It also increases blood flow to the brain, which has been shown to improve cognitive function, especially in the elderly. 

Other benefits:

  • Good source of iron, copper, magnesium, and manganese
  • Increases healthy HDL cholesterol and lowers LDL cholesterol
  • Increases levels of serotonin, a mood boosting hormone, in the brain
  • Associated with a lower risk of heart disease

These Chocolate Hazelnut Chia Bars with Sea Salt are made with real, simple ingredients and make a great snack!

Keep in mind, I’m talking about dark chocolate (preferably > 70% cacao), cocoa powder, raw cacao powder or cocoa nibs. Milk chocolate has much more added sugar and fats than chocolate. To put it in perspective, you’d have to eat 10 ½ ounces for the same amount of flavanols in just 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder! Yeah, I think I'll stick with the dark stuff. 

This recipe for chocolate hazelnut chia bars takes advantage of chocolate’s ability to improve blood flow and improve athletic performance by whipping it into a convenient pre-workout snack. Naturally sweet dates are a great source of simple carbohydrate to fuel your workout and the omega 3 fats in chia seeds may help speed up exercise recovery. Feel free to use any nuts or even a mixture of what you have on hand. 

These Chocolate Hazelnut Chia Bars with Sea Salt are made with real, simple ingredients and make a great snack! 

These Chocolate Hazelnut Chia Bars with Sea Salt are made with real, simple ingredients and make a great snack!

Chocolate Hazelnut Chia Bars with Sea Salt

Yield

Makes 12 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed, pitted dates
  • 1.5 cups toasted hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 6 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon water, optional (if needed to help it stick)
  • pinch of flaky or crunchy sea salt

Directions

  1. Place dates, hazelnuts, chia and cocoa in the food processor and blend until chopped finely and well combined.
  2. Add a tablespoon water if needed to help it blend. 
  3. Scoop mixture into an oiled rectangle baking dish. Using a spatula, flatten the top and press down. It should be about 1/2-inch thick.
  4. Sprinkle sea salt lightly over the top and press down so it sticks.
  5. Cut into 12 bars and carefully remove with a spatula.
  6. Store in the refrigerator in a covered container where iit should be fine for a few weeks (as if they'll last that long!).  

Print this recipe

RachaelAnAvocadoADay

RachaelAnAvocadoADay
Rachael Hartley is the author of the FOOD Rx on HealthyAperture - a monthly feature that embraces the saying "Let food be thy medicine." The tasty, whole food recipes shared in Food Rx take advantage of the healing power of food, highlighting ingredients with known health promoting abilities. Rachael is also private practice dietitian and blogger at Avocado A Day Nutrition. She is passionate about helping men and women improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing with nourishing and delicious whole foods, mindfulness and intuitive eating. As lifelong food lover, the kitchen is her playground and she enjoys experimenting with new ingredients, trying new cuisines and sharing those creations on her blog. When not working with clients or blogging, you can find her playing with her two big fluffy dogs, practicing yoga, or traveling with her husband.
More posts by RachaelAnAvocadoADay
comments powered by Disqus
x

Never miss a new post. Sign up to subscribe.

Automat:ee