Hello.. Hello! Hope y’all are doing well, keeping warm and the year has been going great so far.
I am doing well too. It has been over a year since I have been away from the blog. And, for good reason. I got promoted to being a mom of two – a girl and a baby boy who is now ten months (can’t believe!). Last year has just flown by making space in our lives for our new little man, bending and mending schedules, making peace with the ever demanding sleep cycles (the hardest part!) and growing together as a family of four and parents of two. Yet, when he smiles his toothless smile and tugs at my pant trying to walk his first few steps, every bit of the rollercoaster ride seems worthwhile. Slowly and steadily as his napping schedule seems more predictable, I have the privilege of stealing some much needed time for myself to be back at this cozy space here.
And hence, THIS first post of 2015.
For the most part of last year, I hardly entered the kitchen. When I did, I was overwhelmed by a partly untouched pantry and refrigerator over stocked with myriad ingredients carefully collected in all my blogging enthusiasm driven by well-meaning intentions. So, I started by cleaning up the pantry and the refrigerator and laid hands on a bag of hemp hearts, an half-finished bottle of almond butter with rock hard remnants stuck to the bottom, an unopened jar of Grandma’s molasses, two types of flax seeds (golden and regular), some leftover shelled pumpkin and sunflower seeds. And, this recipe followed.
The fact that each of the ingredients is a nutrition powerhouse in themselves got me excited to make something with them together. Flax seeds are a great source of the right proportion of plant based omega fatty acids and have been found to be very beneficial for women with PCOD as well as arthritis. The nutrients in flax seeds are digested and assimilated well when the seeds are finely ground as the tough outer shell protects the inner seed from digestion. If you’ve eaten flax seeds sprinkled on cereals and such, you’d know what I mean! And since omega-3s are heat sensitive, flax seeds should not be heated or cooked to reap its full benefits.
Similarly, pumpkin, sunflower and hemp seeds are loaded with free radical scavenging antioxidants and immune boosting vitamins and minerals. Oats and almonds are heart healthy. In a nutshell (or seed shell), read tons of health benefits and toxin removal.
This is a healthy tasting bar with slight bitter notes from the natural cocoa and molasses. I like it as it is. If you want it sweeter, go ahead and use more dates or some good quality honey, but no-no to heat please.
- 1 cup old fashioned oats flour*
- 1/4 cup golden flax seeds
- 1/4 cup pumpkin and sunflower seed mix
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/4 cup hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds)
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 5 tbsp unsulphured molasses
- 3 tbsp natural cocoa
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 medjool dates , pitted
For the Oats flour: Dry roast 1-1/4 cup old fashioned oats until light brown and fragrant. when cooled, pulse to a fine flour to get 1 cup roasted oats flour.
Add dates to the pre-roasted oats flour and pulse a few times in a small mixer grinder or food processor till dates are finely ground and mixed with the oats flour. Remove to a large mixing bowl.
Next, pulse golden flax seeds to a fine meal. Add to the mixing bowl. Repeat with the pumpkin, sunflower and hemp hearts. Hemp hearts turn into butter sooner. So, pulse carefully.
Add almond butter, ground cinnamon, cocoa and vanilla extract. Mix well breaking any lumps with a fork. Drizzle in molasses and mix. The mixture will be lumpy. Knead just enough to form a soft dough. Place on a parchment paper and roll to desired thickness. Sift some natural cocoa all over and cut into squares using a serrated knife.
Refrigerate in an airtight box and consume within a week.
1/4 cup of almonds can be substituted for the almond butter.
Pulse in a small jar grinder to a meal and proceed with the recipe.
If you don't have molasses, use dates (about 6-8 in all) or date syrup or honey (about 3 tbsp, as it is sweeter than molasses) and adjust as per taste before kneading.