Elizabeth Arnott

Chía Breakfast Bars

Chía seeds are an ancient super-food whose use can be traced back to the Aztecs and the Mayans. Members of the mint family, chía seeds have valuable nutritional properties; their essential fatty acids help boost metabolism, and they are especially useful for detox and weight loss.  As there is no cooking required, these breakfast bars are very easy to prepare, and can be made in advance and taken out of the refrigerator when needed

Time: 15 minutes plus overnight chilling
Makes 12 bars
1 cup (6oz/170g) dried figs
1 cup (6oz/170g) dried apricots
1 cup (5oz/140g) nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews)
½ cup (2½oz/75g) chía seeds
1 tbspn coconut oil
1 tspn cinnamon powder
½ inch (1cm) ginger (peeled and grated)
1. Turn on the food processor, gradually add the dried fruit and nuts and process until they have formed a thick paste
2. In a mixing bowl, mix the paste, chía seeds, coconut oil, cinnamon and ginger to form a thick dough
3. Place a sheet of waxed paper on a large chopping board.  Put the mixture onto the waxed paper and begin to spread it out.  Cover with another sheet of waxed paper and gently spread it out with a rolling pin into a square or rectangular shape, about ¼ inch (½cm) thick
4. Wrap and chill for at least an hour, or preferably overnight
5. Cut into 12 bars, wrap each bar in waxed paper, and store in the refrigerator
Cook's tips:
* Chía bars make a useful snack or can be included as part of a lunch box. They can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks, or for up to three months in the freezer
* You could replace the dried figs with large, stoned dates 

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