Super Green Ginger Oat Bars

From the research that is available, there probably isn’t a more powerful group of foods that you can eat than dark leafy greens!  And life on the road makes it pretty difficult to get your daily dose in.  So here is an easy way to pack them along with you, without a large bag taking up all the space in your food cooler.  We have developed two versions of the ginger green oat bar to provide some flexibility.  The main version is made using spinach.  The spinach blends well with the other ingredients and is not noticeable at all.  These come out surprisingly sweet, especially if you use the small chunks of crystallized ginger.  If you prefer to use natural ginger (our preference), then you might want to add two more chopped up dates to maintain a similar sweetness.

The optional version of our super green oat bar uses kale instead of spinach.  Kale tends to have a stronger “green” flavor and can take some getting used to if you are not accustomed to the natural taste of  leafy greens.  1 bunch of kale will make about 2 cups packed, but do to the fluffy consistency, you will have to really press it in the measuring cup.  So we feel that a typical bunch from the farmers market or the store will be a proper amount.  If this is your first time preparing kale, then you should know that you will need to remove the stems and we have just the trick!  Rinse the leaves and then place flat on the cutting board.  Then fold the leaf in half, exposing the stem on one side.  Now, on the leaf side, cut parallel right along the stem.  The stem is now gone and all that is left is the edible part of the leaf … easy!  Or you can just fold the leaf in half and start tearing the leafy, edible part from the stem, whatever you prefer 🙂

With the added greens, these are by far our most nutrient dense oat bars!

Dry Ingredients

  • 4 cups Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 cup crushed Walnuts
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Maca Powder
  • 1 cup of Buckwheat Flour
  • 1/2 cup Flax Meal
  • 3 Dates, chopped
  • 3/4 cup Raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 cups packed spinach leaves, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup crystallized ginger chunks (or 4 tbsp fresh grated ginger plus 2 more dates)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda (add as last dry ingredient)

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (blended with spinach, chia, and vanilla)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon Chia Seeds (add with vanilla and almond milk before mixing with dry ingredients)
  • 2 Bananas

 

Directions
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

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While you are getting the dry ingredients ready, add the almond milk, vanilla and chia seeds to the blender.  Then add the spinach, dates, (ginger if using fresh grated ginger), bananas and blend until well incorporated.  Pour the green spinach mixture over top of the dry ingredients and mix everything together.  Ensure you don’t see any dry parts that haven’t been absorbed by the almond milk spinach mixture.  You will notice that this mixture gets pretty thick as you mix it.  This is normal as the moisture interacts with the flax and chia seeds.

 

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Kale Alternative

When substituting the kale for the spinach, you will need to make a few other modifications

1/2 -1  bunch of Kale (about 3-7 full leafs, to taste); rinsed, stems cut out

Use 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk

The kale will  make the mixture much thicker than the spinach, and will add a much more “green” taste

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Lightly coat a 12″x 8″x 2″ Pyrex or other type of baking dish with coconut oil and place the mix in and spread evenly.

Bake for 18-20 minutes @ 375.

Cool for 5 minutes, cut into squares (4 wide by 6 long for a total of 24 bars) and place on cooling rack to prevent over-drying for about 15-25 minutes.

Either place the bars in a storage container of your choice, or if you are taking them on a trip, then I recommend a quart sized zip lock bag.  I manage to squeeze 9 bars into each bag and usually bring 2 bags on each 4-day trip.

**With all the oat bar recipes, we do not use any refined sugar.  All the sweetness comes naturally from the pure food ingredients.  For this reason, you will notice that the sweetness really shows itself after the oat bars have had a chance to sit overnight allowing the sugar to release and mix in with the rest of the ingredients.

Additionally,  they share the same nutritious base!  The rolled oats are a great whole grain source of protein and fiber, as well as a variety of minerals and help reduce the risk of heart disease.  They have a relatively low count of omega 6 to omega 3 which is balanced with the use of both flax seeds and chia seeds, which are the only seed sources that are higher in omega 3 than omega 6.  The flax seeds are high in minerals and lignans, and reduce the risk of prostate and breast cancer.  We went with walnuts for a reason, as they have a better ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 than most other nuts.  Other research shows them to have an anti-inflammatory effect as well.  All seeds are great sources of phytosterols, which dramatically reduce cholesterol, so we went with pumpkin seeds for the flavor and texture.  Also, seeds are a great source of tryptophan, an amino acid that aids the brain’s ability to absorb serotonin, when consuming a plant based diet.  They are mini mood enhancers!  We choose almond milk over dairy for obvious reasons, to learn more, visit the science behind it section of our website.**

So you can’t go wrong with these bars!  Just choose the flavor you like the most, or rotate them through for some variety.

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