No-Bake Cacao Tahini Bars

Filled with tons of nourishing seeds, these are the perfect bars for when you’re on the go, need a little pick-me-up, or looking for some pre-workout fuel.

I have a confession to make: I used to live on granola bars as a kid. You know, those chocolate chip, s’mores-flavoured Uncle Toby bars of sugary goodness that were somehow passed off as a healthy snack? Honestly, the more chocolate the better.

I still love granola, but as I’ve grown up (and learned about all the lovely things sugar does to you), my tastebuds have most certainly changed to prefer something a little more savoury, but just as substantial and, well, chocolatey…

Filled with tons of nourishing seeds, these are the perfect bars for when you’re on the go, need a little pick-me-up, or looking for some pre-workout fuel. They’re high in healthy fats, including omega-3s, protein, and tons of fibre to keep your gut healthy and happy. They are also NUT-FREE, so are great for the kids to bring to school!

Want a little protein boost? Add a scoop of your favourite plant-based protein powder or grass-fed collagen!

Let’s take a closer look at what’s inside:

Tahini: The underrated cousin of your favourite almond and peanut butters, this creamy paste is made from ground sesame seeds and is the perfect substitute for those who are sensitive to nuts. It’s rich and nutty, with a slightly bitter aftertaste, so I love it mixed into foods to give a great depth of flavour. Sesame seeds (and therefore tahini) are high in B vitamins like thiamine, and minerals like zinc, copper, and iron. They are also high in healthy fats and amino acids, with 20% of their weight made up of protein.

Pumpkin seeds: These little powerhouses are full of nutrients as one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3s (alpha-linolenic acid or ALA), as well as heart-healthy magnesium, and immune supporting zinc. Be sure to get yours from a quality source as they are prone to pesticide exposure and soak/sprout them if you can!

Rolled Oats: Old-fashioned rolled oats are a great source of fibre as well as a prebiotic for your good gut bugs. While oats are naturally gluten-free, it is worth sourcing one that is specifically listed to be so as the crops are often exposed to cross-contamination.

Flaxseeds: Flax is so packed with nutrients including plant-based omega-3s, dietary fibre and amino acids. The lignans – plant compounds that have antioxidant and estrogen properties – have been shown to help lower cancer risk and support female hormone health.

Chia seeds: Another crowd favourite in the health community, chia seeds are jam-packed with antioxidants to fight cell aging, fibre and prebiotics, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and bone-building minerals like calcium and manganese. These ancient seeds soak up liquid and gel up to hold the bars together!

Cacao nibs/powder: The BEST part of these bars, IMHO, is the big hit of chocolate you get both in the bar itself and from the chocolate drizzle. But this little bit of decadence doesn’t have to come with a price! Cacao has some amazing antioxidant benefits (40 times that of blueberries!!); is a rich source of iron, magnesium, and calcium; and a natural mood elevator that supports the production of feel-good chemicals: serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylethylamine.

No-Bake Cacao Tahini Bars

Gluten free, dairy free, nut free, refined sugar free, vegan
Prep time: 15 minutes + 30 minutes
Yields: 10 bars

Ingredients:
Bars
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup raw or toasted pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup tahini
3 Tbsp [or to taste] pure maple syrup (if vegan) /raw honey
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed or LSA
2 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp cacao nibs
1 Tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Chocolate Drizzle (optional)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 Tbsp coconut oil

Method:

  1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Add oats, pumpkin seeds, tahini, honey, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, cacao nibs, cacao powder, vanilla, and sea salt in a large bowl.
  2. Once the mixture is holding together, transfer into the loaf pan lined with parchment. Using the back of a spoon, spread the mixture firmly and evenly into the pan. Place in fridge for a few minutes while melting the chocolate.
  3. To make the chocolate drizzle, add chocolate chips and coconut oil to a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals until melted. Drizzle over the bars. 
  4. Place the bars back in the fridge to harden, about 30 minutes. Remove from the pan and cut into 10 bars. 
  5. Store bars in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy cold or at room temperature.
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