Flax Date Bars

Studies show that a diet high in omega-3 fats improves mood and can help you remember things better. It also helps keep your joints healthy, decreases inflammation, lowers cholesterol, and helps fight depression.

And where do we get omega 3 fats?

We get them through food.

You’ve probably heard that some of the best sources of omega 3’s are walnuts and flax seed, but did you know you can also get this valuable nutrient in spinach, Chinese broccoli, lettuce, turnip greens, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, and winter squash?

Omega-3’s and Fish

Omega-3’s can also be found in fish and other seafood. However, many researchers believe obtaining omega-3’s from plant sources to be a better strategy since plants are also a good source of fiber and don’t contain the risk of mercury that fish do. In addition, a recent study linked the fat found in fish to a higher risk of prostate cancer.

And the omega-3 found in plants provides for other essential functions in the human body that the omega-3’s from seafood does not.

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The most delicious way to eat omega-3’s

One of my very favorite way to get omega-3 fats is in these luscious Flax Date Bars.

These bars are what most people would call energy bars, but I really dislike the term “energy bars”. Since when did real food like beans, blueberries, and broccoli not supply energy? Since when did we need little bars and cookies for energy?

(Ever since the packaged food companies discovered that calling an unhealthy, packaged food an “energy bar” would make them a lot of money.)

So, I don’t really like calling these energy bars. They are simply a healthy addition to breakfast or a super healthy replacement for unhealthy dessert. But if you want to call these energy bars, go ahead; you have my permission 🙂

Healthy Weight Loss

There are many energy bars that are marketed as helpful for weight loss, but because they contain sugar and other unhealthy ingredients, they actually contribute to weight gain. This healthy Flax Date Bar recipe contains no sugar, plus it’s loaded with fiber – the key nutrient for healthy and lasting weight loss.

How to grind flax seed

I avoid buying pre-ground flax seed since the healthy fats start to break down very soon after they are exposed to air. It’s better to buy your flax seed whole and grind it as needed.

Grinding your own seed is so very easy. Simply place the whole seeds in a coffee grinder and push the button. Voila! You have ground flax seed.

How to Eat Flax Seed

Ground flax is lovely mixed into hot cereal, added to applesauce or a smoothie, or even sprinkled on a salad. And, of course, in these yummy Flax Date Bars.

Healthy Energy Bars with Omega 3

Flax Date Bars

This yummy “energy” bar is loaded with omega-3’s for a healthy body and a healthy mind.
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Sweet Treats
YIELD 16 bars
All recipes on jenniferskitchen.com are property of jennifer’s kitchen and cannot be republished without written permission.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place coconut, flax, almonds, and salt in food processor and process until finely chopped. Be sure they are finely chopped or the bars will not stick together.
  • Add dates, and almond and vanilla flavor, and process until dates are finely chopped. Mixture should begin to stick together. See note 2! 
  • Add granola, and process until all ingredients well mixed and granola is chopped.
  • Press mixture into an 8-inch x 8-inch pan. Cut into squares. (See note on yield.)

Notes

1. I grind my flax seeds in a coffee grinder to make flax meal.
2. The exact amount of dates needed depends on the type of dates you use. Some are moister and some are drier. The only way to know how many you will need is to test your mixture (after step 2). It should stick together when squeezed in between fingers.
3. This recipe requires a large (12- to 14-cup) food processor. If your food processor is smaller, divide recipe in half and press into a loaf pan instead of an 8-inch pan.
Yield:
Makes sixteen 1 3/4-inch squares or twenty 1 1/2- x 1 3/4-inch. Best stored in freezer.
Make Ahead Tip:
These bars freeze well. They can be made ahead and kept in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    “Studies show that a diet high in omega-3 fats improves mood” — Hi Jenny, could you please provide some references to back up this statement. Thanks

    1. Hi Keira,
      Here are a few of the studies. I hope this is what you are looking for.

      1. Archives of General Psychiatry reported on a study in which British scientists treated depression with omega-3s that resulted in a 50% reduction of symptoms.
      2. M. Elizabeth Sublette, MD, PhD, of the New York State Psychiatric Institute and her team of researchers reviewed 15 trials involving 916 participants and concluded that supplements with at least 60% EPA improved depression symptoms. Their meta-analysis was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
      3. A Canadian study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that a similar 60/40 ratio of EPA/DHA eased depression somewhat in people with depression who didn’t have anxiety disorders.
      4. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health found that low blood levels of omega-3s raised suicide risk by as much as 62%. The study was published online in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
      5. When 20 menopausal women with major depression took 2 g of EPA plus DHA daily for eight weeks, 70% found their mood improved, and 45% found their depression went into remission. (according to researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in the March 2011 issue of Menopause)
      6. Low-dose DHA/EPA supplements lifted major depression for 15 pregnant women in a 2006 study published in Acta Neuropsychiatrica. Other research has found that women with higher intakes of omega-3s after pregnancy are at lower risk of postpartum depression.
      7. In a study published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 16 new mothers with postpartum depression took 0.5 to 2.8 g of EPA/DHA daily for eight weeks. Depression scores dropped about 50% in all groups.
      8. Su KP, Matsuoka Y, Pae CU. Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Prevention of Mood and Anxiety Disorders. Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci. 2015;13(2):129-37.
      9. Logan AC. Omega-3 fatty acids and major depression: a primer for the mental health professional. Lipids Health Dis. 2004;3:25. Published 2004 Nov 9. doi:10.1186/1476-511X-3-25
      10.Grosso G, Galvano F, Marventano S, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids and depression: scientific evidence and biological mechanisms. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2014;2014:313570.
      11. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2009 Summer;15(2):128-33

  2. Thank you for this recipe! I modified it to get a higher percentage of flax. You shouldn’t eat more than maybe a tablespoon of flax meal a day raw (look it up, it can raise your blood cyanide levels), so I soaked the flax before making this and then baked the bars (because cooking destroys the cyanide, but only if the flax is wet). It needed less dates as a result, so there’s the bonus of having less fructose. Of course, they aren’t very sweet, but I find that if I eat them with a banana, it’s quite tasty. I’m going to have to make more adjustments to get it just right, as I probably didn’t quite cook it enough on my first attempt.

    PS: May I suggest darkening the font here where we enter comments? I can read it, but there are people who need a higher contrast to be able to see something. Enlarging the font would be a good idea, too, if you can. It will make it more accessible to those with impaired vision. 🙂

    PPS: I love the quote at the bottom of your site! It’s a treat to find a sister in CHRIST running a health blog. Thank you for your service to our SAVIOUR and humanity. 😀

    1. Hi Sandy,
      Thank you for your comment. Since my focus is to encourage people to eat whole, natural, unprocessed foods that don’t come in a package, I don’t have calorie counts for my recipes. All of my recipes fit in my weight loss program and one of the benefits of the program is there’s no need to count calories or keep track of points, etc. I encourage people to know the ingredients and lean toward whole, natural foods.

      You can read more about the nutrition information for my recipes here.

      Sorry I don’t have the information you’re looking for, but I hope the info at the link above is helpful. And I hope you enjoy the flax bars!

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