Flaxseed Meal for Nutrition-Packed Baked Goods
The act of baking feeds my soul. I love mixing ingredients together and seeing, smelling and tasting the changes as different ingredients blend together. I’m like a little kid looking in the window of my oven watching the transformation from wet batter to toasty yumminess. But, should your baked goods only feed your soul?
No way. Get to know the mighty flaxseed, and you can boost the nutrition of your cookies or muffins with ease. Most vegan baking puts flax in the egg-replacer role. I like a “flax egg” for savory dishes, but prefer other binders for sweet treats. (A flax egg is usually 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal mixed with 3 or 4 tablespoons water to replace an egg.)
I like to use flax to replace some of the fat from oil in baked goods. The way I do this is to cut the original amount of oil in half, then replace that half with twice the amount of flaxseed meal. For example, if a recipe calls for one cup of oil, I would use one-half cup of oil and one cup of flaxseed meal. The flax provides fiber, protein and Omega-3 fats that are not present in the oil. In my book, Welcoming Kitchen, I have a wide range of muffin recipes featuring this use of flaxseed meal.
This recipe for vegan, gluten-free chocolate chip oat bars tastes like a treat, but is chock-full of good stuff. It boasts whole-grain gluten-free oats, flaxseed meal, protein-rich pepitas and naturally sweet maple syrup. This is a wonderful snack to toss into lunch boxes or to serve as an after-school snack (or after-work snack).
Chocolate Chip Oat Bars
Makes 16 bars
- 1/2 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free oat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Lightly oil a 9×9-inch baking pan.
3. In a dry skillet over medium heat, lightly toast pepitas one to two minutes, or until you hear the first popping sound. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together oat flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
5. In a separate bowl, combine applesauce with baking powder.
6. Mix coconut oil, flaxseed meal, syrup and vanilla into applesauce mixture.
7. Slowly stir dry ingredients into wet. Thoroughly combine.
8. Mix in pepitas and chocolate chips.
9. Spread batter into prepared pan.
10. Bake for 20 minutes.
11. Cool on cooling rack, and then transfer pan to refrigerator until cold. (At least one hour.)
12. Cut into squares.
Kim Lutz is the author of Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes and the gluten-free, allergen-free, vegan website, welcomingkitchen.com. Kim is the co-author with Megan Hart, MS, RD, LD, of The Everything Organic Cooking for Baby and Toddler Book and The Everything Guide to Cooking for Children with Autism.
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