Meet Shift Bars' secret weapon...

“If you had to pick just one desert-island food, you couldn’t do much better than chia, at least if you were interested in building muscle, lowering cholesterol, and reducing your risk of heart disease; after a few months on the chia diet, you could probably swim home.” Christopher McDougall, Born to Run

 
When I first was inspired to make a line of super high-quality sugar-free energy bars, I had no clue what I was getting into. I am not a chef by trade and, while I can definitely whip up some yumminess in the kitchen, I also know my limitations. So I enlisted the help of some amazing chefs to help me with the exact recipes.
 
I told them I wanted a bar that was filling. I said I wanted a bar that tasted great. But above all, I wanted a bar that was chewy. I don’t know about you, but my favorite energy bars have always been the chewy ones - I was never into the crunchy ones that broke into a million pieces on the first bite.
 
As we worked together, it became clear that we needed something not only to help with the chew-factor, but also to hold the bars together, as we wouldn’t be using more traditional sticky substances like agave nectar or dried fruit.
 
Enter the mighty chia seed.
 
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Now I’ve been a fan of this little seed since I saw a Chia Pet for the first time. And when I discovered you could actually eat them? I was in love. I mean, who doesn’t love a seed that creates it own gooey gel? It turns out that weird gel was the answer to our prayers. Not only does the gel bind the bars together, it makes them all kinds of chewy and totally nutritious. How nutritious? How’s this for an ounce serving of a tiny seed? 11g of fiber (and most of it’s soluble - which makes you feel full, balances blood sugar levels, and helps lower LDL cholesterol - that is, the bad kind); 4.4g protein (hello muscles!); 5g Omega-3 fatty acids (i.e., your brain will thank you for it); 179g calcium (and since it’s plant-based, it’s easier to for the body to assimilate); and Loads of phytonutrients (which have anti-inflammatory effects, strengthen skin, nails and hair, and boost the immune system). If you need any other proof that chia rocks, just check out the book Born to Run. In it, Christopher McDougall writes about the Tarahumara, or “the running people” - a Mexican tribe of superathletes who run 50 or 100 miles at a time for pure enjoyment, seemingly without effort.
 
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If that's not what pure enjoyment looks like, I don't know what does!
 
The Tarahumara diet has two staples — pinole (a corn mixtures made into a paste or dried into cakes) and you guessed it...chia seeds. Not surprising, considering it’s believed that 1 tablespoon of chia seeds could sustain an Aztec warrior for 24 hours. So get your chia on with this simple, yummy recipe, and soon you’ll get more than enough chia goodness with Shift Bars!!!! Chocolate Chia Pudding (based on a recipe by Heidi Hackler) - Serves 4 4 tablespoons black chia seeds 3 tablespoons cacao powder 2 tablespoons raw coconut nectarOne 13.5oz. can of coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk) Pinch of sea salt
Directions Place all of the ingredients, in the order listed, into a quart size glass jar. Stir ingredients together, put the lid on, and shake it well for a few minutes to mix everything thoroughly. Refrigerate until thick and pudding-like (at least 4 to 8 hours), shaking or stirring occasionally. Serve the pudding chilled with optional toppings like whipped coconut cream, berries, bananas, nuts, or coconut flakes.
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  Can you say YUM!?!?!
 
What's your favorite chia seed recipe? I always love trying new ones so please share it over on our Facebook page.
And keep the Shift Session questions coming! I'm getting some awesome ones that I can't wait to share with you... May the seed be with you, Emily