Cranberry Orange Chia Seed Bars

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Oh goodness people, you would not believe our household right now. So. Crazy. You know how some people are just so nice and tidy all the time, and others seem nice and tidy when company is over but then whole place looks like a tornado went through the rest of the time? Guess which category we’re in right now (I’ll wait while you imagine our impossibly spotless kitchen, gleaming with wide open countertops and all the jars and water bottles neatly stored away, because of course we’re always neat and tidy)…

Let’s be honest: who lives like that?

The reality is we have laundry sitting on our dresser that got washed a week ago and still hasn’t been put away, our kitchen is a complete disaster of water bottles, empty mason jars, and an influx of papers, pens, lip chap and even a race bib, and thank goodness for a big batch of quinoa and lentils or we’d be subsisting on cereal and milk for breakfast lunch and dinner. Sure we’d like to pretend that our house is always spotless…but really it has its moments, and instead of stressing about it we decided to do the obvious thing and make it even more messy.

Cranberry Orange Chia Seed Bars - All natural chia seed bars pack a nutrient-dense punch, for a simple and healthy snack on the go!

Which brings me to these gorgeous chia seed bars we made on the weekend while we were decidedly not cleaning. They’re based on a recipe I found in a lovely blog post years ago and have been unable to find since; all I have is a couple of measurements: 1/2 cup chia seeds, 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, water…it’s the basis of a delightfully simple recipe packed with protein and nutrients that is easy to grab on the go.

Cranberry Orange Chia Seed Bars - All natural chia seed bars pack a nutrient-dense punch, for a simple and healthy snack on the go!

The other thing I love about these bars is just how diet-friendly they are – and I don’t mean low-calorie, weight-loss type of diet – whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, omnivorous, normal (haha! like any of us are normal), gluten-free or whatever else you can think of, these bars are for you.

Cranberry Orange Chia Seed Bars - All natural chia seed bars pack a nutrient-dense punch, for a simple and healthy snack on the go!

Incidentally, I just Googled to see if hemp hearts (also known as hemp seeds or hulled hemp) are Paleo and accidentally stumbled on a huge debate. Spoiler alert: the answer is “basically, yes”: I leave it up to you to decide if you want to make chia and hemp seeds a part of your Paleo (or non-Paleo) diet. They don’t have any flour, so you’re good there.

Cranberry Orange Chia Seed Bars - All natural chia seed bars pack a nutrient-dense punch, for a simple and healthy snack on the go!

Cranberry Orange Chia Seed Bars
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Cook time
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Recipe type: Bars
Serves: 18
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup hemp hearts
  • ½ cup chopped dried cranberries
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  1. Combine the seeds, cranberries, cinnamon, salt and orange zest in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Dissolve the maple syrup in the warm water, then add both to the seed mixture. Mix everything together well, and let it sit for about 10 minutes for the chia seeds to absorb all the water. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then spread the gelled chia seed mixture evenly across the sheet with the back of a spoon. Fill in any gaps or holes that form, and continue spreading until the layer is about ¼ inch thick.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, then use the parchment paper to transfer everything to a cutting board and use a sharp knife to slice into bars. Place back onto the unlined baking sheet face down (whichever side was up before) and bake for another 30 minutes or until the edges start to brown and the bars are fairly solid.
  5. Cool completely before storing in a sealed container. They will keep for several days at room temperature, or for over a week in the fridge.
You can substitute honey (non-vegan) for the maple syrup if you don't have it on hand - we're Canadian and love our maple, but realize it's not as readily available in other places. For a vegan substitution, use brown sugar.
Hemp hearts are also called hemp seeds or hulled hemp - they are usually in the natural foods section of the grocery store (near the gluten-free foods and chia seeds in our local store).


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Cranberry Orange Chia Seed Bars
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Kim is a triathlete training to qualify for the Ironman World Championships, and spends most of her free time baking, eating Hector’s food or training in the most challenging conditions she can find – usually up hills or on the hottest days of the year. But she insists that Hector’s the crazy one!


  1. Cookin Canuck

    How I wish I was the neat and tidy type sometimes…I think my brain would be far less cluttered! :) These chia bars sound like the perfect post-run snack.

    • Kim

      They certainly are great post-run, though you might want to make extra because they’ll disappear fast!

  2. Lynn | The Road to Honey

    Ha! Ha! Making this chia seed bars seems like more fun than tidying up the house. I think you made an excellent choice. I’m a little OCD (just a little) so I try to keep my house spotless. Unfortunately, I have something shiny syndrome and get all hyper when there is a lot of clutter around me. Anywhooo. . .these bars look like the perfect tasty treat. . .and the perfect distraction.

    • Kim

      Oh goodnes Lynn, something-shiny syndrome and OCD sound like a hilarious combination! Glad you like the recipe :)

  3. Gina

    Love all the superfoods packed into these bars!

  4. Lauren @ Healthy Delicious

    Hilarious! Yeah, my house is a total disaster. I can’t pretend otherwise. These bars look really good – love all the flavors in them!

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