Chill baking is term that I came up with for recipes that I “bake” in the fridge instead of the oven. I use this technique to make energy bars that are loaded with all kinds of super-foods. You can eat them as an excellent low glycemic snack or as a little treat at the end of a meal. You can substitute almost any ingredient, for example nuts for seeds, if you are allergic or sensitive to it.
They are also a good snack for an athlete to eat before or during an endurance event. The bars are high in healthy fat content and provide long lasting energy without the heaviness in the tummy that we all try to avoid before or during a workout.
Baking vs Chilling
The health benefits of chilling vs baking are plentiful. Many ingredients in my bars have incredible healing and health protective compounds that are heat sensitive, and therefore protected with my chill baking technique. For example:
- Enzymes in raw honey are destroyed if heated above 118F.
- All nuts and seeds contain fragile polyunsaturated oils. These oils get oxidized easily when heated. Oxidized oils are pro-inflammatory.
- Raw cocoa or chocolate is highest of all foods in antioxidants that are heat sensitive as well.
- Vitamin C that Goji berries, cranberries or blueberries are so rich in is lost significantly if heated.
Chill Baking helps us retain the goodness of these super-foods.
Another reason to chill bake is that the seeds and oats that are in the bars need to be soaked for optimal digestion. Soaking neutralizes phytic acid that is naturally present in all nuts, seeds, beans and grains. Phytic acid grabs onto minerals in these foods and blocks them from absorption. Soaking helps release the minerals from the phytic acid making them bioavailable for us. For example, oats are rich in iron but we can only get access to about 5% of that iron if we don’t soak the oats. After soaking, bioavailability of iron increases up to 95%. Pretty impressive!
And last but not the least, chill baking is so convenient. Quick, easy and no oven!