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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars with Flax

1¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup flax meal (ground flax seed)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup plant-sterol margarine
¾ cup packed brown sugar
2 omega-3 eggs
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp. vanilla
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup raisins
2 cups (1-12oz bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, blend flours, flax meal, and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, cream margarine with brown sugar, eggs, applesauce and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture into creamed mixture. Stir in nuts, raisins, and chocolate chips. Spread batter evenly in a 9x13-inch pan coated with no-stick cooking spray, bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 24 bars.

Nutrition facts per bar: 193 calories, 9gm fat, 3gm saturated fat, 3gm protein, 28gm carbohydrate, 87mg sodium, 2gm fiber, 239mg omega-3 fatty acid

Flax seeds are very small seeds, similar to sesame seeds that are loaded with omega-3 fatty acid. Ground flax seed (or flax meal) is the preferred way to use flax seeds as the whole seed is so small, you could pass it through your digestive system and not absorb the desired omega-3 from it. Grinding the flax seed will ensure omega-3 absorption. You can grind your own flax seeds (a coffee grinder works the best) and store them in the freezer in a zip top freezer bag or purchase the flax meal already ground. Flax meal can be added to breads, muffins, quick breads and pancake batter for an added source of omega-3 and fiber.

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