After playing around with different ingredients, I finally have a kid friendly, nutrient dense, snack bar! There were quite a few requirements that needed to be met. Firstly it had to be gluten free , dairy free, peanut free, sesame free and refined sugar free; and then it had to be nutritious and delicious. Quite a tall order, considering some of my kids wanted something like a rice-crispy-treat, chocolate chip cookie, sunflower seed, almond something…
So, I let the kids, at least the more picky ones ( I am not saying that any of my kids are picky), help choose some of the ingredients. At the end of the day, this is a snack for them and if they don’t eat it, well, then I haven’t accomplished anything except a very full belly since I will be left to eat what I made. The kids will still be asking for store bought gluten free granola bars or rice-crispy-treats which are so sweet, they may as well have a real cookie instead and they also don’t really have much in there that I would call super nutritious. In addition it would be pretty costly, since I would need 2 boxes for everyone to have one – and as all mothers know, one is never enough. So, if they want a cookie, I say give them a cookie, but if they want a snack bar – lets pack in the nutrition, with just a few compromises.
Since this is not rocket science you can substitute some of the ingredients or even omit some.
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup sunflower seed
- 1/3 cup almond butter ( you could use another nut butter)
- 1/4 cup chia seeds ( you could use sesame seeds)
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds or pecans
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp ground flax meal
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup toasted rice cereal (crushed)
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips or raisins
- optional 5 drops stevia for a sweeter snack
- optional 1/3 cup of shredded coconut
- preheat oven to 325 F grease 8 x 8 inch baking pan with oil of your choice.
- In a food processor pulse pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and slivered almonds or pecans, just to break them up, but not turn them into mush.
- Add almond butter, coconut oil, syrup, and vanilla.
- Add almond flour, flax meal and baking soda.
- Gently stir in chia or sesame seeds, chocolate chips or raisins and toasted rice cereal.
- Press the batter into the baking pan, wet your hands or use a spatula to to pat down.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes.
Let cool and then cut into squares. They can be stored in plastic wrap in the fridge for snacks for school, camp or travel.