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 seeds1/4 cup sunflower seed1/3 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 pecans1/4 cup coconut oil1/4 cup maple syrup1 Tbsp ground flax meal1 tsp vanilla extract1/4 cup almond flour1/2 tsp baking soda1/2 cup toasted rice cereal (crushed)1/3 cup chocolate chips or raisinsoptional 5 drops stevia for a sweeter snackoptional 1/3 cup of shredded coconutpreheat 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.