My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!

 

 

Baked Doughnuts for Everyone {From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free} 

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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free

 

« Smoked Bacon{ish} Black Bean Dip | Main | welcome to September »
Friday
Sep022011

Recipes for Mom {nut/dairy/sugar/gluten free/vegan snack}

What could possibly be ALL of those things, while still delicious + easy to make? 

Don’t worry we’ll get to that in a minute.

Have you been following along with my Recipes for Mom posts?  If not, I’m basically trying to help my mom [+ dad!] learn some veggie-loving-healthy-delicious kitchen basics.  So far we’ve learned how to cook perfect millet, how to make 3 simple smoothies, how to grill corn and how to slow cook beans.

We often give a lot of focus to meals, but we forget how important it is to have healthy, real-food snacks ready to go when hunger strikes.  It’s easy to get sucked into buying packaged/processed snacks because it just seems easier. 

But homemade always tastes better and it doesn’t have to take all day.  You don’t even have to turn the oven on for this one.  You will need some sort of food processor, but I think you could make do with a mini for this one!

My mom is a speech teacher.  She runs around all day to FOUR different schools, working her hiney off to help out kids of all ages.  I wanted to create a snack that would keep her energy levels up, taste delicious + be filling.  And working at a school, you never know what types of allergies kids have.  Some schools are even going completely nut-free!  No peanuts, no peanut butter, not PB + J’s…you get the point.

I’m not only making these for my mom, but for other parents that need nut-free snacks for their kids, or themselves.  Don’t need a nut-free snack?  You’ll still want to make these. 

Enter the sunflower seed.

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Recently, Mama Pea showed us how to make sunflower butter, which solves the problem of not being able to pack a PB+J sandwich. 

Now I’m going to show you how to make a sunflower seed, Larabar-esque, bar.  You’ve probably seen loads of recipes for Larabars out there.  This is really the same thing, but with sunflower seeds subbed in for nuts.

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Did you know sunflower seeds are packed with Vitamin E, Vitamin B1, magnesium, protein, fiber + healthy fats?  If that doesn’t mean much to you, check out this page for more information.  I found the information on how Vitamin E works in the body, extremely interesting!

You’ll first want to grind up the seeds and empty them into a bowl.  You don’t want to turn them into complete powder, and definitely not into nut butter.  Check the above photo for the consistency you’re trying to get.

Then, you’ll take the pits out of the dates [cut a slit with a knife + pop right out], and grind those up until you have a big sticky, clumpy mess.  See below.

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Then, you can add other ingredients.

For instance:

  • cinnamon
  • vanilla extract
  • almond extract
  • powdered ginger
  • zest from a lemon/orange/lime
  • coconut oil
  • cocoa powder
  • carob powder
  • chocolate chips
  • etc.

But please don’t add all of those at once. ;)

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Pulse everything around until you can form it together in your hand.

Please ignore my incredibly large hands.

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From there, you can roll the dough into ping pong sized balls, or roll out with your hands and cut into bars.

For the second option, roll the “dough” into 1 large ball and place on top of a piece of saran wrap.

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Cover with another piece and flatten out with your hands, shaping the edges to form a rectangle or square, about 1/4-1/2” thick.

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Then, slice into bars.

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That wasn’t too bad, right?  It took me about 6-8min to make a full batch.  Then I wrap them up individually in saran and stick them in the fridge for quick, grab + go snacks.

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Cinnamon Roll Sunflower Bars [yields 8-10, 1x3x1/2” bars]

  • ~12 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1c ground, raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2t vanilla extract
  • 1t cinnamon
  • pinch of salt [opt]
  1. Grind/pulse seeds in your food processor, until mealy.  Measure out 1c. *Don’t grind so far that you end up with sunflower seed flour. 
  2. Empty the seeds into a bowl, place pitted dates in your food processor and grind until small sticky pieces are left.  *See above photos.
  3. Add seeds back into the bowl, along with vanilla extract, cinnamon + salt.
  4. Pulse until combined and mixture holds together.
  5. Form into bars [with saran wrap method above] or roll into balls.
  6. Wrap and refrigerate.

*If the mixture is not holding together, chop 1 more date, add it in and pulse around a few times.  They shouldn’t fall apart at all.

*It’s important to use medjool dates, for best results.

*I would think pepitas would also work, but I haven’t tried it yet.  I am more a fan of pepitas for savory things.

*If trying this with a mini food processor, I would make it in 3-4 smaller batches.

I wanted to keep these simple.  Ingredients you typically would have on hand.  Feel free to get creative though.  You can check out my Lemon Ginger Date Bars and Cocoa Coconut Energy Balls for ideas.  Just swap the nuts for seeds!

These literally tasted like a sunflower studded cinnamon roll.

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If you didn’t think this post could get any longer, it’s going to.

But for good reason.

Another recipe, geared slightly more towards the kiddos.

But also freaking delicious for adults.

Can you see the extra ingredients in there?

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2 extras in the mix…guesses?

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Chocolate chips + brown rice krisp cereal!  Still nut free, dairy free [check the chocolate label], gluten free + vegan.  There is a little added sugar in this one from the chocolate, but not much at all.

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The extra crunch from the brown rice krisp cereal is completely addicting + fun.

The addition of chocolate should need no explanation.

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Chocolate Chip Sunflower Crunch Balls [yields ~12 balls]

  1. Grind/pulse seeds in your food processor, until mealy.  Measure out 1c.  *Don’t grind so far that you end up with sunflower seed flour. 
  2. Empty the seeds into a bowl, place pitted dates in your food processor and grind until small sticky pieces are left.  *See above photos.
  3. Add seeds back into the bowl, along with chocolate chips + cereal.
  4. Pulse until combined and mixture holds together.
  5. Form into bars [with saran wrap method above] or roll into balls.
  6. Wrap and refrigerate.

*If the mixture is not holding together, chop 1 more date, add it in and pulse around a few times.  They shouldn’t fall apart at all.

*It’s important to use medjool dates, for best results.

*I would think pepitas would also work, but I haven’t tried it yet.  I am more a fan of pepitas for savory things.

*If trying this with a mini food processor, I would make it in 3-4 smaller batches.

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Super short ingredient list.

No need for the oven.

Sunflower seeds are cheaper than nuts, especially organic! [I can get them for just over $2/lb at Natural Grocers]

Done in minutes.

Kid + adult friendly.

Tasty + filling.

Nut-free!

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My job here is done!

Ashley

p.s. Mom – Bring the food processor up from the basement and just leave it on your counter…k?  I promise you’ll use it more if you do that. Love, daughter

Reader Comments (61)

YUM! These will be super easy to make at my sister's on the weekend and bring back to campus for energy during the week. Bringing The Edible Perspective with me to college!!

P.S...I love the PS on this post.

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChelsea

Your mom is lucky! Those snacks look fabulous.

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieGirl

I love when bloggers write things like "please ignore my chipped nails" or "please ignore my red hand" or in your case "please ignore my incredibly large hands." because it's always something I'd never ever notice until they point it out to me. Your hands look completely normal sized ;)

This is a great post though! I really love this series of simple things. The millet was my favourite though. When I first got it I thought it'd be like couscous so I just soaked it in boiling water for 5 mins and of course it was still just a hard grain. Bleugh. So glad I know the proper way now!

I'm gonna have to try the one with the puffed rice, what a great idea! My favourite homemade larabar type bar is cocoa powder and orange oil. Chocolate orange, sooooo tasty :)

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVicki

I make a lot of recipes where sunflower stands in for nuts. I love it, and it's so much cheaper!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGena

Love the sunflower seed creations you made!

I make very similar balls, bars, and bites, with cashew or almonds + medjool dates...and then from there, the options are endless. Cinnamon, stevia, cocoa powder, other dried fruit, choc chips..I have an entire post with about 30 different ball recipes listed!

Yum! My mind is spinning with all the different combinations you could make with these! Great job on both recipes :)

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren @ What Lauren Likes

Ah! Great timing! I have been looking to make something like this . . . but your flavor combo is super creative. I can't wait to try <3

I love snacks made with dates - they're filling, sweet, and delicious!

Larabar better watch out because I think they've got a fierce competitor here!! These look great Ashley! I love the idea of the cinnamon one. I buy my cinnamon at Costco (ie. I go through it ridiculously fast) and am a total cinnamon-a-holic.
Have a great long weekend!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

Oh my GOSH...I LOVE making different raw bars with dates...one of my fav things to make!! Great combination and I am loving cinnamon right now in almost EVERYTHING so I can't wait to try these!!

Happy Friday!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLizAshlee

Awesome! I was creating a recipe that was Larabar-esqe, but I wanted it to be different and now I know how - sunflower seeds!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica @ Jess Go Bananas

OMG, these look amazing and easy! I love sunflower seeds. And dates. We're going camping next weekend, and this will make a great snack. I have a huge pack of dates in the freezer, so I'll whirl them up this weekend. How long would you say they would last in the fridge?

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Oh goodness, add this to my list of recipes I'm making this weekend! Also on that list? Another batch of cake batter cashew butter, your oat cake birthday cake recipe, and creamy steel cut oats. Yum!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa

mmmmmm. can't wait to make them! Now I think I'll have one for my pre breakfast snack!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterkL---CEE

Great hiking food! This is a great base recipe. Looking forward to making a variety of versions that incorporate quick energy sources and "slower burn" energy sources.

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEat Hike Sleep Repeat

Or in my case these are good for a college student who doesn't have 5 minutes to make a meal lately... I love that you can make these really dense and satisfying for when your running around like crazy without a minute to spare. They look delicious!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkatie @KatieDid

What a sweet daughter you are- I'm sure you're mom appreciates it fully! I know I would if I was your mom :) I can totally relate- my mom is a elementary school teacher and barely has time to eat lunch let alone pack a healthy nourishing one. I try my best to help her out and make healthy dinners most nights- but I won't be around forever.
These look delicious and couldn't be more timely- i'm back at school all day and need snacks on the go. Never tried using seeds for homemade larabars! I *heart* seeds :)

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNamaste Gurl

Haha! I love your note to mom at the bottom. So true, so true!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarissa

Those look great. I always forget sunflower seeds ARE SEEDS. Nice to know they work well as a substitution for nuts.

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMinnooo

I love larabars so anything larabar-esque is perfect :) Plus, so easily tweakable to what you have on hand or what flavor combo you want to try that day.

These are great! I had been looking for a bar recipe!

These look easy and fun to make. And I love dates, so I'm sure they're delicious! Thanks for sharing. Totally random side note, don't you think the pit in the middle of a date looks like a creepy moth is going to emerge out of it?

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnanda

I kind of want to hug you right now! For some reason those recipes seem like exactly what I have been looking for without even know it! Putting it on my must make list for the weekend!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle @weightsandmeasures

I just made the ones with chocolate chips and brown rice crispies... mine are a lot darker... maybe I used too many chocolate chips :) They are so delicious! I also added some pumpkin pie spice in. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay Hilleary

Hmmm, weird! Too many chocolate chips doesn't sound like a bad thing! Glad you liked them!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Aww, yay. I'm so glad! :)

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Hahaa...yeah, it's definitely a bit creepy looking!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Awesome! Hope you enjoy them! Have a great weekend. :)

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Yes! Definitely great for hiking! :)

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

YUMMM...glad you've been diggin' the recipes lately!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Hmm, I would think at least 2 weeks if they're wrapped really well.

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I'm a huge cinnamon fan!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Haha ;) I go through SO much cinnamon as well! Enjoy the weekend!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Couldn't agree more!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thanks girl!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Yes! I've made some delicious nut-based variations as well. Always delicious!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

It's crazy how much cheaper!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Haha..I just like to make jokes about my large hands. ;) I'm glad you found my millet cooking method!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Aw, so fun. :) Thanks!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I can't wait to try these! I am allergic to nuts and have to make my own protein and granola bars. These look fantastic and are definitely a different type of bar than I normally make!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

Awesome! I'm so glad this recipe will be helpful for you!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

This is the ultimate paleo snack/dessert! I might try with some protein powder in the mix

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMax@flavortogofast

Thanks for sharing. I will be making these for myself and my boys soon. I too am a speech teacher in the public school system. I service two schools, which luckily for me keeps me on one campus for 90% of my time :)

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHelen

Love this series, I always look forward to the posts! The chocolate chip crunch balls look and sound awesome :) Now, just to get some medjool dates...

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

Love these! Always looking for snacks that nourish well. Our favorite weekend snack is "Texas Caviar" -- an easy (painless!) way to eat your veggies. I posted the recipe this week. http://thegrownupgirlscout.blogspot.com/2011/05/my-favorite-anytime-snack.html

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

Thanks so much Ashley for these recipes! And I really appreciate the email to bring them to my attention after I set you this challenge! ;) Will get these into the thermomix now!

September 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

I really really need to get a food processor...I don't think I can live without any longer ;-) The bars/balls look so tasty and we'd probably save a small fortune making these instead of buying ready-made bars!
Love the PS ;-)

September 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNathalie

This looks like the perfect snack! I love recipes that you can change to include different flavors or mix-ins. I'm already thinking about all of the possibilities!

September 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKerry

Yum! Neil and I just started Paleo (we're about 5 days in) and this would be the perfect sweet, but not so sweet snack! bookmarked!

September 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Wow!! Good luck to you two!

September 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

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