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!

  


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

 

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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)

You're so welcome!! I hope you guys enjoy them!

September 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Aw, thanks Emily!!

September 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Great idea!

September 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

We're hiking today so I made your basic recipe and added just a few craisons. Going to be great on the trial! My only difficulty was that I had salted sunflower seeds instead of plain so I rinsed them and rubbed off the excess water. No time to dry them in the stove. They didn't grind up as well as dry ones but it stilll worked out. :) Thank you!!

September 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJess

Hope they worked okay with your extra rinsing step! Also hope you had a great day hiking!

September 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Hiking was beautiful and the soggy sunflower seeds worked great! The bars stuck together just as they should. I was really glad that they didn't taste salty!

September 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJess

I'm glad they weren't soggy or salty. ;)

September 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I just made the chocolate chip crunch version of these bars, and I LOVE them. The extra crunch from the crispy rice cereal is addicting! They're the perfect snack when I want something sweet. I can't wait to try the cinnamon version!

September 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKerry

That's great Kerry!!! Glad you enjoyed them!

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley
Please note that for these to be totally nut free one cannot use almond extract, coconut oil, or the like. And it is always wise to verify that your chocolate chips and cocoa have not been processed in a plant that processed peanuts and tree nuts. Even that little bit could be deadly for some of us. These are definitely very interesting sounding and will, I'm sure, be a great addition to my gluten-free/nut-free recipe file.
March 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMartha
This isn't sugar free. There is sugar in the dates.
December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBetty

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