I’ve been on a quest lately to find healthy snacks for the kids that won’t break the bank. No, I cannot afford to buy all organic foods, as much as I would like to. So, I opened one of my trusty cookbooks (The Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook) and pulled out a couple snack recipes.
The first one is for Cranberry- Date Bars. Oh my, are they delicious! The kids can’t get enough of them!
2 cups pitted dates
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or any other dried fruit)
1 cup almonds or walnuts (I used 1/2 cup of each)
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup flavorless oil (grapeseed, safflower…)
3 Tbsp maple syrup (or your preferred sweetener)
Let the dates and cranberries soak in the boiling water (just enough to cover everything) for about 30 minutes.
Place nuts and oats in a food processor and grind to a coarse meal. Add flour and pulse to mix. Drizzle oil, sweetener and water over top. Mix until combined. Dough should be slightly crumbly, but hold together when pressed in your hand. Add more water if too dry or more flour if too sticky.
Press 2/3 of the dough into a 9x13 inch pan to form a crust about 1/4 inch think. Transfer remaining dough to another bowl. Place cranberries and dates in the food processor and puree (you may need to drain some water off, you want a paste- like consistency). Spread date filling over bottom crust. Sprinkle remaining dough over the top and press gently. Bake 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees or until edges are golden. Cool before cutting (if you can wait that long =)).
The next one is for homemade granola bars. So much better tasting the the granola bars you buy in the stores and you can customize them any way you want!
3/4 cup raisons or other dried fruit
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup (or your preferred sweetener)
1/3 cup nut butter (I used peanut butter, but you can use almond, cashew, tahini…)
1/4 cup of the raison/ fruit soak water
Soak the raisons in the water for about 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, seeds, spices and drained raisons. Mix well. In a small saucepan, mix the sweetener, peanut butter and water over low heat. Stir until smooth. Pour over oat mixture and stir well. Press into a greased 9x13 inch pan and bake for 1 hour at 250 degrees. Bake longer if you want crispier bars. Cool the bars slightly and then cut. Cool completely before eating. The bars will harden as they cool.
I still have a couple recipes to try out- Energy Bars and Chocolate Nut Balls. I’m hoping to get to those this afternoon =)