For the days you forgot to pack a lunch, or on that beautiful Saturday hike, grab these gluten free, on-the-go energy bars to keep your day going as it should be.
By Tori Cooper
So these bars were something I was trying out that I thought would be a good on-the-go snack grab for the more health-conscious peoples that I feed. I’m not gonna lie, the boys are very satisfied with the cookies/brownies/cupcakes and other goodies that I’ve been making for them, but for the ones who try not to eat all of that I think this is a really yummy alternative. A huge problem with so many homemade protein bar recipes is that they have to be kept cold or they turn into a sticky mess. I was trying to work around that with these. Of course, if you don’t mind them a little on the messy side I’d say try dipping them in the coating from these other bars!
What flavor do you have when there’s not enough cocoa to be considered chocolate, but enough not to be overlooked? I put cocoa in these but I also didn’t want to have to add a lot of extra sweetness to compensate for its natural bitterness so I went really light and the cocoa is more of a side character than the star. I think the sunflower seeds and coconut are what really stand out with these, and of course the nanners. I feel like bananas have kind of become my favorite ingredient for adding moisture or sweetness to healthy baking. I mean, they’ve got it all. They’re really sweet, super healthy, and add great texture. Plus, they’re a fairly cheap ingredient when it comes to healthy options. Yep, bananas and I are having a moment.
I made a few batches to get one that I was happy with because my first batch turned out a little bland. So if you’re looking for an easy snack that is portable and stands up pretty well in different temperatures than this is it. They are also vegan, dairy free, and gluten-free so they should fit into many people’s eating restrictions.
- 1 cup shelled sunflower seeds
- 4 teaspoons coconut oil
- sea salt to taste
- 4 medium ripe bananas
- ½ cup flax seed meal
- ½ cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes
- 4 cups old-fasioned rolled oats
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅓ cup maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- Line a 13x9 inch glass pan with parchment and grease with oil. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 C).
- Melt coconut oil in a small frying pan and add sunflower seeds. Stir constantly until browned and toasty then sprinkle with salt to taste.
- Combine the sunflower seeds and all other ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until very well combined. Scrape mixture into prepared pan and spread into a smooth layer with a spatula.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the edges start to darken and the top looks dry. Remove and cool completely then cut into desired size bars. They are best stored in the fridge but should last for many days at room temperature also. If you plan to eat them over a longer period of time than freezing is probably a good idea.