I have tried several different homemade bar recipes to satisfy my family's obsession with snack bars. After many fails, this base recipe that I adapted from The Nourishing Home has been kid-tested and husband-approved. You can use whatever mixture of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit that your family likes. Get your kids involved in choosing which combinations. Here is the recipe and some ideas:
- 1/3 cup pure honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1 tablespoon organic almond butter (or other nut butter of your choice)
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup chopped whole nuts (cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans)
- 1/3 cup seeds (pepitas, sunflower seeds)
- 1/2 cup chopped dried fruit* (blueberries, cherries, raisins, apricots)
- 1 cup organic, unsweetened coconut flakes (not finely shredded coconut)
*Sometimes I will add 1/4 cup of Enjoy Life chocolate chips and 1/4 cup dried fruit
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Trim parchment paper to line an 8×8-inch baking dish, leaving parchment paper to hang over two sides of the dish.
2. In a large bowl, add the honey, coconut flour, butter and salt. Use a spoon to stir until well combined.
3. On a large cutting board, coarse-chop (or use a nut chopper) a couple of large handfuls of assorted whole nuts. Add 1 cup of the chopped nuts to the honey mixture, then add 1/3 cup of seeds of your choice, I usually use pepitas.
4. Next, chop the dried fruit and measure out 1/2 cup and add to the honey mixture.
5. Finally, measure 1 cup of coconut flakes (not shredded coconut). You can place the coconut flakes on the cutting board and coarse-chop, or toss them in whole. Add chopped or whole coconut flakes to honey mixture.
6. Using a spoon, mix ingredients together making sure they are thoroughly combined.
7. Place the bar mixture into the parchment-lined baking dish. Fold overlapping flaps down and evenly press the top of the bar mixture firmly to pack-in the ingredients so they hold together better after baking. I use something hard and flat like a meat hammer to pack it in as tightly as possible. Then, peel back the parchments flaps from top of bars. (Do not trim, as the flaps make it easier to remove the bars after baking.)
8. Bake for 20 minutes. Then remove from oven and allow to completely cool on stovetop for approximately one hour (or until bottom of baking dish is room temp).
9. Place in fridge to continue cooling. (Do not freeze as it makes it impossible to cut the bars without them crumbling.) Once cold, remove dish from refrigerator. Then, run a knife along the two edges without parchment. Using the parchment paper ends, lift the bars from the baking dish and place on a cutting board.
10. Cut into 8 bars and individually wrap and store in the fridge or freezer. Then you can easily take out what you need and place directly into your child’s lunchbox (or yours) – no need to thaw. However, for best results, bars should be kept cold so they do not become over-sticky.