Davaite est! (That’s “Let’s eat!” in Russian, site of the 2014 Winter Olympics Games.) In the spirit of healthy eating, our friend Meaghan Grettano, a food allergy parent and Certified Health Coach, graciously shared her go-to peanut free snacks recipe.
Read her food allergy story. “Visit Meaghan’s “Your Life. Unsugar Coated.” website.
Granola bars are such a fun and nutritious snack to give to kids. Having a child with a peanut and tree nut allergy, though, and I am never able to buy the stores’ granola bars as they almost always contain nuts (not to mention lots of added sugar, which I’m definitely not crazy about!) It’s okay, because this forced me to get into the kitchen to come up with a healthy, nut-free homemade version! These bars are soft and delicious and pack a powerful punch of protein with NO refined sugars!
Cocoa Cranberry SunButter Granola Bars
Makes 12 bars
2 ½ c. rolled oats
½ c. raw sunflower seeds
1/3 cup honey
¼ c. butter, cut into pieces
¼ c. SunButter Organic
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
¼ c. shredded, unsweetened coconut
½ c. dried, unsweetened cranberries,* coarsely chopped.
*You can substitute dried cherries, apricots, raisins, etc. Any dried fruit of your choice, really. I happen to love the deep red color of the cranberries in the bar.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take an 8-inch square baking dish and cover the bottom and sides with aluminum foil. Grease the aluminum foil with coconut oil. Set aside.
On a baking sheet, spread the oats and sunflower seeds evenly and put into the preheated oven.
Toast oats and sunflower seeds for 5 minutes. Stir and toast them for another 3-5 minutes. Transfer toasted oat/seed mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add coconut and cocoa powder and mix to combine.
In a small saucepan, combine butter, honey, Sunbutter, vanilla extract, and salt.
Place this over low to medium heat on the stove. Cook, stirring constantly until butter melts. Be careful not to let this bubble and burn!
Pour melted butter mixture into mixing bowl with toasted oats and seeds.
Mix well and let cool about 5 minutes. Add chopped cranberries and stir to combine.
Transfer mixture to your aluminum lined and greased dish.
Use a rubber spatula to firmly press mixture into the pan, spreading to the sides and all corners. Press hard and evenly. They will stay together better once they are cooled and cut if you press hard and evenly!
Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. This allows them to set.
Remove block of granola from the pan and peel away aluminum foil. Cut into 12 bars.
Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days. For a softer bar, keep at room temperature. For a harder, firmer bar, store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!