Grain Free- Chocolate Chewy Bars (Not-Granola-Bars)

Anyone with small kids knows how critical it is to be prepared before leaving the house. Whether I’m leaving for 20 minutes or 2 days I make sure that I have an arsenal of food on hand because if I don’t… well, it just ain’t pretty. Every time I go to the store, every time I go for a walk, I have something on hand. Kids always have a great sense of urgency when it comes to “starving to death” in public. Although they will stubbornly refuse breakfast, lunch and dinner, if we are out at the store all of the sudden they NEED food. Why? Well, because at the store they can beg and plead for foods they otherwise would not get. Although they are allowed to pick out one “sometimes food” every week or so, I go ahead and pack snacks with me just in case.

One thing that Connor-man loves is chewy granola bars. He could eat them constantly. I used to regularly buy the fiber packed chewy’s, but after a while I realized I constantly found them all over the house half eaten. To boot, those things are pretty expensive, AND they have tons of yucky stuff in them. I set out to make grain free, homemade chewy’s for Connor. These grain free chewy’s are packed with protein and fiber, they are naturally sweetened and most of all it’s chocolaty. They are great at room temp, for a fudgy and chewy snack, but they are also pretty scrumptious right out of the freezer. Wrap into individual servings, or stash a brick away for later. This recipe makes 18+ bars. (perfect for purse stocking.)

 
Grain Free- Chocolate Chewy Bars
(Naturally Sweetened, Gluten Free & Grain Free Granola Bars)

 

You can tweak this to whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruit you have on hand. Cherries and blueberries are nice, cranberries too. I have been seeking out un-sweetened fruits lately, raisins and currants are almost always unsweetened and natural. Although nuts and seeds can be more costly, that is what I’ve used here. If you want more of a standard granola bar use 1 1/2 cups of chopped oats instead of almond meal and reduce 1/2 cup of some of the seeds.

For a crisper bar bake or dry for a longer period of time. Using granulated sugar in the sauce will result in a thicker caramel like sauce. I went with a standard cookie bake time and temp, and they came out crumbly and moist. Mini chocolate chips, or a chocolate drizzle would be nice, but I resisted.

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds, hulled
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds, hulled
  • 1 cup Almond flour, or other nut meal
  • 1 1/2 cups, macadamia nuts (or other nuts)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup raisins, currants or dried cherries
  • 2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

The Saucy-

  • 12-14 dried figs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3-4 tablespoons coconut oil or butter

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
Line a brownie pan with parchment.

In a sauce pot combine sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes. Allow to cool down enough to handle. The more coconut oil you use, the easier it is to press into the pan. In a food processor bowl combine all of your dry ingredients except the almond meal. Pulse until everything is similar in size. Add almond meal and sauce. Pulse just until thoroughly combined.

Press into the pan in an even layer. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the edges are golden. Allow to chill in the fridge entirely. Overnight if possible. Cut into rectangles or squares. Store in an airtight vessel eat within 2 weeks or stash some away in the freezer.

+If you happen to have a rectangular tart pan, that would probably work great.

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