Most of you are probably back at your desks by now (eek!), and if you’ve got little ones, they’re likely due back at school next week. So what better a time to share with you than now, these absolutely glorious little Super Seeded Snack Bars – the perfect nut-free afternoon snack for both kiddies and adults alike!
I’ve tried a number of nut-free recipes over the years, but none of them yelled at me, WOW. They were all a bit bitter, and somehow missed that special little something ingredient. As if they were saying – come on, just throw some cashews or almonds at me won't you!
These gorgeous little bars however are a complete nut-free revelation. I made them on a whim a few months back, and after one bite thought, yes - this is it – these are exactly the type of nut-free morsels of 10/10 deliciousness I’d like to share with you!
So here they are, my ultimate nut-free Super Seeded Snack Bars. All you need is 15 minutes, a food processor and 10 simple ingredients (most of which you will have in your cupboard right now). You could in fact be the least confident cook in the world and still could not go wrong with these!
Why so nuts about nut-free?
You might be wondering why so many people are interested in foods that are nut free these days, especially people with kids. Unfortunately, nuts and tree nuts (peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts etc) are two of the top eight food allergens, particularly amongst children. As a result, a large number of schools and childcare centres have now banned the consumption of nuts, and the bringing of any nut-containing foods to school. Which is somewhat of a quagmire for us nutritionist types, as they make up a significant part of what I recommend people consume on a plant-based diet, and plus they are delicious!
Unfortunately though, an increasing number of children are displaying allergenic symptoms to certain foods such as nuts, including asthma, eczema, hives, skin rashes, rhinitis (hay fever), and in severe cases, anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic reaction). These types of allergies appear to have increased across developed countries by significant amounts over the past 25 years. A number of reasons are hypothesized for this, including:
While none of these proposed rationale are directly causal, they all have strong correlations with the allergy epidemic (as some have called it) that we are seeing today.
What about the other allergens? There are in fact more than 160 foods that can cause allergic reactions in certain predisposed individuals, however 90% of these are more commonly caused by eight foods, including our aforementioned nuts and tree nuts, as well as dairy products, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy.
If you are eating a largely plant-based whole foods diet, you’re likely not consuming many of these anyway. In relation to wheat and soy, I always recommend choosing organic, whole grain and unrefined versions where possible to reduce any potential allergenic response (as well as more importantly increase your overall nutritional profile).
However if you find you or your kids are still displaying allergenic type symptoms, particularly in relation to the skin or respiratory system, you may want to consider eliminating a few of the above foods for a short period of time to see if symptoms subside (in particular I have found dairy to be a common culprit). If so, you can then reintroduce things like nuts, tree nuts, organic unrefined wheat and organic non-GMO soy products one by one, to see whether they can be happily consumed without issue.
Meanwhile, or even if you don't have issues with allergies (or there's a nut ban at school), these amazing little Super Seeded Snack Bars are a wonderful addition to your diet. They combine three of my favourite seeds – pumpkin, sunflower and sesame - which make them high in both protein and calcium (great for kiddies!). Dates and vanilla extract add natural sweetness, and a generous swig of lemon zest gives them a summery freshness. Oh and did I mention, they’re affordable too! Seeds are much cheaper than nuts, so are a great way to keep costs down whilst still eating delicious nutritious food.
So whether you’re a family with allergies, have kids in nut-free schools, or are just wanting a unique new snack treat that’s easy on the pocket and delicious in the mouth, then these bars are for you. I'd love you to try them and hear what you think!
If you make these Super Seeded beauties, leave me a comment below or take a snap of your bars (or kids munching them!) on Instagram and tag me @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics. I’d love to see what you come up with!
Have a wonderful Friday (it's hot hot and humid in Auckland right now!), and I look forward to chatting again next week.
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Takes 15 mins + 1 hour to set
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Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible
1 c sunflower seeds (dried and activated*)
1 c pumpkin seeds (dried and activated*)
2 c dates
1c desiccated coconut
4 tbsp coconut oil
3 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 1 ½ lemons
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
c = 250ml cup, tbsp = 15ml tablespoon, tsp = 5ml teaspoon
* If you don't have these available then just use raw (but dried/activated do have a wonderful crunch and sweet flavour to them!).
** I use hulled as it has a milder flavour - unhulled though will still work fine, but is slightly more bitter.