Tuesday, March 31, 2015

homemade paleo and gluten free snack bars...

One of my commitments, or goals, for 2015 is to eat clean.  For me clean eating means to focus on eating whole foods and avoid processed foods, sugar and gluten.  It has been a lot easier to do than I anticipated and I feel so, so much better.  There are many names for this way of eating, but I like to refer to it as clean eating.

As with anything, preparation is the key to success.  I have found that I need to stock my fridge and pantry with whole food options that are easily accessible to me.  If I don't, then I'm prone to be enticed by Grace's Doritos or the gluten free chips that the boys eat.  One way to ensure that I have something to snack on when I get hungry in the afternoon, is to make my own snack bars.

I do keep lara bars on hand for when I travel but they tend to be expensive for everyday or even every other day eating.  I found several recipes on line for homemade 'lara bars', which I played around with until I came up with a bar that I loved.

I love to play around with and adapt recipes I find from cookbooks and bloggers I follow.  I think that more people need to give themselves permission to play around with recipes in the kitchen.  It's okay to change a recipe until it suits you and your family's food tastes.

Homemade Snack Bars


1 1/2 cups medjool dates
1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup unsweetend coconut flakes

1. Grease bottom and sides of glass baking dish
2. Combine all ingredients in food processor or vitamix blender
3. Pulse until combined.  This is really up to you!  I don't like my bars to have big chunks of dates or nuts in them, so I process mine until all the pieces are really small.  If you like larger chunks, then you can process your ingredients for less time.
4. Dump the processed ingredients into prepared baking dish and push down with hands.  You want to have the bars evenly distributed in the pan.
5. Refrigerate covered bars for 2-3 hours.
6. Cut into bars.  The size depends on you.
7. Store in airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days or you can freeze these guys for up to 3 months.  My bars never last that long. 

Notes: Feel free to play around with the ingredients and/or amounts.  If you don't like cashews, for instance, you can add another nut you do like.  Or if you don't like coconut, feel free to omit it from the bars altogether.

I try and buy the highest quality ingredients that I can afford.  This usually means organic or locally grown.  This is something that is important to me and I think affects the taste of my food and the overall health of my family.  I know that it can be expensive to purchase organic fruits and nuts.  I have found that if I shop at my local health food store, I can find these ingredients in bulk at a more affordable price. 

Let me know if you make these and how you like them.



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