Gluten Free (optional), Dairy Free, Vegan, Nut free, Guilt free
These are my go-to for new baby gifts for friends as they’re packed with nutrients and protein to help boost energy levels for the sleep deprived and can’t-cook-a-meal moms. Also great to have on hand if there are other kids in the house as these bars are great nut-free school snacks. Seeds have just as much protein as nuts. Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of essential fatty acids, vitamins (such as B-complex, Vitamin E and Folic acid) and nutrients (rich sources of calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium and maganese).
The batch below fills a 9” x 13” pan. (‘less is more’ does not apply for baking) They will disappear quickly.
date coconut seed bars
Makes 24 square bars
Bake at 350, 30 minutes
If your medjool dates are not soft, soak them in hot water until soft while you prep the other ingredients (packaged medjools are always soft enough).
Combine in large bowl:
• 2 c flour*
• 2 c rolled oats, gluten free
• 1 1/2 c sunflower seeds, raw
• 1 c shredded coconut
• 1/2 tsp salt
*few flour options here – my original recipe uses whole spelt flour (not gluten free). For gluten free, any combination of flours should work here – I’ve used 3/4 c oat flour, 3/4 c sorghum flour, 1/2 c garbanzo & fava (or brown rice flour). I used Bob Red Mills All Purpose Gluten Free Flour in this batch. (Also, if you don’t need nut free, chopped walnuts are a great substitution. I’ve subbed out 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds for pumpkin seeds, with great success.)
Add and combine:
• 2 c pitted medjool dates (approx 24), slightly press down to fill cup; chopped (and drained if you had to soak!)
In glass Pyrex measuring cup or small bowl mix:
• 1/2 c coconut oil, melted (or olive oil)
• 1/2 c maple syrup
Add wet to dry, combine. Don’t be afraid to use your hands to really be sure no dry spots are left. I also like to use a danish whisk (They are THE best!) If the mixture still seems too dry add 1/4c water or milk.
Spread a small amount of coconut oil using a paper towel in pan. Press mixture firmly into pan. I like to use my hands to be sure it’s all even then a spatula to really flatten the top and help everything stick together.
Bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool a few minutes before cutting the bars in the pan. Stick down any pieces that crumble when you cut. Then allow the bars to cool completely. This will help them solidify as they verge on the side of being a touch crumbly. Enjoy every moment of over eating these bars because they are crap free and guilt free!
NOTE – My girlfriend just made a batch substituting apricots for dates and her family loved it; also, she put the crumbly parts in a jar for breakfast granola – a great idea. One time I accidentally left out the 2 cups of oats (multitasking) and the bars were great. So don’t be afraid to play around with them – intentionally or not