Healthy Treats the Kids will Eat

17-Dec-2012 Contributed by: *Guest Contributor Laura Howell
By Laura Howell

I like to make homemade treats for my kids as the ones in the stores are often full of nasty ingredients. The problem with a lot of recipes online and in books is they contain a lot of sugar and gluten. These rice puff coconut bars are sweetened with dates, raw honey and coconut. If you are vegan like me you can use agave if you wish or you could just leave it out and add more dates. I have made this recipe high raw by using my dehydrator and using raw ingredients where possible. There are also no nuts in this recipe so they are perfect for kid’s lunch boxes or if your child (or you) has a nut allergy.
If you can afford it try to buy the majority of the ingredients organic.

Brown rice puff school bars
Ingredients:
1 cup brown rice puffs
½ cup of dried unsweetened cranberries
½ cup of unsweetened dried coconut
¼ cup of sunflower seeds
¼ cup of pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
½ cup buckwheat groats (soaked 1 hour prior)
½ cup ground flaxseeds (flax meal)
2 TBSP black sesame seeds
2 TBSP organic hulled tahini
2 TBSP coconut oil (pre melted in dehydrator or on a double boiler on the stove)
1 TBSP vanilla essence (or one scraped vanilla bean)
1 tsp. cinnamon powder
2 TBSP water

For this recipe you will need a food processor (or a good blender) and a dehydrator or you may eat the recipe raw (more like brownies- use less water) or bake it in the oven.

Directions:
  1. Put 1 cup of fresh dates into your food processor and blend until it forms a paste (you may need to scrape down the sides to get it smooth).
  2. Add ½ cup of the brown rice puffs, all the coconut and pepitas to the dates in the food processor and blitz until it breaks down a bit.
  3. In a bowl add the remaining brown rice puffs, the cranberries, buckwheat groats, flax meal and seeds. Once combined well add the date mix from the food processor.
  4. Using the processor again add the coconut oil, tahini, honey, vanilla and cinnamon mix well. Add this liquid to the bowl and combine again. If the mixture appears too thick you may add some water, I usually add a tablespoon or two.
  5. Shape the mix into bars on a Para flex sheet and dehydrate at 115 f (46 c) degrees for 1 hour then reduce to 105f/ 42c for 12 hours, flipping half way through dehydrating time.
  6. Bars can be stored in either a snap lock bag or an airtight container. They will keep for 1-2 weeks depending on how moist they are.

Additional notes-
Chia seeds can also be added to this recipe but if you add chia seeds reduce the flax meal amount to 1/3 of a cup as chia seeds also act as a binding agent to keep the mix together.

Sultanas, dried apple pieces or dried apricots can also be used in this recipe.

If you are ok with oats these bars can be made into muesli bars by replacing the brown rice puffs with rolled oats.

Laura Howell is a talented Visual Artist, Bikram yoga enthusiast, mostly raw vegan who loves nothing
more than playing with her family, watching her beautiful children grow, painting, keeping fit and
feeling healthy. Her artworks can be seen on her website www.laura-howell.com
Health, Nutrition, Family, Vegan
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