Healthy strawberry and cherry granola bars

Healthy strawberry and cherry granola bar | Me & The Moose. These chewy granola bars are a mixup of granola bars, oatmeal cookies, and rice krispy treats, but healthier and more filling than any of the traditional ones. #meandthemoose #granolabarrecipes #nutfree #glutenfree #naturalsugar #granolarecipes #granolabarrecipes #snacks #snackrecipes

Say hello to the Frankenbar: Part granola bar, part oatmeal cookie, and part Rice Krispie treat. These beauties are also free of refined sugar (mostly), gluten, nuts, and can be dairy-free if you swap out the chocolate-covered sunflower seeds with carob chips. The brown rice syrup takes a little getting used to; to me, it has a slightly funky flavor on its own. But the syrup is far stickier than honey or maple syrup, so it's a better binder, and you don't taste it in final product.

Actually, I have a confession to make: I find a lot of "healthy" baking ingredients a little gross on their own. I wouldn't necessarily choose carob chips or coconut sugar over their more refined counterparts, except that I prefer using ingredients that are generally better for me and for M when I control the food. Also, I aim to only publish recipes here that I know are delicious and don't suffer (at least, to my tastes) from the healthy stuff.

Healthy strawberry and cherry granola bar | Me & The Moose. These chewy granola bars are a mixup of granola bars, oatmeal cookies, and rice krispy treats, but healthier and more filling than any of the traditional ones. #meandthemoose #granolabarrecipes #nutfree #glutenfree #naturalsugar #granolarecipes #granolabarrecipes #snacks #snackrecipes

These bars are also completely adaptable based on preferences and allergy concerns. Can't find dried strawberries or cherries without extra sugar? Use other dried fruits. Don't have any nut allergies? Use almonds or peanuts and almond or peanut butter instead of the sunflower seeds and seed butter. Can't find chocolate covered sunflower seeds? Swap in the aforementioned carob chips to make the bars dairy-free or use chocolate chunks or M&Ms.

Healthy strawberry and cherry granola bar | Me & The Moose. These chewy granola bars are a mixup of granola bars, oatmeal cookies, and rice krispy treats, but healthier and more filling than any of the traditional ones. #meandthemoose #granolabarrecipes #nutfree #glutenfree #naturalsugar #granolarecipes #granolabarrecipes #snacks #snackrecipes

This recipe is also a great way to use up sunflower seed butter if you have some leftover. Again, one of those ingredients that tastes kind of terrible on its own (unless you make this homemade version which is GREAT), but adds a nice nuttyness. These treats would also make a great snack for Valentine's Day parties in nut-free classrooms.

Healthy strawberry and cherry granola bar | Me & The Moose. These chewy granola bars are a mixup of granola bars, oatmeal cookies, and rice krispy treats, but healthier and more filling than any of the traditional ones. #meandthemoose #granolabarrecipes #nutfree #glutenfree #naturalsugar #granolarecipes #granolabarrecipes #snacks #snackrecipes

Strawberry and cherry granola bars

1 1/2 cup quick rolled oats
1 1/2 cup puffed brown rice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup chocolate covered sunflower seeds
2/3 cup dried cherries
2/3 cup dried strawberries
1/3 cup freeze-dried strawberries
1/3 cup freeze-dried cherries
1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp sunflower seed butter (1/3 cup works, but the bars are slightly crumbly)
6 Tbsp melted coconut oil (measure after melting)
1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp brown rice syrup

Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment and lightly grease. Set aside.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Melt the coconut oil and add to the dry ingredients along with the sunflower seed butter and the brown rice syrup. Using a spatula or your hands (I always use my hands), stir well to combine. Dump the mixture into the parchment-lined baking pan and pack down with gusto. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.

Let cool completely before serving. The bars stayed crunchy for one week in a sealed bag at room temperature, but go ahead and freeze some or all if you won't eat within a week.

Healthy strawberry and cherry granola bar | Me & The Moose. These chewy granola bars are a mixup of granola bars, oatmeal cookies, and rice krispy treats, but healthier and more filling than any of the traditional ones. #meandthemoose #granolabarrecipes #nutfree #glutenfree #naturalsugar #granolarecipes #granolabarrecipes #snacks #snackrecipes

Whole 30 snacks and a recap

Strawberry and cherry energy bites | Me & The Moose. Dried fruit and raw nuts combine to make an easy and filling snack. #meandthemoose #energybites #snacks #snackrecipes #whole30 #whole30recipes #almonds

Today is the day! Last day of my Whole 30! This was my hardest round of Whole 30 eating so far. I blame world events for my extreme wine desire throughout the month. I'm sure the plan's founders would blame my "sugar dragons" and suggest that I stay the course and keep Whole 30ing until I truly didn't want it anymore, but...that's not happening. Mostly because it already happened. I caved a few days ago. I think that, as much as January is a great time to clean up your eating, perhaps this January was an exception.

No matter, I made it for most of the month and I feel pretty good, all things considered. Something I did out of some desperation was to pick a meal every day and make it a little special. This happened at breakfast with extra herbs and salmon roe. And often, a little extra effort with a snack made a difference to my motivation later in the day. Here are some of the "treats" that got me through the winter of my discontent and ALL are toddler-approved. There was a day last week when M refused anything other than the kale smoothie below and homemade pickles.

Strawberry and cherry energy bites | Me & The Moose. Dried fruit and raw nuts combine to make an easy and filling snack. #meandthemoose #energybites #snacks #snackrecipes #whole30 #whole30recipes #almonds

Strawberry and Cherry energy bites

1/2 cup dried strawberries
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raw almonds
1 Tbsp water

Put everything in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency, adding 1 Tbsp of water if needed to bring everything together.

Recipe notes: Give your dates a rough chop because I've never had a batch of "pitted" dates without any leftover whole pits or pit shrapnel. Nuts.com is the only place I've found dried strawberries that were Whole 30 compliant, but Trader Joe's carries dried cherries and dates without added sugar.

Yield: About 16, 2-3 bite snacks

 

Deviled eggs | Me & The Moose. These deviled eggs provide a tasty hit of salt and protein to satisfy snack cravings. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #deviledeggs #snacks #snackrecipes

Deviled eggs

2 hard-boiled eggs
2 tsp avocado oil mayo
1 tsp dijon mustard
pinch paprika
s/p
pickles, salmon roe, capers, olives, leftover bacon

Hard-boil your eggs. I like to use Martha's method and find that it leads to a very clean peel. However, I almost never peel the eggs right after cooking them. If making these for a larger crowd or just care a lot about aesthetics, hard boil your eggs one day in advance and store in the fridge. Peel cold.

Slice your eggs in half length-wise and pop the yolks into a bowl. Add the mayo, mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper and mash with a fork. Add back to the egg whites and top with your choice of accoutrements.

Yield: 1-2 servings, depending on your hunger level

Persimmons with coconut cream and pepitas | Me & The Moose. Dress up your fruit with some good fat from coconut cream and some crunch from pepitas. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #persimmons #snacks #snackrecipes

Persimmon with coconut cream and pepitas

1 fuyu persimmon, peeled and sliced
2 tsp coconut cream
2 Tbsp pepitas, roasted
pinch cinnamon

Peel and slice your persimmon. I like to toast a bunch of pepitas ahead of time and store them at room temperature, but if you don't have any on hand, roast in the oven or toaster oven at 350 for about 5 minutes or until they begin to smell nutty. Add the pepitas, coconut cream, and cinnamon. Eat immediately.

Yield: one serving
 

Kale smoothie | Me & The Moose. This smoothie is a bit of a whole30 cheat, but a good way to sip on some extra veggies and prolong that snack. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #kalesmoothie #snacks #snackrecipes #smoothierecipes

Kale smoothie

Adapted from Minimalist Baker
1 cup kale, packed
1 cup frozen peaches
1 apple
1/2 inch piece of peeled ginger (about the size of your thumbnail)
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp water

Add everything to the blender and process until smooth.

Yield: 1 adult smoothie and 1 toddler smoothie, or 1 very large adult smoothie, or 2 toddler smoothies
 

Bananas with cardamom and pistachios | Me & The Moose. Dress up your fruit with some nuts and coconut cream for more protein and fat to keep you full. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #bananas #snacks #snackrecipes #coconutcream #pistachios

Bananas with cardamom and pistachio

1 banana
1 tsp coconut cream
1 Tbsp shelled pistachios
pinch cardamom
pinch sea salt

Slice or mash a banana and add the coconut cream, pistachios, cardamom, and salt. Eat.

Yield: 1 serving

 

Babaganoush | Me & The Moose. What’s better than a dip that’s mostly veggies? #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #babaganoush #snacks #snackrecipes #diprecipes

Babaganoush

I like Epicurious's recipe, but I halve the amounts, use the smallest Japanese eggplants I can find so that I can use the whole thing (peel and seeds included), add 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, and add 1 Tbsp of avocado oil mayo for some added creaminess.

Yield: about 2 cups

Happy snacking!