So, life with a baby (who’s already 9 weeks!) is gettin’ pretty busy! On top of that, we’ve had family visiting from Australia + Denmark for just over a month, so I haven’t had much time to blog… on the upside though, I’ve had plenty of time to play in the kitchen while grandparents have been busy doting over the kids.
The recipe I’m sharing today is a result of me trying to make my own healthy muesli/protein bars for my 2 year old, who really loves his snacks. Naturally, I wanted something without any refined sugars, but packed full of wholesome ingredients, fibre and filling protein that he would be satisfied by and enjoy as much as store bought varieties. These bars fit the bill and were polished off within a few hours at our house, which I consider a good sign. They instantly won the approval of everyone in the house, including grandparents (I’m sure the chocolate topping helped). I did debate whether or not to decorate them with dark chocolate, but I went for the 85% dark chocolate without much sugar and thought it made them look so much better for the photos… so I leave the choice of chocolate topping completely up to you. They are delicious without as well!
They are very easy to make, granted you have a good food processor on hand or own a Vitamix or other high speed blender. I have left the protein powder as an optional ingredient as well, as I know not everyone is a fan. I don’t use it much, but when I do, I opt for organic unsweetened pea or hemp protein powder. The protein powder helps up the protein content, making them extra satisfying without altering the taste.
You can cut your muesli bars into whatever size you prefer and keep them stored in the fridge. They are also great frozen and I sometimes cut each muesli bar into several smaller squares for a candy-like frozen treat for my son. I love seeing him enjoy this homemade variety as much than the store-bought ones. And although they are more time consuming than picking up a box at the shop, they are nourishing and nutritious and saves you money too!
|Apple + Almond Muesli Bars|| |
- 80 gm (approx. 1 heaping cup) dried apple
- 8 soft pitted dates
- ½ cup (120 ml) sliced almonds
- 3 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 3 tbsp toasted hazelnuts
- 1 cup (240 ml) oats (gluten free if needed)
- pinch sea salt
- ½ tsp pure vanilla powder (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
- 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (alternatively you can use honey or agave)
- 3-4 tbsp water (or more if needed)
- 2-3 tbsp protein powder (OPTIONAL - I prefer hemp or pea protein powder)
- 30 gm (1 oz) organic 85% dark chocolate (OPTIONAL - I used Green & Blacks Organic chocolate)
- Place dates, dried apple, maple syrup, salt, vanilla and coconut oil in a food processor with an "S" blade (or a vitamix) and process until it forms a sticky, yet roughly chopped mixture.
- Add the remaining ingredients and process again until a dough-like mixture forms.
- Remove from food processor and form a big round ball using your hands.
- Press the dough onto a piece of non stick parchment paper and flatten into an even square in the size you want your muesli bars to be.
- Fold the parchment paper around the square and place in fridge to set for 30 mins.
- Cut the muesli bars into long squares and place on a tray.
- Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler.
- Once melted, drizzle the chocolate over the muesli bars and place the tray in the fridge for the chocolate to set.
- Serve chilled and store in an air tight container in the fridge.
I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!