I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’ve always loved a good food bar. Granola, protein, raw, disguised-as-healthy-but-more-like-a-treat — I love ’em all.
Apparently, I am not alone.
Yesterday, was my cousin, Katie’s, little girl’s first birthday — Miss Lilah! — and I happened to hear through the grapevine that, while she loves herself a good LÄRABAR, the nuts tend to give her rashes.
So, I made her a very special LilahBar:
Using homemade dried bananas (a method I saw on Oh She Glows) and Mama Pea’s SarahBars recipe as a base, I came up with a healthy, nut free, gluten-free and vegan Crispy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Bar (aka The LilahBar) for the sweet girl and I have to say they turned out rather yummy. Here are the details …
LilahBars (gluten-free + vegan + nut-free : makes 6 bars)
- 2 medium bananas sliced thin, dried (see below for instructions)
- 3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 2/3 cup pitted dates
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup gluten-free + vegan chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup brown rice crisp cereal
Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Slice bananas thin and place on a greased baking sheet (or use a baking mat, like this). Bake for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, or until dry. (You can also use a food dehydrator, but I don’t have one.) Remove bananas from baking sheet with spatula and put to the side.
Using a food processor or high speed blender, add sunflower seeds, dates, vanilla, sea salt and dried bananas. Pulse ingredients to begin pulverizing, then mix consistently until all ingredients come together into a cohesive mixture. Turn machine off, add chocolate chips and brown rice crisp cereal, and pulse to mix together.
Placing a sheet of plastic wrap on the counter, scoop mixture out of food processor or blender and shape into a ball on one side of the plastic wrap. Fold other side of plastic wrap over the top of the ball. Using a rolling pin, begin to roll the dough out into a rectangle. You may have to lift the top of the plastic wrap, reshape the dough and roll it out again a few times in order to achieve a rectangular shape.
Once you have a flat rectangle, seal the plastic wrap around the mixture and place in refrigerator for 1 hour to solidify. Then, remove from refrigerator and take mixture out of the plastic wrap, placing it on a cutting board. Slice mixture horizontally, making 6 bars. Store in refrigerator in airtight container or plastic wrap to keep fresh.
I wrapped the LilahBars individually, so they looked extra cute, but you can easily store them in the refrigerator in a container. These might have been for Lilah, but I took bites of the sixth one (I had to make sure they were good!) and I will definitely be making them for yours truly in the near future.
I’ll admit, the LilahBars were not at the top of Lilah’s list on her big day. In fact, my cousin’s vegan and/or gluten-free cupcakes were the hit of the party!
Oh, to be young (and have absolutely no inhibitions) again! Lilah had a blast at her party and so did we. I have a feeling this gal will eat the LilahBars with no abandon!
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