Muesli Bars – nut free3 min read

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I think that nut free has become a major marketing term these days. So much of the packaging in health food stores and supermarkets has the words `nut free’ emblazoned on it. And everyone is looking for nut free recipes. It’s not surprising when most of our early child-hood centres and primary schools are nut free zones. Some are also banning various other real foods such as dairy, coconut, various fruits – while at the same time selling sugar and additive laden products at the school canteen.

It also seems that everyone is looking for healthy snack bars. The snack bar section of the supermarket seems to be ever expanding as more and more of these things come onto the market. All with various health claims such as `gluten free’, `dairy free’, `fat free’, `no added sugar’…and `nut free’.

With snack bars being so common it’s not really any wonder that they kids want to be able to have something that seems so popular in their lunch box. Most of the snack bars on the market are loaded with sugars of some kind, vegetable oils, and numbers! Anything that is even close to being totally real food costs a fortune. Certainly out of my budget – especially with four children.

I began to experiment with various combinations of seeds and dried fruits, with some coconut and eggs to hold it all together. I wanted something that would be economical to make for everyday, as well as being quick and easy. Here’s the result.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Shredded Coconut (This one is organic – no preservatives, & sugar free.)
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 3 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup Dried Apricots (or dried apple, or other similar dried fruit – dried banana is nice)
  • 1/2 cup Sultanas (or raisins, gogi berries, cranberries, or other similar dried fruit)
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Eggs
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Instructionsnut free snack bars

  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Grease a 9″x9″ pan.
  3. Chop the pumpkin and sunflower seeds roughly
  4. Chop the fruit roughly – about the size of a sultana
  5. Combine all dry ingredients and fruit
  6. Mix together eggs, honey and vanilla and whisk
  7. Combine all ingredients and mix to combine well
  8. Pour into pan and press down evenly
  9. Bake for 18-20 minutes
  10. Let cool in the pan and then cut into desired size bars
  11. Store in an airtight container

THERMOMIX instructions:

  1. Put all the ingredients into the TM bowl – blitz on Turbo for 2 or 3 seconds, two or three times until well chopped and combined
  2. Pour into pan and press down evenly
  3. Bake for 18-20 minutes
  4. Let cool in the pan and then cut into desired size bars
  5. Store in an airtight container

Earlier today I discovered I had a bag of mixed nuts and seeds and decided to try the muesli bars with it. There was slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and gogi berries. I used 2 cups of this mix in place of the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds and sultanas in the recipe. Everything else was the same.

The kids were very quick to remind me that they can’t take these to school. Instead they’ll be an afternoon treat when they get home. They plan to try them this afternoon with some homemade chocolate hazelnut spread on them before they go to basketball training. `They’ll give us lots of energy!’ (Hmmm…I might have to have one too then.)

I’ll just have to make some more nut free muesli bars for school. Back to the kitchen I go.

14 comments

  1. Thanks so much for these!! I use all the same ingredients! So I will def try these in my thermomix.

    I am so frustrated with the school canteen too, it’s crazy, and just found out that even the school music teacher gives the class a lolly after class, gee thanks for giving my kid poison for doing such a great job, what’s wrong with a gold star!!

    I made the most delicious nut free bliss balls yesterday for school lunchboxes, it was a bit of a fluke, so hopefully when I make it again they stick together as well.

    1. You’re welcome Danielle. School really is full of challenges isn’t it. I’m sure you’re not the only parent who doesn’t like that their child is being given lollies as rewards. I think I’d be going to have a chat and suggest an alternative. He/she may not realise what they are doing. (Sharon may have more suggestions here as she has four little ones at school.)

      Oh, I’d love to hear more about your bliss balls. There are so many recipes for them around. Nut free is always good!!

      Judith

  2. I’ve just put a batch in the oven for tomorrow’s lunch boxes. I had to improvise. Couldn’t find my apricots or sultanas anywhere…..I think some munchkins have been snacking…..so I used all dates. Also didn’t have any sesame seeds, but the mixture was tasty without them! I think I’ll have to make the nut version for weekends. 🙂

  3. I’ve just found your blog. I am gathering that “paleo” means a sort of diet? Sounds very healthy. Your recipes look delicious and I am going to try some of them. Look forward to seeing more of your blog

  4. I just made these and they taste amazing! Hopefully my 3 children agree with me as they are going into their lunchboxes this week 🙂

  5. Hi, sounds lovely, will try them tomorrow. Do you know how long I can store them? Do you store them in the fridge? Thanks

    1. Hi Kerstin,

      They seriously don’t last that long in our house. I have had them for a few days in the cupboard. What I usually do though it make up a few big batches and freeze them. – Sharon

  6. You mention in the recipe in step 6 to whisk together eggs, honey and vanilla. There’s no vanilla listed in the ingredients list above, so how much do you use?

    1. Thank you for that Belinda. Your absolutely correct there is no vanilla in the recipe. I would put about a 1 teaspoon in the mix. Or you can just leave it out. I haven’t made this for a while but Im pretty sure I have never put any vanilla in mine before. – Sharon

  7. Love these. My son takes them to school ALL THE TIME! But we just found out we have an egg intolerance in the family. Any suggestions for substitutions? Thanks a bunch!

    1. Hi Lana,

      That is fantastic to hear that your son takes them to school all the time. We had a period of about 6 months where one of my girls didn’t have egg. Its certainly challenging.

      There are a couple of substitutes you could use. Although I havent tried these methods in this recipe I have done so in others before.

      Both of these make the equivalent of one egg each.

      The first one is using chia seeds.

      1 tbsp. of chia seeds, ground
      3 tbsp. of water

      Grind the seeds up to a meal consistency.
      Add water to the chia seed meal and stir well.
      Let sit for 5 minutes until it is a texture similar to raw egg.

      As this recipe already has chia seeds in it I think I would probably use the following method using Linseed’s.

      1 tbsp. of linseeds, ground
      3 tbsp. of water

      Grind the seeds up to a meal consistency.
      Add water to the linseed meal and stir well.
      Let sit in the fridge for 15 minutes until it is a texture similar to raw egg.

      Both of these seeds have omega-3 oils in them and when exposed to heat and oxygen can be damaged easily.
      So my tips are:

      * linseeds become rancid quickly. Make sure you have good quality and fresh seeds
      * grind your own seeds as you don’t know how long they have been sitting on the shelf
      * use the “egg” mix as soon as you need it to avoid them going rancid
      * you can freeze the mix for up to a year

      I hope this healps and I would love to hear how it works out – Sharon

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