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 Krispy 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
NOTES: I used Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Gluten-Free Cereal (you can also try new Gluten-Free Rice Krispies) and Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Mini Chocolate Chips.
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.
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