I understand how convenient pre-packaged foods are. Not being a parent (yet), I can only imagine the time crunch when you have busy kids and the need for quick and easy solutions. That being said, I had no idea how simple making your own food and snacks could be, especially when you prepare a lot and preserve (either by way of freezing or canning).
"Everything but the Kitchen Sink" Healthy Snack Bars
1/2 cup rolled oats (I used gf)
1/3 cup quinoa flakes (may sub more rolled oats)
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup cashews
1/3 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup chia, flax, buckwheat blend
5 tbsp hemp hearts
1 tsp cinnamon
Dash of sea salt
1 cup (125 grams) dates - honey or medjool- soaked in hot water for 5 minutes
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
Like I said, sub away! Use almonds, poppy seeds, raisins, whatever your pantry desires! I usually use medjool dates, but was running low so used the honey dates I store in the freezer for date emergencies. If you don't include dates on your grocery list, you don't know what you're missing. I use them every single day! I also don't buy sugar anymore. It's revolutionary!
To make, throw all of the dry ingredients in the food processor. Pulse until you get a grainy meal. When I use my Nutribullet milling blade I get a finer consistency, which is great for dessert balls and treats, however the grainier texture the food processor gives is better for a bar in my opinion.
Afterwards, drain the dates that you should soak while prepping the dry ingredients, and add to mixture with the vanilla extract. Pulse again to start, then leave on to process for 30-60 seconds. It's pretty fool proof so just pulse to desired consistency.
Lay your dough in a plastic wrap lined square casserole dish and push flat. Cover with more plastic wrap, push again, and put in freezer for half an hour. Remove, and cut into 12 squares or rectangles. AT this point, leave as is, or wrap each one individually. Store in the freezer unless you plan on gobbling them up within the week. I'm sure they'd last longer but just to be on the safe side.
Very very rough nutritional info per 1/12 of the mix is:
10 grams healthy fats
5 grams fiber
5.25 grams protein
Carbs don't matter because, I just don't think they do (however can be easily calculated using process of elimination. Note: 1 gram fat = 9 cals, 1 gram protein or carb = 4 cals... handy info to know!).
Also, these bars are very moist/sticky (think Larabars), so could easily be stretched (I'd venture to say, doubled) by upping the oats. This will make them even more affordable and extra kid-friendly. Unfortunately, I ran out of oats so this was all I could do. The next batch I make I will try more oats and let you know how it works!
And for those wierdos like me, these are gluten-free, oil-free, sugar-free, dairy-free and raw.