Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Bars (gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free option)
Hi guys! Needless to say it has been A WHILE! I haven't posted a recipe in a long time and it has been the break I needed. Life has been challenging the last several months and I found myself not being able to muster up any creative juices - both in the kitchen and on the blog.
I'm slowly starting to get back into the groove of working on my business, and consistently cooking more meals at home. I haven't been in recipe "brainstorming" mode like I was for a while when I first started the blog. Cooking meals on a whim is suiting me at the moment and I'll take what I can for the time being. I guess that's one of the great things about being flexible with the way I eat - "stuff" happens in life and it's okay if the same recipes are on repeat or every meal isn't prepared at home. With that being said, I do miss being in the kitchen so it feels good to be back in my happy place.
In addition to recipe testing more at home you may have seen a few photos I shared on Instagram from a recent family cooking lesson. Connecting with this family re-invigorated me as a RD to keep doing what I'm doing. I love nutrition coaching and education but nothing can replace a hands-on learning experience. I first learned how to cook with my family and it's one of the most rewarding skills I've carried with me - both personally and professionally.
I went into the cooking lesson with a granola-type bar recipe planned, but after chatting with the oldest daughter I learned a little more about her current food preferences and an allergy to some nuts. With a few simple swaps we modified the recipe on the spot so the entire family could enjoy. The bars turned out to be pretty killer and then I re-tested the recipe at home to get it just right.
These bars are everything I love about food - simple ingredients, easy to make, no-bake, made with nourishing foods, CHOCOLATE, and almost too pretty to eat (but you eat them anyways).
The Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Bars are three layers: freeze dried strawberries, dark chocolate, and an oat-seed topping. I love how all the flavors and textures come together to make a satisfying, sweet, crunchy snack. Freeze dried strawberries give these bars a sweet, light, airy crunch that is so good (especially paired with dark chocolate). The last layer is made by mixing hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, rolled oats, honey, and cashew butter to make this bar hearty and filling. Whip up a big batch and snack on them all week. They last in the fridge, travel well, and are just really yummy.
Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Bar
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 9 large squares
1 bar 70% dark chocolate
2 cups freeze dried strawberries, crushed
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup salted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup cashew butter (swap sunflower seed butter for nut-free option)
1/4 cup honey
Line an 8x8 inch baking dish with parchment paper.
Add chocolate to a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 90 seconds, checking every 30 second to ensure it doesn't burn.
Pour melted chocolate into the baking dish and smooth evenly with a spatula.
Sprinkle freeze dried strawberries evenly over the chocolate. Set aside.
In a food processor add oats and seeds. Pulse a few times to combine but keep the mixture pretty chunky. Transfer to a bowl.
To the bowl add honey & cashew butter and stir to combine.
Spread mixture evenly in the baking dish over the strawberries.
Press firmly into the baking dish.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut into bars and store in the fridge in an airtight container.
Did you try this recipe? Comment below and tell me all about it! You can also tag your creations on Instagram @wellfednutrition.