Is it really back to school next week already!?
I’m starting my one year internship Tuesday and saying that I’m nervous is an understatement. I’m hoping that after the first week, I’ll realize how unnecessary it was to worry about it all summer! Hah!
Deep down, I know I’m a little excited. Doing an internship is definitely different than learning in a classroom and I know practice will help me become a better dietitian. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot about the job and about myself… Yes, that’s what I say when I’m trying to convince myself that it won’t be that bad. It’s not really working so far, so next week should be fun! *nervous laughter*
Anyway… With the first day of school right around the corner, I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking about stocking the freezer with meals and snacks to get through the busy weeks ahead?
My go-to freezer meals are veggie burgers and casseroles, but I also like to make a big batch of granola bars or energy bites for easy and healthy snacks. I know that’s not always easy with kids, since schools don’t allow peanuts and other nuts, so that’s why I decided to come up with a nut-free recipe! Schools allow seeds right!? I’m honestly not sure anymore, but if not, they make a great after school, pre-workout or hiking snack!
Let me tell you, these are as good, if not better than any nut-filled granola bar I’ve ever made! They’re chewy, yet crunchy from all the seeds and perfectly sweetened with dates. Each serving has 5 grams each of protein and fiber, all under 200 calories. Trust me, they’ll keep you full for a few hours! Last but not least, they require no cooking! You only need to mix all the ingredients, press them in a baking dish and store them in the fridge or freezer. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
I hope these make back to school a little more exciting! 🙂
No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars (Nut-Free)
- 2 cups Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
- 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons cocoa nibs + 1 tablespoon for topping
- 1/4 cup flax seeds
- 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) + 1 tablespoon for topping
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened or dark chocolate
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil for melting (optional)
- Line a 9x9 inch dish with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, blend dates, vanilla and sunflower seed butter until it forms a ball (about 1-2 minutes).
- Add oats and process until it makes a crumbly mixture (about 30 seconds).
- Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl or simply remove the blade from your food processor.
- Add all the remaining ingredients and mix them all together. You may need to use your hands to mix it well.
- Press the mixture evenly to the bottom of the prepared dish. Set in the fridge.
- Melt your chocolate with coconut oil. I melt it in a small bowl in the microwave for about a minute since it's a small portion. Use your preferred method. Drizzle on top of the bars. Let them set in the fridge or freezer for one hour before cutting (if you can wait that long!).
- Store in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container or bag.
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