Today I am doing something a little different on my blog. For the first time, I am having another blogger appear on Hold the Grain with a guest post. I don’t intend to do this very often, but after reading Macy’s blog and getting to know her, I had to have Macy, a fellow teenage blogger and friend, share a recipe! If you haven’t before heard of Macy, she is the blogger behind Paleo Crumbs. She is also incredibly kind, optimistic, and passionate about real food, despite the various health struggles she has faced. Oh, did I mention that she’s 16 and extremely talented? She loves to recreate old favorites into paleo-friendly recipes, and that’s what she’s done for you today! You wouldn’t even know that these aren’t regular old granola bars just by looking at them! Okay, I’ll let her take it from here.
Macy of Paleo Crumbs:
Hi Everyone! I’m Macy from my blog Paleo Crumbs.
First of all let me just say, wow! I can’t believe I am doing a guest post right now! And for Tess’s blog! I was so excited when Tess asked me, and immediately was like “Oh, my gosh- yes!” This is my first guest post so I apologize if I’m overly excited (insert excited emoji face here ;D). Anyways, I’m Macy, a 16 year old girl who loves to bake, cook, and eat, especially yummy paleo treats! I found Tess’s blog a few months back and instantly loved her yummy recipes and gorgeous pictures that filled her blog! Then I read her “about me” page and saw we actually had a lot in common including that we both love paleo and have gastroparesis! And after emailing her, it turns out we have even more stuff in common! I am so excited to be guest posting on Tess’s beautiful blog, now let’s get to the food shall we?
So after Tess asked me to guest post, I immediately started jotting down lots of recipe ideas in my journal. I actually didn’t originally intend these granola bars for the guest post, but loved them so much that I knew they would be the perfect recipe for it! Plus I have a really hard time making up my mind, and I go back and forth a lot, so that big list of ideas I made would’ve taken me forever to make up my mind. So this worked out great!
These bars are a recreation of one of my favorite snacks. Since I am recently starting to eat more, I am noticing more and more my sensitivity to almonds due to an allergy. So I knew I had to recreate an almond-free version, and this can easily be nut free as well!
Ok, so I will warn you the ingredient list is a little long, but don’t freak out just yet! I used various nuts and seeds for this granola bar, for a variety of crunch and flavor as well as health benefits. I was quite pleased with the combination of all the different amounts and types of seeds and nuts, as it delivered just the right amount of crunch and flavor for me! But one of the cool things about this recipe is it is totally adaptable to you! You can substitute whichever nuts and seeds you prefer or can tolerate. I personally have an allergy to almonds, so that is definitely a no for me, but if almonds are your thing, go for it! If you are allergic to all nuts use all pepitas and sunflower seeds. Just like the nuts, you can do the same for the dried cherries. You can easily substitute raisins, dried apricots, or dates; but I highly recommend cherries it gives a nice little sweet and sour aspect to the bars. And as for the chocolate, come on who doesn’t love a little chocolate? Or if you prefer, substitute with more dried fruit.
- 1 ½ Tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
- ½ Cup sunflower seeds
- 1 Cup pumpkin seeds (“pepitas”)
- ½ Cup cashews
- ½ Cup pecans
- ¼ Cup walnuts
- 1 Cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- ⅓ Cup dried cherries (or raisins or other dried fruit)
- Heaping ½ cup of chocolate chunks (such as Enjoylife)
- ¼ Cup coconut oil
- ⅓ Cup organic, local honey
- ¼ Cup sunflower seed butter
- 1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ Teaspoon salt
- ¼ Teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350.
- On a baking sheet, measure out all the nuts, coconut, and seeds, except the chia seeds. Place in oven for 5-10 minutes until toasted, keep an eye on them as they can burn easily. (This step is optional but I highly recommend it! As it gives the nuts and seeds more of a crunch and optimal flavor.)
- Line a 9x 13 baking pan with parchment paper and grease with coconut oil.
- On a cutting board, roughly chop the nuts, seeds, and dried cherries in small amounts. Then add into a medium sized bowl, along with the chia seeds.
- In a medium size pot, on medium-low, melt the coconut oil, honey, and sunflower seed butter. Stir until fully melted and combined. Take off of heat and stir in the vanilla, salt, and cinnamon.
- Pour the coconut oil mixture into the bowl of seeds and nuts. Stir until everything is thoroughly coated.
- Let cool for 5 minutes, before mixing in the chocolate chunks (to prevent melting).
- Once everything is mixed together, add into your lined pan. Spread the mixture all over evenly. Place a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap directly on top of the mixture, and press hard all over to make sure it is compact into the pan. (this step is very important, so that the bars will not fall apart when cut, so really try and use those muscles! :D You can also use the bottom of a flat measuring cup, to help press down.)
- Place in the fridge and let chill for at least 3 hours. After the chilling time, you can use the parchment paper to easily pop them out of the pan. Cut into bars or squares of desired size. Store in fridge or freezer.
For convenience, wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap, and grab out of fridge when needed!
Any nut butter can be substituted for sunflower seed butter.