Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Chocahini Bars

I have been on the hunt for recipes of foods to send with my kids to school that are simple and something like a granola bar.  Here is one recipe I adapted  from an old cookbook someone gave me called "The Snack Bar Gourmet". (This book is a great little treasure published in the 80's filled with many healthy treat options). The final result is a soft, slightly chewy bar that is really enjoyable .  More recipes will be coming thanks to that book.

Chocahini is also a perfect bar that is allergy-friendly for all sorts.  It is gluten-free, wheat-free, egg-free, nut-free, dairy-free...AND it still tastes delicious!!!  And to top it off, simple and quick to make.  The key is using tahini which you may have to go out and buy.  Now that school is out, you can also make it with peanut butter if nut allergies are not a concern for you.  Let me know what you think when you try it.

Chocahini Bars

1/2 cup tahini*
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup non-dairy milk (ie rice, almond, hemp or you can use dairy milk too)
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 cups oats - my preference is Old Fashioned Oats
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup seeds of choice (sunflower, sesame, hemp, pumpkin) - optional
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
* See cook's notes below

Preheat your oven to 350 F.
Using a 9x9 baking dish, line the dish with parchment paper for easy removal and cutting after it has baked.

In a large bowl, add the tahini, honey, milk, vanilla, cocoa and salt.  Mix this together using a spoon.  Then add in the remaining dry ingredients and stir until completely mixed.  Pour into the lined baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Allow to cool and slice into bars.  Makes about 16 bars or 20 if you cut them smaller.  This recipe would double nicely and bake in a 9x13 pan (they may just be a little thicker).

Cook's Notes:
Tahini - this is a sesame seed paste that is used in many Middle Eastern dishes.  It is also a key ingredient used in making hummus.  You can find it in Bulk Food stores (in a cooler section) and most likely in an Ethnic store or Ethnic section of a grocery store.  It has a consistency a little thinner than peanut butter. 

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