Cashew Crispy Bars (gluten and sweetener free)
Updated: May 25
There are so many fantastic things about these bars!
They can be made from whole ingredients right in your own kitchen.
They don’t require baking.
They have no added sweetener.
They freeze and thaw well.
They are lunchbox friendly.
If you are a moms4health follower, you know that I put together recipes based on their nutrient profile. These bars are no exception… although, there is one twist that gives these bars a delicious crunch, One Degree Foods Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Cacao Crisps!
Brown rice crisp cereal is far from a super food by my standards. But, it is also minimally processed, gluten free, non GMO and Organic which means it is not going to create an inflammatory cascade.
A brief aside about inflammation…and, Prevention!
Inflammation is typically thought of as an “adult issue” but it is important to monitor inflammatory foods or other environmental factors that could increase inflammation in children too. A study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine noted associations between the increased C-Reactive Protein (CRP), a non-specific blood marker disease, in children and increased body fat levels. A major concern with inflammation in children is their increase likelihood for later life chronic disease risk.
None of my children have known acute allergies to gluten or wheat. They don’t have any major health conditions and I am grateful for that! So, my focus with them is on prevention, modeling solid nutrition choices and educating an awareness about real food and how it can impact how they feel. Based on my studies, personal experience and observations with clients I do not offer my kids gluten containing grains, wheat, refined sugar or conventional dairy. I have said this before and I will say it again….
Back to the bars…
You can use a store bought cashew butter for this recipe and cut out the cashews and coconut oil. I just prefer to make my own in my Vitamix because it is much more affordable!
Warning! While making these bars you may have small vultures begging for samples!
1 cup pitted dates 1 cup hot water 1 1/4 cup crisp brown rice cereal 1 cup rolled oats 1/2 cup chopped sunflower seeds, pistachios, pecans or almonds (really swap in any nut or seed here) 2 Tbsp flax seeds, ground into a meal 3/4 cup cashews 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted you can swap in 1/2 cup cashew butter instead of cashews and coconut oil 1 Tsp vanilla 2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp real salt
Putting it together:
Line two 11 x 13 Pyrex baking dishes with parchment paper.
Soak 1 cup of dates in hot water to soften.
Add the brown rice cereal and rolled oats to a large bowl.
Using a high-speed blender (I love my Vitamix), grind the flax meal into a fine powder and add it to the large bowl.
Chop your choice of nuts and/or seeds and add them to the large bowl.
Grind 3/4 cup cashews in your Vitamix along with 1/3 cup coconut oil. Once the butter is smooth, add vanilla, cinnamon, and real salt, and blend to combine well.
Scrape the cashew butter out of your blender and add to the large bowl. Stir well to combine.
Gently spread the mixture out, dividing between the two baking dishes.
Chill in the freezer until set, about 2 hours. Then remove and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes before cutting into squares. This recipe makes 24 smaller bars.
Once all are cut, I lay them on a baking sheet and freeze. Then I store them in a freezer bag until ready to pack in lunches.