Apple Pie Balls (grain / gluten / dairy free, paleo)

It was a beautiful and hot summer here in Seattle… and fall has officially arrived!  And these little treats are perfection!! Best part for me is that they are quick and easy, and don’t even require baking. All you need is a food processor, Vitamix, or your favorite chopper-upper and you’re good! These keep beautifully in the fridge and then you have a cool treat packed full of yummy, good-for-you ingredients! These make about 12-16 balls or an 8×8 dish of Lara-type bars. Enjoy, friends! They are delicious and a big hit with the little ones, too.

Apple Pie Balls (gluten : grain free, paleo)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 12 medjool dates, pits removed
  • 3/4 cup dried apple rings
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
METHOD:
  1. Put pecans, almonds and walnuts in the food processor and pulse until the nuts are coarse meal consistency.
  2. Add the pitted dates, dried apple rings, cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds, and salt to the ground nuts and pulse until everything is thoroughly combined and processed. 
  3. The mixture should be sticky enough to roll into balls OR you can form them into Larabars: line an 8×8 dish with parchment paper, plop your mixture into the dish and smooth and flatten with your hand to shape the bars flat, refrigerate for a couple of hours and then cut into bars/squares once they’ve firmed up enough.
  4. Once formed into balls or squares, they should be kept in a covered container in the fridge.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Mind Body Green.
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Granola Bars (grain, gluten, dairy free, paleo)

These are for sure one of our favorite new snack items.  All four of us love them.  They are grain-free, gluten-free, salty and sweet, and couldn’t be easier to make.  They are crunchy and chewy at the same time, too… which really is the way a granola bar should be.  These are almost vegan…. replace honey with maple syrup if you need a yummy vegan snack!

granola bars (grain, gluten, dairy free, paleo)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa nibs
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup almond butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons 100% pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (I like “Enjoy Life” brand)
METHOD:
  1. Combine nuts and seeds in food processor, and pulse until roughly chopped.  You can use any combination of nuts and seeds you want, as long as it totals 2 1/2 cups.
  2. Pour nut/seed mixture into a large bowl.
  3. Add shredded coconut and cocoa nibs and stir to combine.
  4. Add dried fruit, and stir again.  You can use any type of dried fruit as well, as long as it totals 1 cup.
  5. In a medium saucepan over low heat melt coconut oil, almond butter, honey, vanilla, and spices.  Simmer for 3-5 minutes once combined, until thick and bubbly.
  6. Pour mixture into nuts / seeds and stir until everything is evenly coated.
  7. Pour into 8×8 baking dish, lined with parchment paper and press down firmly.
  8. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top, and press into bars.  If you mix these in, they will melt and creat a gooey mess.  Trust me, I’ve tried.  So just save them for the last step and press them on top.  
  9. Put in freezer for 1-2 hours to harden.
  10. Cut into desired size bars, store in refrigerator.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Seasonal Family.