Food allergies are a serious problem in this country -- nuts being a particular culprit. Most schools in our area (and many around the country) have banned nuts all together, regardless of whether or not the kids are known to have nut allergies. Thankfully, safety measures like those or having designated nut-free areas in school cafeterias help protect the ever increasing number of America's allergic children, but it can make life difficult for busy moms who rely on protein-filled snacks for their kids that are made with nuts. I can't imagine how challenging it must be for parents who deal everyday with food allergies, so I've been spending a lot of time developing recipes which use protein and nutrient-rich seeds as an alternative to nuts.
I think these bars deliver the goods: sunflower seeds are packed with protein and Vitamin E, pumpkin seeds with magnesium, and flax seeds with an off the charts amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Add in all of the other healthful ingredients in this recipe, and these fruit and seed bars are just as sweet, crunchy, healthy, and delicious as any nut-filled protein bar you'll find in stores. Even if you or your kids don't have a food allergy, try making a batch of these bars. My guys can't seem to get enough of them. And, it's a treat that most schools will be happy to welcome.
Photo by Maren Caruso