Gluten Free Cherry Chocolate Chip Nut Bars, peanut & almond free

Great replacement for Be Kind bars with no peanuts or almonds! Gluten free as always.

I’ve posted the nut bars I make for my child here before, the Cinnamon Raisin version. This one is more of a re-make of the original recipe I found from The Nourishing Home. I just added a few things, mixed it up a bit, but it is worth re-posting. These were a big enough hit that I didn’t have to drizzle any chocolate on top to appease my six year old.

I like to use walnuts and pecans in my version. The nuts I put in these bars are probably the only nuts my child eats, and I try to keep nuts to a minimum. I go back and forth on nuts- they are an anti-nutrient since they contain a lot of phytic acid. However, they are a good choice of a snack protein for ketogenic eaters. So, I just soak them and don’t give too often. Here’s a link for more info about soaking nuts and phytic acid as an anti-nutrient.

I don’t soak every nut in the house, but I do soak walnuts because it takes out that bitter taste and you don’t have to soak them long. For this recipe, I put one cup walnuts, and 1/3 cup of pecans in a small bowl with filtered water and let soak just 1-2 hours. Then I rinse really well in a colander and put on a cookie sheet on very low in the oven just to dry them a little. We are going to cook them in the end, so there is no reason to keep them raw, but I don’t want the soaked up water to ruin the recipe. I cooked mine on 200˚F for about 40 minutes just to be sure they were dry.

We often buy Be Kind brand bars for “emergency snacks” when we are out and about. But I am not thrilled at included ingredients like glucose syrup, soy, weird fiber or protein additions to lower carb content, rice flour or rice syrup. These are real food 🙂 and of course I can make them soaked and organic, which I prefer!

As for the cherries – I found some unsulphered ones at Trader Joe’s! Those are the ones I use.

 

 

Cherry Chocolate Chip Nut Bars

Cherry Chocolate Chip Nut Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon almond butter, all natural or homemade
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup pure honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 and 1/3 cup nuts, coarsely chopped: I like to use 1 cup walnuts and 1/3 cup pecans, soaked and lightly toasted
  • 1 cup finely shredded coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips - I use Lily's unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup dried organic cherries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F. Using an 8x8 or 8x6 baking dish, trim parchment paper to fit inside fully, but also hang over two opposite sides. I like to use a glass pyrex dish so I can cover it and use same dish for keeping bars cold and fresh after baking.
  2. In a large bowl, mix honey, coconut flour, almond butter, vanilla, cocoa, and salt. Stir until well combined. Add the coarsely chopped nuts and cherries to the mixture. Add chocolate chips and mix well. Then add coconut flakes last.
  3. Add mixture to parchment paper lined dish. Press down into dish, using the parchment paper flaps, as tightly as you can to make sure it is tightly pressed into dish. Peel back the parchment flaps and let them stay, as it makes it easier for cutting later.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until browned on top. Allow to completely cool until bottom of dish is cool to touch.
  5. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Once cold, remove from refrigerator. Pick up the parchment paper flaps to move the square of bars to a cutting board and cut into bars. Since I use pyrex dishes, I just stack one or two bars on top, fold in the parchment and cover with plastic lid, as these should be kept in refrigerator. I also re-use the parchment paper when I make the next batch.
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