These raw, no-grain, no-nut sunflower ginger granola bars were inspired by my friend, Christina, who needed a nut-free healthy granola bar for her son to take to school.
Made of sunflower seeds and flax seeds, these granola bars are versatile, delicious and nutritious. They are not too far off from a Larabar, except that these bars have a more balanced sweetness that make them less cravings prone. I find Larabars to be too sweet and they are not always made with organic ingredients. They are also rather pricey, so these bars can save you money too!
The ginger in these bars can help with digestion, morning sickness, migraines, arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, cholesterol problems and heart attack. Keep in mind that these bars are so versatile that you can add other spices instead of ginger or in addition to the ginger. Cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves – some of my favorite powerhouse healthy spices would all work beautifully in this recipe. Get creative and play to your heart’s content.
Start the night before and soak the sunflower seeds and flax sees for 8 – 12 hours.* If you would like to dehydrate your flax seeds for this recipe, take the gel-like soaked flax seeds after 8 hours of soaking and dehydrate for about 5 or more hours (see instructions below). You can use the wet, gel-like flax seeds in this recipe as well!
Once the seeds are soaked, it takes 10 minutes to prepare and 18 hours in the food dehydrator or (or 30 minutes to 2 hours in your oven if you don’t have a dehydrator). If you’re in a hurry, you can roll the mixture in coconut flakes and eat immediately or chill 2 hours in the refrigerator before serving.
*Soaking nuts and seeds removes anti-nutrients that make them hard to digest. Once you soak them, your body has a much easier time digesting them, so your body can benefit from the fantastic healthy nutrients in the sunflower seeds and flax seeds!
- 2 cups sunflower seeds
- 1 cup coconut shreds (Let’s Do Organic brand has a great finely shredded coconut)
- 1 cup pitted medjool dates
- ½ cup whole flax seeds
- 2 tsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
- Soak sunflower seeds and flax seeds 8 – 12 hours. To soak the seeds, you can put them in separate glass containers and fill with filtered water until the water just covers the top of the seeds. Add 2 tsp of sea salt to the water, mix it in and then put a top over the bowl. Leave this on your countertop to soak overnight. The flax seeds will crate a gel-like consistence.
- For this recipe, I used soaked and then dehydrated flax seeds. You can try just soaking the flax seeds without dehydrating them or you can purchase already sprouted – soaked and dehydrated – flax seeds from your local health food store. I like to have these on hand for last minute recipes in case I don’t have time to soak and dehydrate. However, it’s very easy to soak the flax seeds, then dehydrate them until they are dry. They will stick together in the soaking water, like a gel (so you can’t drain all the water out and that’s fine because the gel keeps everything together!). Put the flax seed gel onto a silicone baking sheet and dehydrate on 115 degrees F for about 5 – 10 hours, then break it up and put it in a container for use whenever you need flax seeds.
- In a food processor with an S-blade, put in the dates and blend the up until they are mushy. Now add the rest of the ingredients and blend it up again. Keep blending until the mixture is completely smooth. Taste the mixture and see if you like it. You can add more dates if you like a sweeter bar or if you want to use additional spices, like cinnamon, start with ½ tsp and taste, then add more if needed. If you are adding more dates, start with 2 dates at a time and taste again until you reach the desired level of sweetness. You may need to add a little water to get them fully blended. Scrape the sides with a rubber spatula to keep things moving.
- If your food processor or blender is small, you can cut this recipe in half and mix things up separately, then combine in a bowl afterwards.
- You can add things like raisins or goji berries if you or your family like chewy fruit pieces in the bars. If you want to do this, you can take out a few dates from the mixture, then remove the batter from the food processor, add the raisins or goji berries and pulse up a few times to get them into smaller chunks, then add to the batter and mix with a wooden spoon.
- Scoop out the mixture with a tablespoon and flatten it out into bar shapes onto silicone baking sheets. Put the baking sheets into your food dehydrator at 115 degrees F and dehydrate for anywhere between 2 hours and 18 hours (or longer if you like a drier or crunchier bar). The bars will hold together well after about 2 hours in the dehydrator — the outer part will be just dry enough to keep the bar together and at the same time, it will be soft and chewy. If you want them a little drier and with a little more crunch, check them after 18 – 28 hours until they get to your desired level of crunch.
- If you do not have a food dehydrator, put these on a coconut oil greased glass or stainless steel baking sheet, or on a silicone baking sheet over your cookie sheet (the silicone baking sheet does not need to be greased) and put it in your oven at the lowest temperature. Watch the oven for when you want to take them out. It should be anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the lowest temperature of your oven and how dry you want them to be. Keeping your oven on the lowest temperature will be gentler to the nut oils.
- Store in your refrigerator for a week or in your freezer for a couple of months. They will thaw quickly if you want to make more and freeze them for convenient snacks. Just pull a few out of the freezer, put into a baggie and take on the go for a healthy snack or dessert on the run!
Serve as granola bars or roll into balls in coconut shreds and serve immediately or after chilling in your refrigerator for 2 hours or more.
Latest posts by Heather Dane (see all)
- Listening to Your Gut and Heart - April 24, 2019
- Breaking Through Resistance: Following Creative Energy - April 16, 2019
- Love Intuition: Follow the Energy to True Love - April 10, 2019