I know I have said it many times before....I love my dried fruit and seeds. I find snacking on them completely satisfying and I enjoy adding them to yogurt, ice cream and oatmeal. I also buy an inordinate amount of dried fruit and I need to have different ways of using it all up.
A couple weeks ago I did a little happy dance when I received a friend's new cookbook, Weelicious Lunches, in the mail. I started reading Catherine's blog Weelicious many moons ago and it was so great to finally meet her in Austin last June. Her newest book is such a great resource for parents who make lunches for children. However, I have found this book to also be a great source of inspiration for me. Catherine has the greatest healthy eating ideas and did I mention the warmest smile you could ever imagine. If you don't already visit Weelicious on a regular basis, you need to start. It's a fabulous place to get and be happy.
Anyway, this book, released not even two weeks ago, is an amazing collection of recipes and food ideas for kids (and adults) with all kinds of tastes. My boys, who are no longer "wee" ones loved looking through the pages and picking out many things they would like to show up in their lunches.
I have one son who is a picky eater, but in his defense he is allergic to so many things. It has always been a challenge to get him to try new foods. Not to mention we worry about his exposure to nuts and other things he is unable to eat.
These fruit and seed bars, a recipe in the book, use sunflower seed butter and honey as a binder. Did you know I had never heard of sunflower seed butter until now, even though it's right next to the almond butter I always buy. This is huge for my son who cannot have peanut butter at all. I can't tell you how happy I was to have found this product.
These bars are also packed with protein, vitamin E, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids; a truly healthy alternative to the processed bars we find in the grocery store.
The photography in the book is beautiful, with full page color pictures for lots and lots of the recipes. The book is also hardcover, which I love.
It's getting harder and harder to bring snacks to school and events with all the dietary restrictions we need to follow. The Weelicious Lunches cookbook has so many options for delicious food that is nut free, gluten free, vegetarian...you name it. It is a tremendous resource to have in the kitchen.
I will admit I have been using the cookbook a lot for myself. I have bookmarked so many pages of things I have to eat soon. It has truly inspired me to make and serve better lunches, a meal I have always struggled with.
Fruit and Seed Bars
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 2 Tablespoons flax seeds
- 1 cup dried fruit (blueberries, raisins, currants, cranberries, cherries)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup sunflower butter
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 11 x 7 or 9 x 9-inch baking pan, then line it with parchment, allowing the parchment to come up two sides of the pan.
- In a food processor, pulse the oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax, dried fruit and coconut until finely chopped (it's okay if there are a few coarsely chopped pieces).
- Add the honey and sunflower butter and pulse until the mixture is combined.
- Pour the mixture into the pan and spread it out evenly.
- Bake for 25 minutes , or until firm to the touch.
- Let cool completely, then use a knife to cut into fifteen 2-inch bars. (Once cooled, I lifted my bars out of the pan with the parchment paper and then cut them.)
Lucky for all of you, Catherine has generously offered another copy of her wonderful book for a giveaway to one lucky Noble Pig reader.
Use the rafflecopter widget below to answer the question and unlock the chance for more entries to win. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I was given a copy of Weelicious Lunches for review. All opinions are my own.
Three Years Ago: Sausage Gravy
Five Years Ago: Potato-Sour Cream Biscuits