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.
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These fruit and seed bars look like they could become a favourite to pack in lunch box.
I like to pack banana-ritos, almond butter spread on a tortillas wrapped around a banana.
Looks like a fabulous cookbook. My favorite to pack for lunch is hard-boiled eggs. They are easy and packed with protein. It’s kind of a boring choice, though. 🙂
Athena Russell says
I like wrap sandwiches.
Love Catherine! Love this book. Hope I win ; )
Kristen J says
I’ve been seeing this cookbook all over lately and every recipe looks amazing, even to a person with no kids! 🙂
Helene D'souza says
I just love making healthy bars and everybody enjoys them as well. Yet I have never tried making a nut free version, maybe I should!
Homemade granola bars and muffins.
Looks like a great cookbook, for adults as well as my granddaughter and her mom. For myself, I usually pack soup for lunch– luckily, we have a microwave at work.
I love your fruit and seed bar recipe, but that cookbook would be excellent for my grandchildren.
I love packing fresh fruit and granola bars!
shari wick says
my favorite is tomatoes right out of the garden with a cuppa cottage cheese..
I love dried fruits, nuts AND coconut, too. I can only imagine how scrumptious these bars are. I may need to pack a few in my purse for the trip to Seattle 🙂
Karen Albro says
These look divine! I’ve really gotten into avoiding processed foods lately and these bars, and that cookbook, fit the bill. Off to add Weelicious to my bloglovin’ page now!
Ellon St. Croix says
This book would be fantastic as I have two kids lunches to make for school!
Mmmmmmm these look delicious!
I always have a container of fruit & nuts in my bag, just in case…..these bars would be great…I’ll definitely try them!
I love to use granola bars in lunches. Have been wanting to make homemade ones forever. Love that these are nut free. I will definitely have to give them a try!
Turkey-pesto wraps on whole-grain sandwich flats. Mmmmm…
Marielle weaver says
I love to pack plain greek yogurt with fresh pineapple, peaches, and a touch of raw honey.
Jennifer B. says
nice fresh green grapes
Hummus and veggies!
Hummus and veggies!
Apples and peanut butter!
[email protected] says
A great idea too for packing snacks for kids lunches. So many issues today at school that it’s hard to pack a nice snack.
Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen says
Excellent cookbook review, Cathy! I’ve been enjoying SunButter for a couple years now. (One of my favorite quick snacks is to eat it by the spoon with some Ghirardelli chocolate chips, LOL.) So much healthier than PB and I used it in my recipe for a paleo cookie butter. Glad your son likes it, too! I’m new to Weelicious, so I must check out Catherine’s blog. Thanks for sharing!
Amy (Savory Moments) says
These bars look great – perfect for a mid-morning snack at work!
Constance Terry says
Always on the lookout for healthy, yummy recipes! Thanks… the cookbook looks great, too!
Tracy Slater says
I usually take a granola bar, fresh fruit, and yogurt! Those bars look delicious, can’t wait to try.
My favorite is hummus and cucumbers.
I pack a sandwich and then a bowl of your chickpea and cucumber salad – I love the rice wine vinegar!
STELLA ANN says
I like Chinese Chicken Salad and fruit salad for lunch. I’m going to try the fruit and seed bars. Thank You.
barbara n says
I love fresh fruit and nuts at lunch
Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes says
I like to pack a turkey sandwich on wheat bread!!
Cindy B. says
I like packing trail mixes.
Looks a great gift for one of my sisters.
[email protected] 'n' Cookies says
I’m so glad you shared this recipe! I love fruit and nut bars, but I’ve never made them for myself. I usually end up just buying the premade ones and spending almost $2/bar (yikes!). Thanks for the inspiration to make them myself!
I love reading the Weelicious blog. I use so many of her recipes — and I definitely don’t have kids yet!
Belinda Y. Hughes says
This is great for kids, athletes, snacking, tailgating, road trips, you name it. Vegans will want to sub agave nectar for the honey.