Most of us who are gluten-free struggle with eating on-the-go. Living an active, busy lifestyle that is also gluten-free requires a lot of planning ahead, so that you don’t get stuck somewhere with an empty stomach and nowhere safe to eat. I usually have a handful of nuts or a homeade granola bar stashed in my bag wherever I go, and any of our family and friends could tell you that when I stay at their homes, I often fill the fridge with my own food upon arrival. My reactions to gluten are getting much more severe as I get older, so I try to minimize gluten risk as much as possible when outside my home. It’s a good thing cooking is one of my passions, as life wouldn’t be nearly as much fun or flavorful otherwise.
I’ve recently begun to follow Bernice Mast (@gfveg) on Twitter (you can follow me there as well @jennsutherland). Bernice is the Gluten Free Examiner, and posts lots of good resources and recipes for GF folks. A couple days ago she reposted a favorite snack item to twitter – her “Dashew” bars. They’re a simple energy bar with dates and cashews, and WOW – are they good!
I’ve added coconut and cinnamon to Bernice’s recipe, and the bars are going over very well in our house. Mark said that they tasted like the “tank tracks” Oatmeal Cookie Bars in the Army MREs (meals ready to eat). Apparently, those were a sought after item, and probably better than they sound. But these two-bite little wonders are extremely tasty, and will give you a little energy boost when you need it. Because these are calorie dense little buggers, cut them small, and wrap them individually in waxed paper, so you will be less tempted to eat them all in one afternoon. I actually cut them about a third smaller than in the photo above, and the finished bars are about 2×2″, and 1/3″ thick. Give these simple bars a try next time you need a portable snack.
Dashew Snack Bars
97 cal, 5.3g fat, 9g sugars, 2,1g protein, 12g carb
4 oz cashews, unsalted, raw
4oz dates, pitted
1/2 cup dried coconut, unsweetened
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread the cashews on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes. Add the coconut to the sheet pan, and toast cashews and coconut for another 5-8 minutes, until both coconut and cashews are a toasty golden color. Take them out of the oven, and then set them aside on a cooling rack to cool.
- When the cashews and coconut have cooled, add all ingredients to your food processor. Process until the mixture is ground fairly fine, and begins to ball up into a thick paste. Line a small baking sheet with parchment. Turn the paste onto the parchment paper, and press the bars together into about 1/3″ thick sheet. Fold the parchment overtop the bars, and press very firmly to evenly distribute the mixture to form nice, uniform bars.
- Stash the sheet pan in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes, then remove and cut into 2″ blocks. Wrap in waxed paper and store in the fridge for an easy to grab snack.