247/365 // seed & grain bars

 photo project 365  photo project 365, Jessica Leanne Photography

Homemade seed and grain bars with chocolate on top! These bars have a sesame seed salty taste, a somewhat crunchy texture, and some sweetness from the chocolate. I've been making lots of different home made bars over the last few months and these are the first I actually took pictures of. I didn't exactly plan on sharing the recipe when I made them. I basically made them on a whim, adding this and that, but we like how they turned out. I store the sliced bars in the freezer and take them out in the morning to put in M's lunch for school. She loves them! So, here is an approximate recipe. Have fun!

ingredients: (approximate portions, because I didn't write these down as I went)

bars:
- 3/4 c. dates (turned into date paste)
- 1/2-3/4 c. sesame seeds (turned into sesame seed butter)
- 1/4 c. rice puffs
- 1/4 c. dry toasted quinoa
- 1/4 c. oatmeal
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/4 c. hemp hearts
- 1/4 c. pumpkin seeds

topping:
- 2 tbsp cocoa
- 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup

directions:
1. The date paste: soak dates in warm water for 10-30 minutes. Chop. Puree in a food processor, mash with a potato masher, or blend in a good quality blender. Add 1-2 tsp. of water if needed. Set aside.

2. Toast sesame seeds and quinoa (don't mix together) on a baking sheet in the oven at a temp of 275-325 for around 10 minutes, stirring half way through. Let cool.

3. Once the sesame seeds have cooled, pulse in the food processor until it is an almost butter like consistency. It's okay if it is not completely smooth.

4. In the food processor pulse the pumpkin seeds and hemp hearts for a few seconds, but not too long because we don't want them to turn into flour.

5. Mix date paste with sesame seed butter in a medium to large bowl. Next add all the rest of your ingredients, a couple at a time until everything is mixed together.

6. Place a piece of parchment paper in a 8 inch baking pan (or pan of choice). Press bars into the pan.

7. Bake bars for 10-15 minutes at around 300 degrees. (you could skip this step and keep them raw, but they turned out great being baked.)

8. In a small sauce pan stir the cocoa powder, coconut oil and maple syrup on low heat. Pour on top of finished bars and spread until the bars are covered. (If I had chocolate chips at the time, I may have melted those down and used them instead, but these ingredients worked well.)

9. After bars have cooled place in the freezer. After the chocolate top has set, slice bars into whatever size you like!

10. Eat an enjoy!! (you could eat the bars before the chocolate sets and when they are warm too! It would possibly be messy though.)

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! I am not an expert at making bars, so please don't hold me accountable if you don't like them! :) Feel free to experiment and your favourite ingredients; maybe some dried cranberries, coconut, or chocolate chips! Really the possibilities are endless! I kept these nut free because I wanted them to be a snack that my daughter could take to school, but nuts would definitely work in place of the sesame seeds or as an extra add in. If you're adding a lot more dry ingredients you may need to up the date and butter quantities.

Thanks for reading! :)