When I was a kid I went to the kind of elementary school where there was no homework, no tests, no report cards, no grades (are you still with me?)... In short, it was completely and utterly awesome :):):) ! It is pretty much how you are imagining it: Beanbag chair? Check. Pet Gecko (that one day escaped and was never to be found again...)? Check. Giant bin of used materials that we called 'beautiful junk'? Check. Called teachers by their first names (and sometimes had them over for dinner)? Check. Consensus decision making? Check. I could go on and on, but I'm going to stop here and just make sure you know how special a place it was (and still is). Of course, you don't always realize that when you're 10 years old and dealing with all that crappy girl/kid drama (still happens at hippy alternative schools I promise), but when class shuts down for a week to plan a haunted house that encompasses the entire grade 4. 5, 6 classroom, you know they're doing something right. It was a super cool place to grow up, and I still have so many of my best friends from that school in my life today.
All this, just to introduce these bars. Anyways, my school didn't have a gym so every friday we would walk about 15 minutes to a local community centre and alternate between swimming, indoor gym class, and skating (in the winter). Each week, a parent was responsible for making snack. The snack had to be vegan, and as healthy as possible if it was a dessert. I remember I was always so proud when it was my mom's week to make snack because she always made the best things. A staple of hers was vegan banana bread, and everyone just ate it right up! These chocolate covered seed bars remind me of the kind of snack someone might make (although I am actually pretty sure it had to be nut free so maybe not). Still, they are like a healthy version of those chocolate covered granola bars you can buy. Super tasty and super healthy. They work really well as lunch box snacks. Just wrap the individually cut bars in plastic wrap or place them in a small container and freeze until it is lunch packing time :)
Chocolate Covered Seed Bars
Makes about 12 bars
- 15 medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup quinoa puffs
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup nut butter (I used 1/4 cup almond and 1/4 cup peanut)
- 1 cup chocolate chips
Set aside an 8x8x2 baking pan (you can use a different size but it will change the thickness of the bars).
Soak dates for at least 20 minutes. Blend soaked dates with 1/2 cup of water until smooth. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl stir together quinoa puffs, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Add in the date syrup and stir until all seeds are coated. Add in the nut butter. At this point it is much easier to mix with your hands. Make sure that the nut butter is fully integrated into the seed/date mixture. It should be sticky and able to form into a ball. Press the mixture into your 8x8x2 baking pan and even it out by pressing with the heels of your palms. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips using a double boiler. Let sit until room temperature, or until the bars are done freezing. Evenly coat the top of the bars with the melted chocolate. Sprinkle on additional seeds for optimal texture and prettyness. Refrigerate for another 20 minutes or until chocolate has hardened. Cut, serve, and enjoy! Bars will last in the fridge for about a week and in the freezer for about a month.