These chocolate raisin crunch bars are nut free and free of all refined sugars. A healthy tempting treat to help sway your little ones from the candy bag.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that young children just don’t know what’s good for them. I suppose that’s why they have parents in the first place, to be constantly redirecting them away from the not-so-good things back to the better choices. The problem is that the not-so-good things in life often have the appearance of being more fun or more tasty to little, unsuspecting and uneducated eyes. So it’s a constant dance for parents, trying to convince those young, unformed minds that the healthy, wholesome and safe things in life are the better choice. Like holding on to Mummy’s hand instead of dashing into the street on a whim. Safe, but admittedly very boring for a feisty three year old. Or going outside into the yard to play instead of watching yet another hilarious episode of Phineas and Ferb. Healthy, sure, but it’s sooo hard having to rely on your own imagination for entertainment. And eating fruits and veggies instead of lollipops and chocolate? Oh my gosh, Mummy, you are such a killjoy.
So my adult parent brain is constantly trying to come up with treats that are healthy, but tempting enough to sway those impulsive, pleasure-seeking young brains away from the junk. It’s not an easy task, considering the foods they see their friends eat on a daily basis, and the things that the schools serve as hot lunches (which, by the way, my children do not get. Packed homemade lunches every day for them!). My healthy, gluten-free snacks are pitted against all sorts of seemingly delicious but terribly bad for you things and I have to be wildly creative to compete in that arena. Sometimes I hit the mark, sometimes I fail miserably. But I’ll never stop trying; it’s my job as a parent.
These gluten-free chocolate raisin crunch bars took shape in my head during our recent family vacation to Disney World. Let’s face it…traveling to any kid-oriented place like Disney means entering a veritable minefield of sugar and gluten-filled treats. And eating the majority of our meals out means I have to let go of my desire to make every bite they put into their mouths a healthy bite. It’s just not going to happen, and I am going to look like an ogre mum for denying them any of the treats they see. So I do my best to mitigate the damage by insisting on fruit and yogurt in the mornings, and salad and veggies at every lunch and dinner. Once they’ve eaten those things, they are allowed to eat some of the other items they so desperately want. It’s the best I can do.
And then I declare a full ban on anything sugary when we get home, at least for a few days. But I don’t deny them dessert. Sounds like a contradiction, but it’s not. I just have to get those creative juices going and come up with desserts that seem like a treat, but are actually healthful. Melting some unsweetened chocolate with sunflower seed butter, adding raisins for natural sweetness and some crisp brown rice cereal for crunch and you have yourself a sweet, healthy treat that kids love. Bonus points that it takes all of about 5 minutes to whip up and requires no use of your oven!
- 1 cup sunflower seed butter
- 3 oz unsweetened chocolate chopped
- ¼ cup Swerve Sweetener or powdered erythritol
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups gluten-free crisped rice cereal I recommend Erewhon
- 1 cup raisins
- Grease an 8x8 inch pan well and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sunflower seed butter, chopped chocolate, Swerve and vanilla extract. Stir until melted and smooth.
- Stir in rice cereal and raisins and mix well to combine.
- Spread in prepared pan and chill until firm.
- Cut into 16 squares.