I’ve been experimenting for a while for a nut free, grain free, dairy free “muesli” bar that will hold together for the school lunches. This is the current best attempt so far. The challenges are that what holds most bars together is the grains and loads of sugar plus they’re usually full of additives and preservatives including industrial seed oils like canola oil.

If you’re making for eating at home you can add in coconut oil or butter more freely as you can store and eat straight from the freezer. But in the lunchbox these sorts of bars will end up melting so you need to keep the oil/butter content lower.

You can use this recipe for a baked bar or for a “no bake” bar but for the “no bake” you must eat directly from the freezer (not for school lunches).  If you’re not baking then it definitely tastes better to toast the seeds and coconut but if you’re rushed it’s not necessary.

Play around with this recipe and let me know if you find any interesting alternative ways that work as well!

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Nut Free Muesli Bar (Paleo)
When made in standard square baking dish this makes 10 muesli bar shaped bars or 15 smaller bars which are thinner than “normal” bars. To make them more like normal you can make in a loaf tin or double the mixture. Just make extra sure to push down on the mixtures before and after baking to compact the mix.
Recipe type: Snack
Type of food: Paleo
Serves: 10 min - 1 hour
What you need:
  • Ingredients To Toast:
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • ½ cup coconut, desiccated or shredded
  • ½ cup chia seeds (or ¼ cup flaxseed & ¼ cup chia seeds)
  • **
  • Other Ingredients:
  • ½ cup banana, ripe & mashed
  • ¼ cup raw honey (or maple syrup)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil (or 3 Tbsp butter for better stickability)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • Extra coconut oil for the pan
  • **
  • Optional Extras
  • Dried fruit (choose sulphite free)
  • 2 eggs (if you can tolerate eggs then you can add eggs for more binding) – obviously if you use eggs you’ll need to bake.
  • **
  • Alternatives
  • Use butter instead of coconut oil if you like the taste and if you can have dairy – butter will bind better.
What to do...
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius.
  2. Combine all the seeds and coconut together and mix.
  3. Remove approximately ¾ of the mixture and blend in a food processor so that all chopped finely (not breadcrumb like but on the way to being like that) then add back to the ¼ mix and combine.
  4. Toast this mixture in the pan on stove top with 1 Tbsp of coconut oil and heat through on medium heat for 5-10 minutes until nicely browned but watch it so doesn’t burn! (This is optional you can use raw but toasted tastes better.)
  5. Combine the banana, honey, coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla and salt in pot on stove on medium and heat and bring to simmer.
  6. Add these wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine well.
  7. Line a large square cake tin or two loaf tins with baking paper and pour mixture in.
  8. Place another sheet of baking paper over the top and then press in so mixture is well compacted.
  9. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  10. Remove and let sit moment then using tea towel or other object press down on the bar to (carefully) compact it.
  11. Place in freezer for at least an hour or until solid.
  12. Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water to cut into muesli bar sized slices or squares.*
  13. Return to freezer for storage (in glass container is best).
  14. **
  15. NB - An option is that after cutting you can return them to oven at 180 degrees celcius for another 5-7 minutes to make them more brown and crispy. This makes them more like "normal' bars. Keep an eye on them to not burn them!

Tips For The Lunchbox

  • Use butter or ghee instead of coconut oil (if your children tolerate dairy) because this will bind the bar together better than the oil.
  • Make sure you really pat down the mixture so it’s compact.
  • Keep in the freezer until last moment before school and send frozen with lunchbox bag with freezer pack to keep cool.