When a friend has had a baby I like to make these bars as a little treat. They are allergy-friendly for most people and a bit more nutritious than a standard slice or biscuit. They also don’t require exact ingredients so you can often make them with what you have lurking in the pantry. I buy a big 1kg tub of tahini from Pak N Save for about $13, which is more cost effective than the smaller tubs and keeps for ages in the fridge. And another bonus is that you can use the tahini for making hummus and other meals and recipes that require a nut or seed butter. But you can also make homemade pumpkin or sunflower seed butter if you have a food processor or high speed blender. Otherwise, a nut butter can be substituted if nuts aren’t an issue.The mixture can also be made up into biscuits, though it is a bit crumbly and requires a littler more time to form into cookies.
Being nut–free, these bars are also a yummy option for a lunchbox treat, and they have better ingredients than store-bought muesli bars. If oats aren’t an option, I have used quinoa flakes for a true gluten-free option. All oats, including ‘gluten-free oats’, contain avenin, an amino acid that contains a similar sequence to gluten protein, which can cause an unpredictable immune response in some people with coeliac disease.
Nut Free Muesli Bars
servings – Makes 16 bars or cookies
1/2 cup tahini*
1/3 cup honey (or maple syrup)
1 cup rolled oats or quinoa flakes (quick oats are fine too)
1/2 cup desiccated coconut (or replace with more oats)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (or sesame seeds)
1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries or cacao nibs or a mix of all three (or 1/3 cup dark chocolate, chopped)
1 tsp vanilla
*If nuts aren’t an issue, you can replace the tahini with another nut butter of choice. Alternatively you can make your own home seed butter from pumpkin or sunflower seeds too. This recipe is for muesli bars using a slice tin, but you can also form the dough into biscuits and bake them on a parchment lined cookie tray. The mixture is a bit crumbly so making biscuits requires a little more patience. You can also add 1/2 tsp baking soda to get a little rise when making biscuits, or just leave the dough as is for a denser cookie.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 12″ X 8″ (29cm X 19cm) slice tin with parchment paper. (Reduce the temp by 20 degrees Celsius if using the fan bake option)
- Place tahini and honey into a mixing bowl and use a wooden spoon or spatula and mix until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well until it is combined.
- Scrape the mixture into the lined tray and use your fingers and spoon or spatula to firmly press the mixture into an even layer in the tin.
- Place into the preheated oven and bake for 16-20 minutes, or until golden. The bars or biscuits will be soft when hot but will firm up as they cool. Score the bars while they are still warm. Once cool, store in an airtight container.
Here is a photo of my biscuit variation using quinoa flakes instead of oats, 90% chocolate instead of raisins, and sesame seeds instead of pumpkin seeds!