Homemade Lara Bars

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These portable, sweet treats only require five minutes active prep time, and making them at home is much more cost-effective than buying store-bought. Switch out the cashews for peanuts, pecans, or almonds. Substitute up to 1/4 of the dates for dried cherries, figs, or apricots. For an adult version, add 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips and your favorite hot chili powder. The possibilities are endless!

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Ingredients:

24 oz dried pitted dates
1 lb roasted cashews
hefty pinch salt

Blend dates in food processor until they resemble a sticky, smooth paste. Add cashews, and process until mixture sticks together and forms into a ball. With wet hands, press the dough into a greased 8×8 baking dish. Refrigerate 2 hours, then slice into bars. These will keep up to two days tightly wrapped at room temperature, and up to two weeks in the fridge.

Flourless Whole Grain Bread

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This chewy, versatile loaf is a mainstay at Redbud. It’s chock full of nuts and seeds, making it an excellent higher-protein breakfast option. We like to toast it with pastured butter! Amazingly, the bread holds together without the use of flour! The children affectionally refer to it as “Seedy Cake.”

Pulling it together is a snap – your young child can help mix the dough in the same pan it will be baked in. The dough can rest up to 24 hours before baking.

Ingredients:

1 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds
½ cup flax seeds
½ cup almonds or walnuts
1 ½ cups rolled oats
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/4 cup psyllium seed husks
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup chopped dried fruit (cherries, dates, figs, or raisins work well)
3 Tbsp. MCT oil
1 3/4 cup water

1. In a 8×8 baking dish, combine all ingredients. Smooth the top with a spoon. Let ingredients rest at least 6 and up to 24 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.

3. Place baking dish in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, place it upside down on the oven rack and bake for 20 minutes. Test bread for doneness – it should shound hollow when tapped. Allow the loaf to cool before slicing.

4. Store the loaf in a tightly sealed container for up to a week. It can be frozen indefinitely.

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Slow Cooker Chicken & Veggie Tortilla Soup

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This hearty stew is great for busy weeknights. If you have little helpers at home, they can peel the onion or tear the tortillas into strips!

Ingredients:

2 14oz cans stewed tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
half of a small onion, diced
1 small yellow squash, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
2 cups shredded chicken
4-6 large whole wheat tortillas, torn or cut into strips
2 T olive oil
2 T tomato paste
2 t ground cumin
2 t dried or fresh oregano
1 t salt

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on the “low” setting for 8 – 10 hours. 15 minutes before serving, add the tortilla strips to the soup. Let cook until soft.

Serve with avocado, shredded cheese, or sour cream.