Sprouted Sunflower Seed Cocoa Bars

May 2nd, 2014

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Paloma and I are leaving for Russia today, and here is one of the snacks I will be bringing for the long flight. Lately, when flying alone over big distances, I’ve been a fan of giving my stomach a break, just drinking lots of water and munching on some carrots and sliced cucumbers. Airplane meals have always given me a stomachache, and I try to stay away. But having a five year old with me is a much different story. I know that Paloma will require a variety of foods to keep satisfied. For snacks, I decided on carrots, apples, local blueberries (the season is here!), kale chips and these sprouted sunflower seed bars.

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Over the years, I’ve become a sprouting fanatic. Knowing how many benefits sprouting or soaking awakens in seeds, nuts, and legumes, I can never bypass the easy and fun process. Recently, I got my hands on unhulled black sesame seeds and was very excited to see how easily they sprouted! As I make most of my nut and seed butters at home, I rarely look at that section in stores. But being so crazy busy with preparing for the trip and the release of the cookbook, I decided to buy sesame tahini instead of making it. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of sprouted everything on the shelves! Even things like Sprouted Pumpkin Seed Butter and Sprouted Chia Seeds – made me happy.

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These bars are fantastic to have at home or take on a road with you. You can also eat them broken up with yogurt or any milk of your preference as a sort of granola for breakfast. You don’t have to sprout the sunflower seeds for this recipe, however the process boosts nutrients, improves the taste and eases digestion if you start with good quality, raw sunflower seeds. I usually buy mine in bulk sections of local health food stores with a good rotation or online (nutsonline.com has superb quality products).

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In other news, we’ve been working on a cookbook trailer (coming soon!), and Cathryn Fowler, who is shooting it, took the photos for this post.
Farewell! I’ll try to keep Instagram updated with some travel snaps.

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Sprouted Sunflower Seed Cocoa Bars
Note: Sometimes make these bars using sunflower seeds only (no buckwheat), or use a mixture of different seeds – sunflower, pumpkin, black and tan sesame, chia, flax and poppy seeds. You can totally experiment with your own favorite combination, just keep the dry to wet ratio according to the recipe.

3 cups dried sprouted sunflower seeds (or just raw sunflower seeds)
3/4 cup cocoa nibs
1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats - soaked in water for a minimum of 1 hour, rinsed and dried completely, or quinoa puffs
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips (I use vegan Enjoy Life) – optional
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
6 tablespoons coconut oil
large pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract – optional

1) To sprout the sunflower seeds, soak them in purified water overnight. Rinse and keep covered with a wet kitchen towel for 12-24 hours, until sprouts become visible, rinsing every 8 hours or so. It’s important not to overgrow the sprouts.
2) After sprouting, dry the sunflower seeds. If you have a dehydrator, place them on a mesh screen covered tray and dry at 115F for 8-12 hours. Or simply spread them on dry and clean kitchen towels or several layers of paper towels and leave to dry completely. In the latter case, don’t wait until sprouts become too apparent before drying, as they will most likely continue growing during the drying period. Changing the towels to dry ones will help speed up the process.
3) Mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a large mixing bowl. Preheat oven to 260 F (130 C). Spread the mixture on a parchment paper covered large baking tray into an even thickness. Score/cut into bars by pressing a knife into the mixture rather then dragging it through. Bake for 1 hour. Let cool completely and break into bars.
I like to keep the bars refrigerated for extra crunch.

Tags: breakfast, chocolate, snack, sprouted, sunflower seed

  • This sounds so delicious. And why have I never sprouted sunflower seeds? I sprout everything else. Thank you for another delicious and thoughtful post!

  • These look delicious! I’m also a fan of sprouted foods and glad to see them up on your blog with a hint of chocolate. Travel eating is the worst. I actually recently addressed this on my blog and posted pics of the bento I packed! check it out!

    http://thatumamilife.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/the-last-bento-dc-je-taime/

  • These bars look so yummy! So much goodness packed in there!

  • Natalia says:

    Beautiful recipe!Thanks for sharing!

  • These look and sound delicious! I’m really enjoying making my own sunflower seed milk at the moment and I think these would make the perfect granola type breakfast with it! Thanks for sharing. Hope you and Paloma have a wonderful time in Russia!

  • Kathryn says:

    Have a great trip! I’m about to do a lot of travelling for work and I could really do with having a batch of these on hand for all the plane journeys so I don’t end up eating all of that junk you find in airports.

  • […] This is what I call wholesome snack. […]

  • Lindsey says:

    i find little else better than a good travel bar! when i went to europe recently i made a big batch that lasted almost the entire trip. i love the flavors going on here – sunflower seeds + cocoa, yum! i hope you and your little one have a wonderful trip. looking forward to your IG snaps! and yay for your cookbook! super exciting!

  • Julia says:

    Hey! Love your blog! Wish you would also sell an e-book version of you book, it looks great! Wish i could get it from here. Keep up the inspiring cuisine!
    From brasil,
    Julia

  • […] Sprouted Sunflower Seed Cocoa Bars – Yum, yum, yuuuuuuuummm […]

  • […] This is what I call wholesome snack. […]

  • […] have other things on my to make list but its not urgent as the ingredients can wait. I want to make these delicious bars (I tried them at my friends house, I think everyone needs a friend who is, if not a nutritionist, […]

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