I have no idea how little kids eat so much! It seems like James is always snacking…and still hungry for more! But with all the junk out there on the market, it can be hard to entice kids to eat the healthy snacks we’d like them to. With one exception: the Perfect Bar. I don’t think James has turned it down once. But there are two problems with that: 1) they’re expensive and 2) their nut butter base means I can’t pack them for school.
Never one to back down from a challenge, I created an allergy-friendly, homemade copycat Perfect Bar using sunflower seed butter. Thus, my Nut-Free Copycat Perfect Bars were born! They’re nutritious, school-safe, and your kids will never know the difference!
I use sunflower seed butter as the main ingredient in Nut-Free Copycat Perfect Bars because it’s school-approved and tastes so much like peanut butter. But like PB, store-bought versions often contain added sugar. SunButter makes a sugar-free version that has just two ingredients (sunflower seeds and salt), which I highly recommend.
I also wanted to give these snacks a protein boost, so I added collagen peptides. Feel free to use whatever protein powder you have at home. Just ear in mind that most contain some kind of sweetener, so you may wish to reduce the amount of honey that’s also in the recipe.
Oat flour is the glue that truly binds this whole recipe together. If you don’t already have some, there’s no need to run to the store! Just put 1c of rolled or old fashioned oats into a food processor and pulse until they turn into a powder. This will take about 60 seconds and yield about 1c of oat flour. Store the extra in an airtight container and use them for another recipe.
I kept the toppings simple on these with just a sprinkle of miniature chocolate chips, but you might also add:
You can also add superfood powders into your mix if you’d like to give your homemade Perfect bars a nutritional boost. Cacao, ashwaganda, maca, and spirulina powders would all be great adds! I recommend adding them a teaspoon at a time, then tasting to make sure you don’t want to adjust the sweetness. This is particularly true if you’re adding mushroom or spirulina powders.
While OG Perfect Bars are best stored in the fridge, they do remain shelf-stable for about a week. That said, they can get rather goopy. The homemade version is no different. To avoid a lunchbox disaster, I recommend freezing your copycat Perfect Bars and removing them the morning you’re ready to eat them. The bar will defrost in your child’s lunchbox (or at your desk) and should remain intact until lunchtime.
If this recipe hits the spot, you might also enjoy my No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites, Peanut Butter Protein Bites, or my roundup of 10 Healthy School Lunch Ideas.
Let me know if you try these Nut-Free Copycat Perfect Bars! Leave a comment, or post and tag @freshandlively on Instagram.
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Homemade Nut-Free Copycat Perfect Bars
These homemade, school-friendly protein bars are an easy, nutritious, less-expensive alternative to the store-bought favorite. Store them in the freezer, then pop them in your child’s lunchbox for a wholesome treat!
- Prep Time: 5 Minutes
- Cook Time: 1 Hour
- Total Time: 1 Hour & 5 Minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
- 1c sugar-free sunflower seed butter
- 1/3c honey
- 3/4c oat flour
- 1/3c collagen peptides or protein powder
- 1/4c coconut butter, softened
- 1/4c mini chocolate chips
- Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Mix all the ingredients except the chocolate chips together in a bowl, stirring until the mixture is uniform in texture.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly to cover the bottom.. If you’re struggling with this step, place another piece of parchment on top of the batter and flatten with your hands to spread it.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the batter and freeze for 1 hour.
- Remove from freezer and cut into 8, 2″x4″ bars. Store in the freezer or fridge.