DIY ZBAR cookies that are just like ZBars! They are naturally vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, and sweetened with dates.
Homemade Healthy Snacks
I am typically wary of any products specifically marketed as “kids food” as they are often loaded with sugar, sodium, preservatives, artificial color and flavors, and all other sorts of gobbledy-gook. Adding insult to injury, the packaging is excessive and replete with an slick advertising overkill.
But exceptions exist, like cheddar bunny crackers (I have probably eat more bunnies than my son and two nephews combined) and unsweetened applesauce in pouches (note: excellent while driving :)).
I also like Zbars, which are made by Clifbar; they feature whole grains, organic ingredients, and are sweetened mostly with dried fruit (figs).
The fact that both companies are in Berkeley, and literally located blocks from where I grew up, probably makes me prejudiced to the products of both companies, too. Might as well lay it all out on the table.
How to Make Copycat Zbar Cookies
Nevertheless, because I am who I am, I decided to make my own from-scratch version of Zbars.
Nick rarely finishes an entire bar, so I decided on copycat Zbar cookies instead. One cookie is just the right size for a treat or snack. I am a fan of crispy edges, too, and you get more of them in cookie form.
I think I’ve nailed it with both the taste and texture. I sweetened the cookies with dates alone, so they are only mildly sweet. The texture is soft, but with those crispy bits at the edges I mentioned.
A Healthy Snack for Kids of All Ages
I cannot think of any reason why these copycat zbar cookies should be limited to children of any particular age; one is perfect for a blood sugar boost right around 4 o’clock (that’s my wilting hour) without the sugar jitters that accompany regular cookies or some energy bars.
Hence, my recommended age range for these zbar cookies is 1 to 130. 🙂
Can I Make the Cookies without Chocolate Chips?
I made this batch with a smattering of chocolate chips, but you can add dried fruit, nuts, seeds…you get the idea. Heads up: almond butter with a bit of almond extract in place of the vanilla is a smashing variation. Enjoy the tweaking!