I longed for the delicious 7 layer bars that my Grandma used to make every holiday.
Trying to be sure I got one before they were all gone was always a challenge, but I managed!
I loved the graham cracker crust, the ooey-gooey sweetened condensed milk, the melty chocolate and the crunchy nuts that dotted the tops. They were decadent.
Choosing Whole Food Over Processed Food
Since changing my diet and lifestyle and ditching processed foods, refined, sugar, conventional dairy and glyphosate laden, gut damaging grains, I simply just couldn’t eat the bars that my Grandma made anymore. They didn’t make me feel good, created aches and pains and the sugar would cause a major insulin rush leaving me with an energy crash afterward.
A Healthier 7 Layer Bar with Superfood!
Because I craved this 7 layer bar dessert so much, I decided over the holidays to recreate a healthier version I could have that doesn’t contain any of the top food allergens and has a good amount of high-quality fat and protein in them.
This decadent dessert was a hit with my whole family!
I literally had to be sure to only make one batch because I knew I would eat the entire pan if I made another. How’s that for self-control?
As much as possible, I try to be mindful that everything I put into my mouth will fuel my body with vitamins, minerals, good fats and fiber rather than deplete my body. In trying to maintain healing from chronic illness, it truly is crucial to be intentional about everything we eat. And yes, that includes healthy treats too!
To increase the nutrition in these Superfood 7 Layer Bars, I added dried goji berries, chia seeds, ground flax and hemp seeds.
Let me share with you about the nutritional benefits of each of these superfood ingredients.
*One caveat to note before I share the details is that all nuts and seeds that are consumed are best when soaked and sprouted first. This allows them to be more easily digested and the nutrients to be more bioavailable to your body. You can learn more about soaking and sprouting in my 30-Day Leaky Gut Healing Protocol.
These are anti-inflammatory superfruits and are high in fiber. They also contain a decent amount of plant-based protein. Goji berries contain higher levels of vitamin A and C and lots of phytochemicals including lycopene and lutein. These berries can improve skin health and boost moods. This superfood is best when enjoyed in moderation.
High in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and has iron, zinc, vitamin B3 and C in smaller amounts. These seeds contain much more fiber than whole grains and contain great antioxidants and flavonols. They aid in intestinal health due to the mucilage content. Great to enjoy in moderation if seeds are tolerated.
Flax Seeds (Ground)
These seeds contain fiber, mucilage, and minerals manganese and magnesium as well as B vitamins like Thiamine. They contain ALA (an Omega 3) which is extremely anti-inflammatory and cooling to the body. Flax is a wonderful support for healthy cholesterol levels. It also helps to promote healthy digestion when consumed in moderation. *If you have had estrogen-based cancer, it’s a good idea to leave flax out of your diet.
Not to worry – hemp seeds do not contain any THC or psychoactive components. Those are only in the leaves and flowers of this plant. These seeds (or hearts as they are called) are rich in GLA – a building block for anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. They are high in fiber, support digestive health and gut motility and can improve skin, hair and nail health. Hemp seeds are a heart-healthy seed that has a perfect balance of Omega 6 and 3’s in them.
7 Layer Bars with No Grains
As I mentioned above, these bars don’t include any form of grain or gluten. That means that the graham cracker crust isn’t really made of graham crackers! The cool thing is that it still tastes like graham crackers.
When I bake and cook, I am a bit of an eclectic. I like to add and delete items I don’t like and pull from one recipe and add to another or just experiment with what I like.
For the grain-free crust for this recipe, I didn’t create it. I wish I could say I did and I thought about recreating it but I decided it was already great so there was no reason to recreate my own version. With that, the crust portion of the recipe is from Alaena Haber in her Sweet Potato Pie Cheesecake recipe which has been a staple during our holidays for years now.
Important Ingredients for these Superfood Bars
Coconut Flour is a very versatile flour to use in grain-free baking. I purchase this brand in 4lb bags and store it in glass containers so we are never out of it.
Arrowroot Powder I purchase at Thrive Market for 30% off retail price.
Coconut Sugar I also purchase at Thrive Market for 34% off retail price.
Allergen-free Delicious Chocolate Mega Chunks are an integral part of this recipe. I purchase these at Thrive Market for 30% off retail prices. We always have bags of these on hand for baking.
Organic Goji Berries can be pricey which is why I like to use Thrive Market for this pantry staple. We use them on our dairy-free parfaits in the morning too.
Dairy-Free Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk is not a common ingredient. I have only found it at Thrive Market. It’s a must-have for this recipe.
Gelatin is an important component in the crust and I get it at Thrive Market. One red can lasts me for over a year.
Shredded Coconut The only place I have ever bought my coconut products, like dried coconut, coconut oil, palm shortening, etc. is from Tropical Traditions. They are also called Healthy Traditions.
Feasting On Joy Superfood Seed Blend I make up big batches of this seed blend that I keep in the refrigerator for use on breakfast foods, parfaits, in smoothies and for baking.
Superfood 7 Layer Bar Recipe
- ½ C. + 2 Tlbs. coconut flour
- 2 Tlbs. arrowroot starch
- 2Tlbs. coconut sugar
- 1 Tlbs. grassfed gelatin
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
- ½ C. softened coconut oil (not melted or solidified)
- 2 Tlbs. honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¾ C. shredded coconut
- 1 C. Dairy, soy, nut free chocolate mega chunks
- ½ C. dried goji berries
- 3 Tlbs. Feasting On Joy Superseed Blend (1 Tlbs each Chia, Flax, Hemp)
- 1, 7.4 oz. can of Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine crust ingredients together.
- Press crust into an 8 x 8 glass or ceramic baking dish
- On top of the crust, layer, in this order, the remaining ingredients - shredded coconut, chocolate mega chunks, goji berries and sprinkle superseed blend over all.
- Open can of sweetened condensed coconut milk. If it has solidified, scoop all of it out into a microwave safe bowl or sauce pan for the stove. Melt it until it's pourable.
- Pour sweetened condensed coconut milk over the top of the ingredients in the 8 x 8 baking pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes in the oven.
- Let cool and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight for best results when cutting.
Desserts Can be Healthier!
Just because you crave something sweet doesn’t mean you need to cave and eat an ultra-processed dessert or a glutinous sweet that will create bodywide inflammation. Try these Superfood 7 Layer Bars for your next get together. Your company will love them. I promise! If you make these, I’d love for you to rate them 5 stars on this post!
Sonya Rottman says
Jennifer these sound so yummy! I love that you’ve transformed this classic family favorite into something healthy. A must try for sure!
I am going to try making this dessert this weekend! Yum.
Yay! I am so glad Denise. I hope you all enjoy it!