Turn Van’s Simply Delicious PB&J Bars into cute Gluten Free Beach Themed Party Treats. Each “sandy beach” bar is topped with a sweet little starfish and will make wonderful snacks at your summer party. This post is sponsored by Van’s Simply Delicious.
When I created all the desserts for my nephew’s Beach Themed Graduation Party, I didn’t take into consideration the number of party guests who are on gluten free diets.
Honestly, it didn’t even cross my mind. I was making desserts for 150+ guests, and I hadn’t made one single treat that was specifically gluten free. Fortunately, there were a few treats on the dessert table that were naturally gluten free or quite a few guests who have Celiac Disease would not have been able to enjoy a dessert.
Needless to say, I will now be so much more aware of this and be sure to create more gluten free recipes.
After the party, I spoke to a friend who maintains a gluten free diet, and she suggested I try some of Van’s Simply Delicious products. She and her family really enjoy their snacks and she really appreciates the standards the company upholds. They use only clean, simple ingredients that are nutritious and delicious.
At the same time, she was recommending the product, I was presented with the opportunity to create this sponsored post using Van’s Simply Delicious products which are available at Meijer.
The timing couldn’t have been better.
I was able to find the snacks at my local Meijer store. Although my store does have some gluten free snacks scattered throughout the snack aisle, all of the Van’s Simply Delicious products were all together in one gluten free section. There was a nice selection of chips, crackers, cereals, granola, and bars to choose from and I filled my cart with several boxes.
To be honest, I haven’t loved many gluten free products I have tried in the past, but was happily surprised with the flavor of Van’s snacks. My favorite being the PB&J bars and the Honey Crunch Cereal. They had a really nice texture and wonderful flavor. I could definitely see adding these to my regular snack selection.
Gluten Free Beach Themed Party Treats
I thought it would be fun to use them to create a gluten free beach themed treat. The PB&J Bars are soft and chewy, and when topped with all natural peanut butter and some cereal crumbs, made the perfect little patch of sandy beach.
To make my little beaches come to life, I wanted to add a sea creature and chose to make starfish because they are often found on the beach.
By blending a PB&J bar with some peanut butter, dates, and dried cherries, I got a really flavorful, soft dough that could be shaped into a cute little starfish. I attached two candy eyes and my beach scenes were complete.
These treats are so easy to create, look festive enough for a party, but are easy enough to make for an afternoon snack.
To make the power bar dough for the starfish, simply pop one PB&J Bar into a mini food processor or blender along with dates, dried cherries, and peanut butter. Pulse until you get really fine crumbs.
When you scoop out some of the crumbs, you should be able to squeeze them and they will hold together.
Then squeeze all the crumbs together into a disc and flatten that out to about 1/4 inch thickness.
Use a small 1 1/2 inch star shaped cookie cutter to cut out 9 stars. When you get to the last bit of dough, just push it into the cutter, then lift the cutter up and off the dough.
Once you have your stars cut, pinch the points on each star to better shape them into starfish.
To create the sandy beaches you’ll need to crush some Honey Crunch Gluten Free Cereal into fine crumbs.
Spread peanut butter over top of the PB&J Bars then sprinkle them with crumbs.
To make the starfish come to life, dab a bit of peanut butter on the back of a candy eye and press it onto the starfish.
Then attach the starfish to the sandy beach bars using more peanut butter.
You can store these bars in an airtight container for up to a few days if you are making them for a party or they can be eaten right away.
How fun would these gluten free treats be to pack up and bring to the beach?
- 10 Van's Simply Delicious Gluten Free PB&J Bars
- 2 dates, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dried cherries
- 1/3 cup peanut butter, divided
- 18 candy eyes
- 1/2 cup Van's Simply Delicious Gluten Free Honey Crunch Cereal
- Unwrap one of the PB&J bars and put it into a mini food processor or blender along with the chopped dates, dried cherries, and 4 teaspoons of the peanut butter.
- Pulse until really well chopped.
- To test if it's chopped enough, squeeze about a tablespoon of the mixture in your hand and it should stick together.
- Dump all the crumbs out onto your work surface and squeeze together into a flat disc.
- Flatten the disc of dough out to 1/4 inch thickness.
- Cut out 9 small stars using a cookie cutter, reworking the dough as needed.
- Pinch the points of the stars to look more like a starfish.
- Attach two candy eyes to each starfish using peanut butter.
- Brush a teaspoon of peanut butter over each of the remaining PB&J Bars.
- Crush the Honey Crunch Cereal into fine crumbs.
- Sprinkle crumbs over top of the peanut butter coated PB&J bars.
- Spread a small amount of peanut butter onto the backside of a starfish and press it into the sandy cookie crumbs.
- Repeat, creating a total of 9 sandy beaches topped with a starfish.
If you are looking for some tasty gluten free snacks, I highly recommend Van’s Simply Delicious products. Even though I do not have to eat gluten free snacks, I was really pleased with the flavor of the items I purchased and would happily snack on them all the time.
If you’ve not tried their products before be sure to check with your local Meijer for a schedule of their in-store sampling. To promote Celiac awareness , Van’s Simply Delicious products will be available to sample at select Meijer stores soon.
I was compensated by Van’s Simply Delicious to create this recipe and share it with you, but all the opinions expressed here are my own.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Van’s. The opinions and text are all mine.