While browsing my local newspaper this past week, I came across a marvelous recipe for a snack bar. The newspaper cited thenourishinggourmet.com as the source of the recipe. I substituted dried cherries for the raisins and added some dark chocolate chips—and truthfully I am having a hard time staying away from these. My local newspaper indicated that you can add or take away any nut, seed and/or dried fruit, but I love this combination. I, also, did not add any additional salt to the recipe (it called for 1/2 tsp), as the nuts and seeds I used were already salted. The original recipe called for 1 tsp of cinnamon. I missed adding the cinnamon to my recipe and found the taste to still be wonderfully delicious. I was busy cleaning my kitchen and allowed the bars to cool longer than the recommended 20 minutes and the honey was too cool to adequately solidify the bars, so my bars were a bit more crumbly and not as pretty as the picture on the website. The nut bars are really very simple and quick to make—and if not crumbly, will be easy to take with you wherever you go for a great energy pick-me-up.
1/2 cup cashews
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup Brownwood Acres Dried Tart Cherries
1/2 tsp salt (do not use, if nuts and/or seeds are already salted)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional, but add if not using chocolate chips)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup high quality coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease with coconut oil a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
For nut flour, place 1/2 cup cashews, cup of pumpkin seeds and cup of almonds in a food processor and grind into a coarse nut flour; be careful not to grind into a paste. Transfer the nut flour to a medium bowl and stir in the sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, dried cherries, salt and cinnamon (if using) and chocolate chips.
In a small saucepan, melt the honey and coconut oil over medium heat, do not boil. Pour the honey/oil mixture over the nut mixture and stir to coat evenly. Press the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.
Allow to cool for 20 minutes, then gently cut and remove the bars. At this point, if they fall apart, they can be pressed back together. Place the bars on a plate to cool further. As they cool they will harden, as the honey acts like glue. After they cool, place in an airtight container.
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