LPV85: Love and Nut Bars

Finally an episode about love. Kinda.  And bakery.

Music by Wendy Rule "Guided by Venus" and its reprise.

Honey’s Savory Honey-Nut Breakfast Bars

2 and 1/2 cups assorted nuts (store-bought blend or your own blend... Try a half cup each of walnuts, almonds, peanuts, cashews and pumpkin seeds. Whatever you like or can get on sale. Break larger nuts like almonds into smaller pieces, but it’s not necessary to fully chop them.)

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

2 Tbsp sesame seeds 

1 cup cereal (try cheerios, broken bits of pretzel, chex mix or other snack mix like Gardetto’s with the larger bits broken up a little)

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 tbsp coconut oil (or other light oil)

1 cup honey

Optional – 1 or 2 tsp flax seeds, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of another spice you like, maybe cayenne, ginger or something else. (Trust me, the flavor of these bars is fairly mild, not hot at all, so there is room for more spices if you want a bar with more bite.)

Note – This sounds more complicated to make than it actually is.  Give it a try, it’s pretty easy and lends itself very well to improvisation.  We eat these as relatively healthy snack bars or a breakfast alternative when in a rush.

Preheat oven to 300f

Grease one large baking sheet.  Mix nuts, seeds and cereal in large bowl. Toss thoroughly with spices and salt.  In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil over medium heat and add honey.  Stir till oil and honey are both melted (you can cook the mixture a little to caramelize slightly if you like, but do not overcook… simply melting it will do the trick.) Quickly pour the mixture over the prepared nuts and toss thoroughly to coat.  Spread mixture evenly onto baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes (stir every 10min).  Prepare a second, smaller baking sheet or dish with a layer of waxed paper.  Optional - Very lightly grease the top of the waxed paper.

Once baked, pour the hot mixture into the second prepared sheet and press down into an even layer, roughly 1/2” thick or a little more.  Make sure edges are cohesive and there are no gaps in the layout.  You may not need to press it into all corners of the prepared pan, depending on the size you’re using… one edge may end up free-standing, as long as it’s all stuck together.  Dust the top with an extra sprinkle of salt, if desired.  Let it cool until hard (between 30min and an hour). You may want to flip the whole unit onto a second sheet of waxed paper after 30min in order to more easily (and very carefully) peel off the wax paper from the sticky bottom.  Once cool, cut into small bars (about 2” square). Have some greased paper towel on hand to grease the blade of your cutting utensil between cuts to help prevent a sticky mess.  Store in an airtight container, using waxed paper to separate layers and prevent the bars from sticking to each other.