Thursday, September 2, 2010

Nut & Honey Bars

I've been looking forward to Labor Day weekend for quite some time. Somehow in the midst of having a new baby and adjusting to being a stay at home parent of two under two (for only one more week) it seems to have gotten here faster than I expected.  Labor Day seems to be the gateway to the four most fabulous months of the year.  Nothing's better than a New England fall followed up by Thanksgiving and Christmas.

We were planning on spending this Labor Day weekend camping at the Cape.  I love camping, but since my husband isn't so keen on it we haven't gone in quite some time.  I was looking forward to roughing it for a few days and trying out some new recipes over an open fire.  Alas, some hurricane named Earl seems to be causing havoc on the east coast this week and has ruined our plans.  No camping for us.

In anticipation of our weekend in the wilderness I've been making granola and other easily portable and packable foods.  The other day I came across a recipe for honey nut bars which inspired me to make this recipe.  What could be better to bring along on a hike or to the beach than a homemade protein bar?

This recipe is super easy and is also vegan and gluten free.  A granola bar without oats you may wonder?  Yes, and believe me you won't miss them either. The beauty about these bars is that you can pretty much use whatever type of nuts you have in your pantry. Now how easy is that!

I started out with a cup each of cashews and almonds and a half cup of raw sunflower seeds.

Combine the three in the your food processor and pulse until the nuts resemble the texture of grits.

Next you need your add ins.  For this I used a half cup of copped walnuts, raw sunflower seeds, raisins, crasins, and a 1/4 cup of hemp seeds.  I would imagine flax seeds would be good too but I didn't have any. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

On the stove (or in the microwave) combine a 1/3 cup of honey and sunflower oil and heat until the honey has melted.  Since I've had the same jar of honey (which is now a semi-solid mass) for the past two years this took a few minutes. Once melted, mix your wet and dry ingredients together until the mixture is evenly coated.

Pour out your nuts and honey onto a 9x13 sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Spread out the mixture until it evenly coats the bottom of the pan. The back of a spatula works fine or you could use your hands.

Bake for about 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until the top of the nuts are golden brown.  Be sure not to over bake because you don't want to burn the nuts.  Burned nuts are not a good thing.

Let the bars cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes and then slice into whatever size bars you prefer.  After slicing I pulled the bars out of the pan to finish cooling.  Did you use parchment paper as a liner?  If so, this step will be a breeze.  Once the bars are completely cool store them in an airtight container for up to a week, though I doubt they'll last that long.
See that missing piece?  That's how good they are.  I couldn't even let them fully cool.

Nut & Honey Bars

1 cup cashews
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/2 cup pecans roughly chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup crasins
1/3 cup sunflower oil
1/3 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper leaving a few inches extra on both ends to easily remove bars once they are cooked.

Combine first three ingredients in the food processor.  Pulse until nuts resemble the texture of coarse grits.  

Combine processed nuts and remaining dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.

Add sunflower oil and honey to a small saucepan and heat on low honey has melted.  Pour over dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

Spread mixture into prepared pan, making sure the mixture is evenly distributed and pressed down.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until bars are golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 20 minutes.  Slice into bars, remove parchment and let cool completely.  Bars can be stored in an air tight container for up to a week.

No comments:

Post a Comment