There’s no gluten, dairy, or processed sugar in these energy bars. In fact, no grain at all. My son spends a lot of time in the woods and wanted me to come up with something that could withstand being tossed in a backpack, but he didn’t want any sweetener or grains. (I know. I think he was a changeling, I really do.) I lobbied for a small amount of honey to make the bars sturdier but kept it to a minimum. And do you know what? These are good! Really good. The chia and honey work together to glue all the yummy nuts and seeds together. I also added some dried cranberries and blueberries.
For my first attempt, I used a three-seed mix of chia, hemp, and flax. There wasn’t enough chia to hold it all together well, so I tried again, added more chia, and got it right.
Baking times may vary a little, depending on how thin you spread the mixture, and on your oven. My oven doesn’t hold heat once it’s turned off. It has a fan that blows the heat out, which is a little annoying when I try to make meringues or crackers (things that I want to dry out slowly). So you may have to play with the timing a bit. I also wanted these pretty dry and crunchy; you can give them a shorter bake time if you want them softer.
You’ll probably want to hit a natural-foods market for ingredients. The recipe uses quite a variety, and you can usually buy small amounts in bulk there. Of course, once you’ve tried these you may go back for larger quantities.
|Grain-Free Nut and Seed Energy Bars
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup chia seeds
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup flax seed (or flax/hemp combination)
- 4 cups chopped nuts (I used walnuts, pecans, almonds)
- ½ cup dried fruit (I used cranberries and blueberries)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
- Heat oven to 325 F. Cover a large baking sheet with an 11½ x 16" Silpat (or parchment)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the water and honey.
- Add seeds and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. It should get thick.
- Add nuts and fruit and stir well.
- Spread evenly on the prepared baking sheet, It will tend to get thicker in the middle, so try to smooth it out so the edges are the same thickness.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Flip the bars over. (Either place another silpat and a baking sheet on top and flip the whole thing over, then cut into desired sizes - or cut into bars and flip each one over. Return to oven.
- Reduce heat to 250 F. and bake for an additional hour. Without opening the door, turn off the oven and let the bars sit until cool. (They should be firm. If not, you can bake for additional time at 250 F.)
You may want to have another baking sheet ready. After it’s baked for 30 minutes, it needs to be flipped over. You can place another baking sheet on top and flip (then cut bars and put it back in the oven) or cut bars and flip each one over before returning to the oven. Whichever seems easiest to you. I’m a “flip the whole mess over at once” kinda gal.
See? Wasn’t that easy? Now you can have a healthy snack whenever you need a pick-me-up. Put this on your calendar, because you won’t see something like this on my blog very often.