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Bulk Bin Snack Bars

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For those nights when you get home hungry, stressed, and impatient, Hangry is here to help. Each Monday, Kendra Vaculin will share quick, exciting meals that anyone can make -- whether you're in your first apartment or feeding a hangry family.

Today: A sticky, satisfying snack made from the assorted goods you shoveled into a bag from the bulk bins at your local supermarket.

I love supermarkets, but I feel unbridled adoration for bulk bin aisles especially. There is something very satisfying about scooping stuff into bags (see also: pick-and-mix candy stores, my truest love and biggest weakness). Something about getting exactly the amount of an ingredient that you need, so you don’t end up with 7/8 of a box of nutritional yeast that sits in your pantry for all of eternity. Something about 15 types of raisins in a row. Something about paying absurdly less for quinoa than the same amount available in a pre-packaged box. I imagine it is the general store, and for this pound of almonds that I shoveled from a barrel I am trading in a live chicken. Probably that is not historically accurate, but this is a daydream I am having in Whole Foods, frozen in front of the dried mango with a scooper in my hand, deep in reverie, naming my imaginary horse. Anachronism is the least of my concerns.

For example, maybe I should get out of everyone's way.

Also, it is possible that I just need a snack.

More: If you have more of a salty-tooth than a sweet-tooth, make this snack -- no recipe required.

One trip to your nearest bulk bin aisle is all you need to make these addictively crunchy bars, and it takes very little time to turn a shopping basket full of twist-tied bags into a snack you can feel good about. The recipe is endlessly adaptable, so if you’re not down with cherries, all 15 types of raisins are fair game. Try not to eat all of the sticky mixture straight from the bowl. 

Bulk Bin Snack Bars

Makes 20 bars

1 1/2 cups oats
3/4 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup pepitas
1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
1/3 cup ground flax seed
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 cup almond butter

See the recipe (and save and print it) here.

What's your favorite after-work or after-school snack? Tell us in the comments!

Photos by Mark Weinberg

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Tags: Nut, Weeknight Cooking, DIY Food, Dinner, Faster, How-To & Diy