There are certain, unnamed nut bars out there that used to be my favorite go-to snack until one day i realized a) I was spending way too much money on them, and b) they weren't really that great for me health-wise -- they of had a boat-load of sugar, a bunch of filler additives and some things I would have to Google in order to understand why they're an ingredient in my "health" bar. A little under a year ago I tried my hand at making them and discovered that a homemade nut bar is not only better for the wallet, but -- bonus! -- I can totally control what I put into them. Which means less sugar, less sodium, and a lot more of the good, nutritious stuff!
After experimenting with different nuts, dried fruits, sweeteners and spices, it took a couple tries to get amounts correct but soon i had a personal stash of healthful snack bars that cost me about half of what I was spending. They are the kind of thing I make on a Sunday afternoon (or even Saturday) and snack on all week! It's also fun because bars like these lend themselves to so many different flavor combinations, various nuts, spices, fruits, grains, sweet or savory, the list goes on! You can really gear them towards your personal preference. I personally love the combination of dark chocolate, sea salt and roasted nuts, those flavors together totally provide me with a sweet, but wholesome snack that doesn't leave me with a bonkers sugar high.
—Lindsey S. Love | Dolly and Oatmeal
1 tablespoon raw honey
fine grain sea salt
dairy-free chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life brand)
A nub of coconut oil
Flaky sea salt for sprinkling (Maldon is my fave)
In This Recipe
Preheat oven to 350° F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Prepare an 8 3/4 x 12 1/4-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper and set aside for later (make sure the parchment hangs over the side -- this will make lifting the bars out easier later on).
On the large baking sheet, combine the almonds, cashews and walnuts. Toast the nuts in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. In batches roughly chop nuts in a food processor (I did about 4 batches, you don't want the pieces too small or big.) Reduce oven temperature to 325° F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped nuts, buckwheat groats, puffed quinoa, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom, then stir to combine. Mix in the honey and stir for one minute (if your honey isn't runny, zap it in the microwave for a couple of seconds until it runs off the back of a spoon). The mixture will be thick and sticky.
Transfer mixture to the prepared 8 3/4 x 12 1/4-inch jelly roll pan. Use the back of a spatula and evenly press the nut mix down into the pan and all corners. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Place the cooled nuts (still in the pan) in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes -- this makes the process of cutting them into bars easier.
Using the parchment "wings" lift to remove the solid mixture from the pan and place on flat workspace. Using a large sharp knife, cut the bars in half lengthwise and crosswise, cut each section into four bars until you have 16 pieces.
In a double boiler or a heatproof bowl, combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil over simmering water, then stir until melted. Remove from heat and use a fork to drizzle the runny chocolate over bars. Let the chocolate set, then sprinkle with the flaky sea salt.
Store in an airtight container for one week. (If your house runs on the warm side, store in the refrigerator.) Enjoy!
Lindsey S. Love is a food blogger living in Brooklyn, NY with her husband. Her cooking and baking focus on healthful gluten free and dairy free, with occasional vegan recipes. You can follow her at dollyandoatmeal.com for additional recipes.