Summary: Have you ever read the labels from the snack/dessert/breakfast bars or 100-calorie bags? Even well recognized brands which claim to be “healthy” add at least 3-5 preservatives to the bars. I encourage you to look at the ingredients. I dare you to find a brand of snack bars that contains less than 10 ingredients. At least in regular supermarkets…they are non-existant. So here is my simplified and pure snack bars/clusters. I used a bag of Planters Trail Mix with nuts, seeds & raisins. As a surprise this bag contained only nuts, seeds, raisins, salt & oil. No extra chemicals or preservatives. So I decided to use this bag as the base for my snack recipe.
1 6oz pack of Mixed nuts, seeds & raisins – I used “Planter’s trail mix”
2 tbsp of honey
2 tbsp of water
*optional: add 1/2 tsp of salt if you want to make the clusters more salty . Applies for any version.
“ADD INS” VERSION
all of the “Simple version” ingredients plus
2 tbsp of flax seeds or chia seeds
1/2 cup of almond slices or more of your favorite nut
1/2 cup of extra seeds (pepita or sunflower)
1/2 tsp of salt
**Note – I did not add any salt or oil into my simple cluster version because the Nut mixture I bought already contained those ingredients. However if you prefer salty snacks, do not skip this ingredient.
Servings: with the add ins this recipe yields 2 cups of nuts which I divided into 6-7 snack servings.
1- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2- Pour the nuts, seeds & raisin mixture into a cookie sheet. Bake for 8-12 min (until the fragrance of the nuts become detectable or they appear slightly browned)
3- Meanwhile, use a large non-stick pan to heat the honey, sugar & water. Set to medium heat and stir until the ingredients become dissolved. The mixture should boil. Turn off and set aside. When the nuts are ready, pour over the honey mixture. Bring the pan back to the stove, and stir frequently until the nuts absorb the honey mixture. This takes about 5 min. How do you know if it’s fully absorbed? Check the bottom of the pan there should be no sticky residue.
4- Line the baking sheet with wax paper and pour the mixture over it. Using a spatula spread the mixture evenly over the baking sheet. If making snack bars try to shape into a rectangle. Let cool for 10 min.
5- When cool, break apart with your hands to create the clusters or use a knife to shape into brittle bars.