Paleo honey nut bars

paleo-honey-nut-bars
These paleo honey nut bars make a delicious sweet treat that the whole family will love. They’re loaded with nutrition, provide a good source of protein for vegans and vegetarians and are a great way to incorporate a variety of nuts and seeds into the diets of children and teenagers. Scroll down to read more about the health benefits of the various ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups nuts – I use 1 x cup raw/activated almonds, half a cup of raw cashews and half a cup of raw/activated walnuts but you can use whatever you have available or like best
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 4 tablespoons pumpkin seeds/pepitas
  • Half a cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Quarter of a cup of honey/1 third of rice malt syrup if vegan (noting that honey tastes best in this recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil/butter plus a little extra for greasing (or other oil of your choice, noting that coconut oil or butter work best)

Optional additions:

  • 2 dates, finely chopped OR
  • 12 dried sour cherries, cut into quarters OR
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dried fruit of your choice OR
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Line an oven proof baking tin (i don’t have one at the moment so use a small lasagne dish) with greaseproof paper and grease the paper with a little coconut oil (or any other oil will work)
  3. Roughly chop the nuts or place in a food processor with the shredded coconut and blend for around 10 seconds, ensuring that the nuts retain a nice chunky consistency
  4. Transfer to a bowl and add the sesame and pumpkin seeds plus the dried fruit/cacao nibs if including them
  5. Place the honey/rice malt syrup and coconut oil/butter (or other oil if you’re using something different) in a small saucepan and heat over a very low heat until mixed and runny
  6. Pour the sweet mixture over the nut and seed mixture and stir through well
  7. Transfer to the oven proof baking dish that you prepared earlier
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes
  10. Transfer to the fridge and allow to cool for at least half an hour before slicing

Serves 12-18

I make 18 small honey nut bars from this recipe but you could opt for a smaller number of larger bars

Health benefits

Almonds are a superfood in themselves. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, regular consumption of almonds helps the body fight heart disease. They’re rich in monounsaturated fats which have been credited in numerous studies for helping reduce the risk of heart disease and have been linked to helping the body fight LDL (bad) cholesterol. Almonds are rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, particularly when consumed whole (with the brown coating in tact). They’re also a good source of magnesium and potassium.

Like almonds, walnuts are a good source of vitamin E and monounsaturated fats, however they are higher in Omega 3 essential fatty acids. A single serve (30g or a quarter cup) contains 113% of the recommended daily intake of Omega 3. Much research into walnuts has been around they’re positive effect on the body’s cardiovascular system – like almonds they’re also more nutritious when eaten with their skins in tact.

Sesame seeds and cashews are both excellent sources of copper, which the body uses to fight free radicals. Copper has been credited for reducing some of the pain and symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Pumpkin seeds/pepitas are high in minerals, particularly manganese, phosphorous and copper and zinc.

While I try very hard to limit the amount of sugar in my diet, I use raw honey in this recipe as it adds a wonderful flavour and helps bind everything together. Honey has antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant qualities, and the consumption of raw honey made locally is said to help those suffering from seasonal allergies, due to repeated exposure of local pollens.

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