Savory sunflower seed bars – these crunchy, salty, seedy bars are totally addicting, and the perfect sugar-free snack to take on a hike, or send to school with your kids!
Hello my friends,
I’m back from my short vacation, one week gone way too quickly, still not fully unpacked, still dreaming of the warm, blissful sun, the cold drinks with friends on gorgeous beaches, and the exotic sounds, and tastes of Mexico. In a strange way, it feels so far away (did we really go? was it just last week?), yet I definitely feel sluggish and lazy still, having not completely shaken off the slow beach vibes. Whoever thought that 6-day vacations are perfectly normal, probably hasn’t experienced a proper 2-week long vacation.
My theory is that it generally takes about a week just to settle in, get used to the new place, and start relaxing, and only after that, your real vacation begins. Well, at least that’s how Europeans used to do it in the 80s, as I remember. Vacations were mandated in slots of 2-week periods, and even though my parents didn’t have the luxury of choice (they could only go to one or two places, depending on where their employer had a deal) they had the luxury of time!
In our frenzied, fast-paced world, two weeks in one place may seem like a sin, not to mention, that it may sound like a boring prospect to most. But if you, one day, have the time, and the money to afford it, try staying longer at a place (especially if it’s unfamiliar), immerse yourself in the local culture and local ways, try to understand it, and blend in – that’s when you’ll feel that time has stopped, and your vacation has suddenly stretched longer in your mind.
I came back, with a head full of tropical recipe ideas, feeling super excited, and eager to cook and share with you, but that enthusiasm lasted only during the flight back home. We arrived late Saturday night to an arctic-cold California, and I spent the whole day yesterday, halfheartedly ploughing through an insane amount of emails, and chores, but mostly wrapping myself in the warmest clothes I could dig out, and brewing myself cup after cup of hot tea, with all thoughts of exotic food replaced by cravings of hot soup. I definitely didn’t feel like cooking, and even the thought of approaching the sink with its freezing cold water, was repulsive.
So today’s post is a quick and lazy recipe, that doesn’t require almost any cooking time, or dish washing (brrr…) It’s a healthy, and sugar-free spin on the snack bar. This was the whole idea behind the recipe – to create a savory equivalent of the all-too-familiar sweet protein bars which often deliver more than 20 grams of sugar! Even though this one is not too high in protein, it’s full of good fats, and fiber, and is quite filling. It’s the perfect snack to send with your kids to school, or bring with you on a long hike. And if you cut it into smaller pieces, you can also serve it as a cracker with some sort of cheesy spread on the side. It’s toasty, crunchy, salty, and absolutely addicting!
Feel free to mix and match your seeds, and nuts, to make your own creation. I personally love sunflower seeds, and wanted that to be the dominant taste here. The mixture will not stick together much, but once you spread it out at the bottom of your dish, use a spoon to pack it down firmly, and evenly, so it’s about 1/4-inch thick. I used a Pyrex 8-inch square baking dish for this purpose. Freezing the ‘dough’ in one whole piece makes it easier to cut into portions before baking. However, if your frozen dough ends up being hard to cut and crumbles, don’t fret – bake it anyway, and then break it into smaller pieces, to make a sort of savory trail mix, which also happens to be a killer salad topping!
Happy healthy snacking!
Savory sunflower seed bars - these crunchy, salty snack bars, are sugar-free, gluten-free, and totally addicting!
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (I used roasted & salted ones)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
- 1 egg white
- 2 Tbs sunflower butter (unsweetened)
- 1 Tbs nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Mix all the seeds, nuts, and seasoning in a bowl.
Beat the egg white until frothy.
Add the egg white and the sunflower butter to the seeds and nuts, and mix well.
Line a square dish (8" by 8") with parchment paper, or plastic foil. Spread the seeds mixture evenly to the bottom of the dish, by pressing firmly down, until it's 1/4-inch thick. Put it in the freezer for an hour, or more, till it firms up fully.
Preheat oven to 300° F.
Once the dough firms up, take out from the freezer, and cut into 8 rectangles, or other portions.
Bake for 25 minutes, then flip over, and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely before eating.
If you use raw sunflower seeds, add about 1/4 more salt, or to taste.