Sweet and salty chocolate drizzled healthy nut bars made with few ingredients and a whole lot of nutrition!
If one thing we can all agree with when it comes to back-to-school or anytime life decides to throw you on a thin rope, is that Nut Bars are about as life-saving-neccesity as a floatation device when you are thrown in the water.
Well, maybe slightly less needed (by default) but lets face it, a good batch of nut bars can save us from those ‘hangry’ (hungry + angry) low moments in life when we seem to snow-ball from one bad decision to the next… oh, and the attitude (afff…) I wouldn’t want to be my own friend!
Been there. Done that.
Most of you who know me can agree that I am a pretty chill woman/ mom. Mmm, for the most part I am, with conscious effort and lots of food around me (haha), but when hunger comes, I am no fun to watch. And by that I mean scary!
My guess is that we are all engineered the same way, so no shame there!
Instead let’s stick with what works, like fulfilling and nutritious food that are perfect on-the-go and are lunchbox match made in heaven! ??
Here is a lunchbox idea with my Salted Chocolate Nutty Bars that will surely get the kids (and yourself!) hyper-excited!!
Lunchbox Tips & Tricks
When I pack my kid’s lunches, I like to mix and match flavors and textures to keep their taste buds entertained long enough to finish the whole meal. If you only give them dried crunchy foods, chances are their mouth will get tired of working hard to bread down the hard stuff.
The solution is to balance with soft foods, like berries which also offers a contrast to the salted items, like meat slices. But most importantly make it fun and no, it doesn’t matter how old they are!! Mine are in middle school – high school and they love it when I put in the effort to make it fun!
Truth be told, the same principle applies to grown ups as well. Before I started blogging full time I worked in an office for 10 years and almost always brought in my lunch and snacks for the day. This definitely made a big difference in my health, wallet and mood!
These Salted Chocolate Nutty Bars are made with few ingredients and a whole lot of nutrition to keep you happy and satisfied for longer periods of time. They are perfect to take on-the-go or to keep in the house (preferably in the fridge to avoid getting sticky) for an easy snack to munch on in between meals.
Now I will leave you with my anti-hanger mantra –>> Don’t let hunger catch you unprepared, keep these nut bars at arm’s reach!
- 1 bag 16oz mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, cranberries)*
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds (also called “pepitas")
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup honey (I used this one)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- coarse sea salt crystals
- ⅓ cup chocolate chips
- Pre-heat oven to 350F degrees. Line a 8x11 baking sheet or glass pyrex with parchment paper, allowing for extra parchment to hang on the sides to easily remove the bars.
- In a large bowl add in the first two ingredients (nuts and seeds) and mix to combine.
- In a small sauce pan add in the brown sugar, honey, vanilla extract and pinch of salt. Stir with a
- spatula until the sugar has dissolved and mixture starts to bubble.
- Pour sugar mixture over the nuts. Using a wooden spoon fold to combine. This will quickly become sticky and harder to fold.
- Pour nutty mix into the prepared baking sheet/ pyrex and press it down and into the corners with the wooden spoon.
- Bake in the middle rack for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow it to cool off for about ½ hour.
- Melt the chocolate chips in microwave for 30-35 seconds. Pour the melted chocolate into a small ziplock bag or sandwich bag (right into one of the corners). Cut a tiny piece of the edge/ corner of the zipper bag allowing for a small whole to release the melted chocolate. Drizzle chocolate over the nut bars, then transfer to the refrigerator for another ½ hour or so.
- When completely cooled, remove the entire piece by pulling the parchment paper out, from it’s longer sides. Place it on a cutting board. Using a sharp long knife, cut into half (the long way) and each half into 6 bars, making 12 bars in total.
Recipe inspired by A Spicy Perspective