We’re gonna start on the simple side…

And awayyyyyyyyyy we go! So I figured I would start things off pretty simply. Just an easy snack to make that doesn’t take too long, but is way tasty and pretty healthy. And wouldn’t you know, I still screwed it up. I was all excited to post about how awesome everything is when I make it (and granted, most of it is), but I have had some epic screw ups along the way that I think will provide entertainment and lessons learned so that you can benefit from my mistakes. I will document what it was that I did, and then I will also make recommendations for what I will do next time. I also have issues with following directions, to include forgetting ingredients, using too many ingredients, not enough ingredients, skipping steps, and adding steps, to name a few. Again, I will tell you what I did, then I will tell you what probably should have happened and what will theoretically happen in the future. With that being said…

PALEO YUMYUM BARS! These tastalicious nut bars are awesome for snacking on when you need a little healthy pick-me-up or are just craving a little sweet and salty goodness.  The recipe goes as follows:

Ingredients:

1/2 c. cashews

1 1/2 c pumpkin seeds

1 c sunflower seeds

1 cup raisins or dried berries

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup of honey (or agave)

1/4 cup coconut oil.

EDIT: I forgot that there needs to be coconut flour or shredded coconut to help bind them together. Add about a cup to this recipe and it should work better. Sorry-Cassie

I can tell you right off the bat that I completely forgot sunflower seeds, had less pumpkin seeds, more cashews, and I added almonds. See? It starts early in the process with me. But continuing on…

So lube up a 13×9 dish, or 2 9x9s if you’re cool like me, with some coconut oil and preheat the oven to 350 (or 375 if you want them a little more golden and actually stick together

once all is said and done) Take 1/2c-1c of cashews, 1/2c pumpkin seeds, and about 1c of almonds and rough chop them in the processor (I don’t like whole nuts in the bars, I prefer them to be broken up…but this is your call). Put them into a big mixing bowl.

Take approximately the same amount of nuts, plus sunflower seeds if you have those, and put them into a processor and grind them into a coarse nut flour. Pour all of that into a bowl. Once all the nuts and nut flour is in the bowl, add the dried berries (I used cranberries and blueberries…but go nuts with the combo potentials), the cinnamon and the salt.

I am terrible about actual measurements, so I toss in what looks right, which somehow usually turns out ok. But if you’re a stickler for recipe directions, then by all means use the prescribed measurements.

In a small saucepan, melt the honey (I used agave) and coconut oil until its all mixed up and awesome, then pour it over the mixture in the bowl. Sidenote to this…if you use more nuts, or deviate much from the above recipe, I would recommend doubling the oil and honey amounts. If you don’t, its likely to not stay formed when its all done cooking and cooling. Mine did not. They still taste awesome as crumbly goodness, but some actual bars that stayed together would have been even more fantastical, which I could have then broken up on my own to use as I saw fit. I’m not sayin you gotta do it, I’m just sayin its what I’d do…you decide.

Mix all the awesomeness together until its a big, sticky, nutty conglomeration and then put it into the casserole/baking dish of your choice.

At this point, I must stress the need to pack it down as much as possible. Get your hands dirty and press it down hard. I used two dishes so that I could make it thinner overall and hopefully get it to stay together (it didn’t work, but I hoped it would and foresee it working in the future…also, my first venture into this was not successful, so I tried an alternate approach). Once its pressed in, put it in the oven for 20 minutes or until its golden brown on top.

Once its done, let it sit for at least 20 minutes. If, Lord willing, yours sticks together and maintains its shape, cut it into bars, gently remove from the dish and let it cool some more on a plate. Now, it may still fall apart, but you can press it back together and it should be good. My biggest addition to this, for the next time, will be bacon. I love bacon, as should everyone else, and I think the sweet/salty combo may just make these the best things ever. If it works out, I will let you know, but I would highly recommend this amazing addition.

So that’s the first real post from the NomNomNinja. I hope you enjoy it, as I and my classmates have. Feel free to comment with changes you all make, because I am always up for new variations to keep things lively. Let the Qulinary Kickassery commence!

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