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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Carol’s Health Nut Bars

John Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist
Hobby Farms Contributors

Customize Carol's Health Nut Bars recipe with your favorite nuts, just make sure to keep the proportions even. Photo courtesy iStockphoto/Thinkstock (HobbyFarms.com)
Courtesy iStockphoto/Thinkstock
Customize Carol's Health Nut Bars recipe with your favorite nuts, just make sure to keep the proportions even.

We just arrived back to our farm after a spectacular visit to the Seven Springs Resort in Pennsylvania and the Mother Earth News Fair (where BowTie Press was also signing folks up for subscriptions to Hobby Farms and Hobby Farm Home). More than 15,000 people from across the country poured into the mountain resort to learn more about renewable energy, backyard gardens and raising chickens, and we were among the line-up of presenters.

After our “Farmstead Chef” presentation and before our “Sustainable Living Simplified” talk (the organizers really kept us hopping), we had a delightful conversation with fair attendee, Carol Yoder. It turns out, she’s been a farmstead chef her whole life. Before our last talk, she shared with us a small bag filled with her Health Nut Bars. The sweet-salty crunch and energy-packed snack kept us going all afternoon.

Fortunately for us all, she was more than delighted to share the recipe for her Health Nut Bars, which we adapted and shared below to help get you through a sustainable-living or county fair—or a long day of chores on the farmstead.

“You can alter the dry ingredients as long as you maintain the proportions,” Yoder says. “I substitute different nuts to the mix. Just make sure you only have six cups total of the cereal-and-nut mixture or it won’t stick together.”

“I control the ingredients instead of having who knows what in what I'm eating,” she adds. “The texture is also better than in any store-bought brand I've tried.” We couldn’t agree more. And if you make your own sunflower or pumpkin seeds, raisins or honey, you’re really transforming this treat into something that offers a true taste of local.

Recipe: Carol’s Health Nut Bars

Yield: 24 bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown crispy-rice cereal
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup salted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup salted soy nuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup. honey
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preparation
Line 9x13 cake pan with aluminum foil.

Mix together crispy-rice cereal, rolled oats, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, soy nuts, and raisins, then set aside.

In saucepan, combine honey, peanut butter and brown sugar, and heat until melted smooth. Then add vanilla extract and completely blend.

Mix warm honey-peanut butter mixture with dry cereal-nut mixture, and press out in foil-lined cake pan.

Let the completed mixture cool before cutting into 24 bars.

Savoring the good life,

John and Lisa's Signatures

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