With so many processed food products on the market today, it can be difficult to make healthy choices, especially when it comes to snacks, but it doesn’t have to be. I love trying to mimic my favorite food items at home, but in a much healthier manner, and surprisingly they usually come out tasting 10 times better than the store-bought versions!
I decided to try my hands at making honey coconut nut clusters, which make for great protein snack bars without the added chemicals or sugar. The best part about these clusters is that you can pretty much add anything you want into them, and they will come out amazing.
These clusters are probably the best tasting nut bars I have ever had in my life, and they’re so simple to make at home. My recipe is very straight forward, with only a select few ingredients, but you can add anything you like to these.
Some ingredients you may like to add:
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Flax Seed
- Dried Cranberries
- Dried Currants
- Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
- Cacao Nibs
- Ground Ginger
- Raw Honey
- Orange Zest
Soaking Your Nuts & Seeds
It may sound strange, but if you want the most benefit out of these nut clusters, you’re going to want to soak any nuts and seeds in water prior to making this recipe. The reason for this is because nuts contain high amounts of phytic acid and anti-nutrients, which can cause tooth decay and other health issues.
Soaking them in water helps draw out most of the phytic acid and anti-nutrients, which will make the nuts and seeds much healthier. Personally, I would recommend getting sprouted nuts and seeds from Blue Mountain Organics, which are the best way to consume any nuts or seeds, but soaking them in water overnight will drastically improve the health benefits in general.
How To Soak Nuts & Seeds
What You’ll Need
- Raw nuts & seeds (avoid anything roasted or salted, and always look for “raw”)
- Filtered water
- Sea salt
- Large glass bowl
What To Do
- Place your nuts and seeds in a large glass bowl and cover with filtered water. Add in a teaspoon of sea salt and mix together well.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the nuts & seeds soak overnight.
- In the morning, dump all the seeds and nuts into a colander in the sink, and rinse them off well with cold water.
- Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature setting it will go (mine goes to 170ºF). Lay your nuts and seeds out evenly onto a cookie sheet, making sure they are in a flat layer.
- Leave in oven for 10-12 hours, or until most of the moisture has evaporated from the nuts and seeds. You can also use a food dehydrator if you have one.
- Optional: For an added bonus, set your oven to 350ºF, and roast your nuts and seeds for 10-15 minutes after you have removed the moisture.
This step in the process does take some time, but it’s well worth it for the health benefits. You can absolutely skip this step, but I highly recommend doing this process first to ensure you’re going to eat the healthiest nuts and seeds.
Raw Honey Coconut Nut Clusters Recipe
- ½ cup Cashews
- ½ cup Almonds
- ½ cup Pecans
- ½ cup Pumpkin Seeds
- ½ cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- ½ tsp Sea Salt
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg
- ½ cup Raw Honey
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving edges up along all 4 sides.
- Roughly chop your nuts by hand, in a blender, or food processor. Pieces should be about ¼" in diameter.
- Combine all the ingredients, except for the honey, in a large bowl and mix well. Add honey and mix well until all ingredients are thoroughly coated.
- Pour mixture into parchment lined baking pan, and spread out evenly with a spatula, or by hand. Press mixture down well, making sure to get into each corner of the pan.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes in the baking pan. After 30 minutes, carefully lift the bars out with the parchment paper, and flip over onto another piece of parchment paper. This allows the honey to redistribute evenly, and not pool at the bottom.
- If the bars shifted during the flip, press together to reshape back into a square.
- Allow bars to completely cool before cutting. To speed up cooling time, place bars in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- After cooled, cut into 16 individual squares, or about 2"x2" squares.
- Store in a Mason Jar with small squares of parchment paper in between each bar, or wrap each one individually. Keep in fridge and eat within a week, or store in the freezer for up to a month.
Have you tried making your own nut bars at home? What are your favorite combinations?