Have you tried making your own hiking nut bars? These are tastier than supermarket bars, and easy to make. Consider this a method, rather than an exact recipe, as you can experiment and vary the nut and seed mix in creative ways to make a variety of different nut bars.
- 450g raw nuts – a mix of your choice. Try pecans, walnuts, macadamia, almonds, cashew nut, hazelnut, etc. I use the nuts whole, but you can chop them if you prefer small nut pieces.
- 125g seeds – a mix of your choice. I use mostly sunflowers, pepitas and pine nuts, and toss in sesame seeds and perhaps some chia seeds if I have them to hand. I’ve also tossed in coconut, finely chopped naked ginger, and cranberries into this mix. Not all of these at once though!
- 125ml rice malt syrup. You could substitute honey, but the chemistry of the sugar is different which may impact how the bar sets.
- 80ml maple syrup
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- Optional: 200g cooking chocolate (40% cocoa)
- Line a slice/browning baking pan (mine is 27.5 x 17.5cm) with baking paper, ensuring the paper overlaps the edge so you can easily lift the slice out later.
- Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven to roast for 8 minutes at 200° C.
- While the nuts are roasting put the rice malt and maple syrups and pinch salt in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Continue boiling until the syrup reaches 125°C (260°F, hard ball stage) using a candy thermometer to measure.
- Toss the roasted nuts and seeds in mixing bowl.
- Working quickly, take the hot syrup off the stove, add the vanilla to the syrup, and tip into the nut and seed mix, stirring to combine evenly.
- Quickly tip the mix into your prepared pan and flatten it down firmly. To flatten it, either use a drinking glass (spray with cooking spray first so it doesn’t stick) or firm down with your hand using some baking paper as a heat and stickiness protection barrier.
- Let the bars cool for abut 20 minutes, then carefully lift the slab out the pan and cut into bars. Should make at least 20 bars, depending on what size bar you prefer.
- Optional: melt 200g of cooking chocolate (40% cocoa) and spread on top before slicing into bars.
- Store with baking paper between the layers either at room temperature or in the fridge.
I did a cost calculation, using my quality ingredients, and compared by weight to a 32g supermarket bar that was made from peanuts, glucose syrup and other ingredients your grandmother would not recognise. To my surprise, my homemade bars were quite a lot cheaper. And certainly nicer!
Got any good hiking snack recipes to share?