These tasty roasted Paleo muesli bars are crunchy eaten straight from the fridge and a little bit chewy when left at room temperature. They have a hint of a sweet and salty flavour and the drizzle of dark chocolate on top makes them even more delicious. They are easy to make and are ideal for when a healthy snack is needed on-the-go.
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Preheat oven to 150c (fan-forced). Grease a 32 x 18cm slice tin, then line with baking paper leaving an overhang to help when removing.
Add the nuts, seeds and cranberries to a large bowl and mix well.
Add the honey, cashew butter and salt to a small saucepan and gently heat. Stir continually without boiling until you reach a smooth consistency. Pour immediately over the nut mixture and stir thoroughly to coat well.
Transfer mixture to the prepared tin and spread out using the back of a spoon, then use damp fingers to press down firmly.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown, turning the pan once while cooking for an even colour. Remove and allow to cool in the tin until crisp.
Once cooled, lift the slice out using the paper and place on a chopping board. Using a large sharp knife, press down firmly to cut into the slab. Make 3 equal cuts down and 9 across to create the muesli bars or cut to your desired size.
Break the chocolate into pieces and gently melt on the stove. Use a teaspoon to scoop up a little chocolate and drizzle over each bar.
Place in the fridge to set the chocolate. Store the bars in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 10 days.
Almonds have 240mg of calcium in 50gms, as much as is found in 200ml of milk. Nuts are a great protein snack. Eat them raw or activated and it's best to avoid store bought roasted nuts that have been cooked in canola, sunflower or similar vegetable oils. When ground finely almonds make a wonderful nut meal/flour for grain-free baking.
Cashews work well in a paleo lifestyle, as they are so versatile. They can be used to make dairy free milk, cashew butter, cashew cream or sour cream, dips and many more. Where possible, it is best to soak nuts before using to assist with digestion. Eat them raw but in moderation as they are quite high in omega 6. Stay away from store bought roasted nuts that have been cooked in canola, sunflower or similar vegetable oils.
Macadamia nuts are tree nuts that have a subtle, butter-like flavour and creamy texture. The Macadamia tree is indigenous to Australia. Macadamias are full of heart-healthy fats, they have more omega 3 fats than any other nut. They are also rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. There is no need to soak macadamias like many other nuts and they make a very creamy delicious dairy-free milk.
Pecans are a rich source of dietary fibre, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and thiamin. Nuts are a great protein snack. Eat them raw or activated and it's best to avoid store bought roasted nuts that have been cooked in canola, sunflower or similar vegetable oils.
Sunflower seeds have a mild nutty flavour. An excellent snack as they are high in protein, delicious added to smoothies and grain free baking. Sunflower seeds can be finely ground to replace almond and other nut meals/flours in baked goods, substitute ratio 1:1. They are high in Vitamin E. Vitamin E travels throughout the body neutralizing free radicals. Sunflower seeds are also a good source of magnesium, which can help calm your nerves, muscles and blood vessels.
Sesame seeds are found in the pod of the flowering sesame plant. Sesame seeds have a rich, nutty flavour and have one of the highest oil contents of any seed. They provide high amounts of protein and dietary fibre. Sesame seeds are also rich in B vitamins and minerals, manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc.
Choose organic dried cranberries that contain no preservatives (sulphur). Cranberries have a tangy sweet flavour and deliver a big healthy dose of antioxidants. My favourite organic brands are Edan or Dr Superfoods, which can be purchase from health foods stores or online.
Use unrefined or raw honey. It is the most common natural sweetener in my recipes. It's best to buy local unprocessed honey as it has wonderful health benefits and can help with allergies. Generally honey sold in supermarkets has been processed. Honey possesses antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
Cashew butter/spread is made by blending cashew nuts down to make a smooth paste. I also like to add a little pink Himalayan salt and a drizzle of macadamia oil to produce a delicious nut butter. You will find a recipe in my cookbook on page 306. Cashew butter has a neutral taste, which makes it perfect for adding to recipes to give a creamy texture without affecting the recipes flavour. If you are purchasing cashew butter/spread, make sure it contains 100% cashews, with not unhealthy oils, gums or thickeners.
Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.
In some of my recipes I have used Paleo approved dark chocolate drops/chips, they are dairy, soy, and gluten-free (my favourite brands are, 'Absolute Organic' or 'Chef's Choice' certified organic 70% cacao, purchase online or from health food stores). I also used 70 - 85% organic dark chocolate blocks, they can be broken into pieces or melted for recipe. I also make my own chocolate from: cacao butter or coconut oil, raw cacao powder and sweetened with 100% maple syrup, pinch of sea salt and vanilla extract.