These seed crunch bars make a tasty snack. There are similar versions on the supermarket shelves, but if you make them at home you can control the ingredients and have various versions according to taste preferences. One of the ingredients is rice malt syrup and I have a bit of info about that below.
- 1 cup of pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1 cup of sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup of sesame seeds
- 6 tablespoons of rice malt syrup
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to about 170 C or 150 C if oven is fan forced.
- Use a slice tray measuring approximately 27 cm x 17 cm and line it well with baking paper, up the sides as well.
- Measure out dry ingredients into a bowl then dry fry in a pan on the stove in batches, until the seeds get a little colour and start to pop a bit. This will take about 5 minutes and is important to get the seeds crunchy.
- Remove seeds from pan and return to a mixing bowl.
- Measure out the rice malt syrup into a small saucepan and heat a little on the stove, as the warm syrup is easier to mix into the seeds. Add a pinch of sea salt to the syrup.
- Pour the warm syrup onto the seeds and mix in well using a spoon ensuring all seeds are well coated.
- Pour the mixture into the lined tray and using a square of extra baking paper, press down lightly on the mix to even it out in the tray and pack it tightly.
- Place it into the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes or when it starts to look a golden colour.
- Remove from the oven. It will still be soft when you take it out of the oven, but will harden as it cools.
- Cool for approx. 1 hour then cut into bite size pieces. Makes about 70-80 pieces depending on the size.
Some reasons why this snack is good for you:
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein and unsaturated fats, including omega-3 and fibre. The fibre in pumpkin seeds may help lower the total cholesterol in the blood and reduce the risk of heart disease. They also contain other nutrients including iron, selenium, calcium, B vitamins and beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. Sunflower seeds are rich in B vitamins, for a healthy nervous system and are a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, protein and vitamin E. They also contain, zinc, manganese, copper, chromium and carotene as well as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids – types of ‘good’ fat that may help to protect the arteries. Sesame seeds are packed with protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E, Omega 6 and monounsaturated fats, while being low in carbohydrates. Sesame seeds are thought to aid digestion, to stimulate blood circulation and help the nervous system.
*Rice malt syrup- is a fructose free ‘sugar alternative’. In this recipe, you can substitute it with maple syrup or other sugar alternatives if you wish, but it’s worth remembering that sugar is sugar even if it is thought to be a better form. However by baking this snack yourself, you can control your own ingredients, so you actually know what’s in your slice. Also, remember that this is meant to be an occasional snack treat (not a meal!) to be eaten in small bite size pieces.