Oh Brother, Where Art Thou Nut Squares?

The Dave Riedl Nut Bar-- half tray (he was just slumming)

When someone uses the term “binding agent” in a recipe that they recite off the top of their head and it’s broken down into a ratio of ingredients (by carbs, fibre and some other healthy categories that might include kale for all I know) you start to question your own mental catalogue of recipes.

For one thing, the only recipe I know off the top of my head is for whipped cream and I might possibly be able to pull off a meringue.  It dawns on me that I could never survive in the wilderness without an electric mixer and vanilla extract.

But my brother Dave could.  Because through countless trial and error experiments, he has perfected the ultimate portable energy bar.  Not only does it contain delicious nuts and dried fruit, it is chewy without falling apart, and moist without being excessively sticky.  A major concern when mittens or formal wear is  involved.

A quick lick of binding agent

Dave and my nephew were up from Omaha for the weekend and we made a half batch after raiding my mom’s shelves.  The actual recipe/ algorithm is at the bottom of the post.

First you roughly chops the nuts you’re using (we used brazil nuts, almonds and walnuts).  Then add the seeds (pumpkin and sunflower).

Nuts-economically sourced from my mom's stash

Add rolled oats and some wheat germ or ground flax.  (We did not do this but we did have a healthy debate over the need to grind flax and the actual health benefits of wheat germ and how many tbsps is 3/8ths of a cup anyway?)

Toasting the dry ingredients.

While you toast the dry ingredients, you can cut up your dried fruit….

Here comes some Vitamin A

And make your binding agent.  In this case, honey, brown sugar and butter. You need fat to keep the bars soft when baked.

Concocting the Binding Agent-butter and honey

Once you’ve melted everything into a liquid you can add other seasoning.  We added some cocoa and chili powder.  Then you mix in the dried fruit.

Apricots, dates and raisins meet hot, gooey, cocoa liquid.

And then you mix in the dry mixture.  And try not to eat it right away.

A pot of bound-less energy.

And now to flatten it out, and bake for about 25 minutes.  Let cool.

Taming the energy.

And finally you can either eat this as one giant energy bar, (though it is harder to find a decent sized Ziploc for that size of a snack) or cut it up into pocket-size portions.  (Not suitable for bathing suit pockets-best to bury this in the sand while you swim and dig it up after.)

RECIPE HERE. It’s is a good one.

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3 Comments

Filed under All Recipes, Blogs with cooking tips, Ruminations on the Edible

3 responses to “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou Nut Squares?

  1. lisa

    i will definitely be making these.
    elliot loves his ‘bars’ and i’d much rather give him homemade than fork over $4/box for crap. my one past bar effort resulted in a crumbly mess so i’m glad to hear this recipe isn’t too sticky or fall apart-y

  2. Pingback: Dave’s Nutbar Recipe (more thorough than a prostrate exam) | cheese and toast

  3. Pingback: Not to beat a dead nut bar or anything (recipe) | cheese and toast

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