Dick and I watched a cardinal at a feeder in our yard busily crunching black oil sunflower seeds. He paused ever so briefly to acknowledge our gaze and tell us, "Go to your kitchen. You have your own seeds there." And he was right. Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, and flax. And oats.
I chose a recipe titled "Chewy Fruit Seed and Coconut Bars" from The Taste Traveller Blog, which came from a blog called Weelicious where it had been named "Fruit and Seed Bars." The bars' ingredients are reminiscent of a wild bird seed mix called Nature's Banquet Blend which includes millet, sunflower hearts, cracked corn, safflower seed, peanut pieces, and thistle seed, so I dubbed my recipe "Nature's Banquet Bars." Peanut butter, coconut oil, and honey bind the seeds together. I chose to place some raw mix in a jar to scoop and eat as the urge strikes. I also followed the recipe's directions and pressed the mix into a pan to bake and cut into bars.
Nature’s Banquet Bars
1 cup old-fashioned oats
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
½ cup raw sunflower seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 to 3 tbsp flax seeds
1 cup dried fruit (e.g., cranberries, raisins, chopped apricots, currants) I used ½ cup.
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/3 cup honey (I used ¼ cup.)
1 tbsp coconut oil
½ cup sunflower butter (I used ¼ cup peanut butter.)
Preheat oven to 325°. In a food processor, pulse the first 7 ingredients until finely chopped (some can be coarsely chopped). Add the honey, coconut oil, and sunflower butter and pulse until starting to combine. Press the mixture into a lightly oiled 9X9 inch pan lined with parchment paper. (The oil prevents theparchment paper from shifting.) Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool before cutting with a serrated knife into granola-shaped bars or squares. Note: The reduction of honey and nut butter will result in a bar that is a bit more crumbly, but… just go with it.