Do you ever feel yourself craving something crunchy and sweet to snack on? You’re probably craving something thats not the best for your health, you may reach for the biscuit or lolly jar in this situation. Or, you may just be feeling peckish and want a satisfying snack. These “Pumpkin crunch” bars are the perfect snack in this situation. They are a replacement for muesli bars, which can be loaded with many hidden sugars, artificial ingredients and flavours, refined ingredients and really in the end this “healthy” snack can be worse san some of the junk foods out there, and i’m not even talking about the yoghurt or chocolate coated varieties.
These bars are crunchy, sweet and filling! They are filled with a few very simple natural ingredients, it’s so easy to make. The bulk ingredients of the recipe are pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. The fat and protein content of the seeds keep you feeling fuller for longer, as does the fibre. Unlike a muesli bar, you wont feel the need to reach for that second or third serve. They keep you sedated as they are filled with an abundance of nutrients and not empty calories.
Pumpkin seeds have some amazing health benefits. Just one-quarter of a cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium. Magnesium participates in a wide range of vitally important physiological functions, including the creation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the energy molecules of your body), the synthesis of RNA and DNA, the pumping of your heart, proper bone and tooth formation, relaxation of your blood vessels, and proper bowel function. They are also a rich source of zinc, which is important for immunity, cell growth and division, sleep, mood, your senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health, insulin regulation and male sexual function. Pumpkin seeds are one of the best plant sources of omega 3 fatty acids which is essential for our health. On top of this, they are an excellent source of manganese, phosphorus, copper, iron and protein as well as the magnesium and zinc mentioned before. Did you know that you can roast the pumpkin seeds that come out of your pumpkin when you cut it? It makes for a nice, cheap and healthy snack!
Sunflower seeds are just as beneficial as pumpkins seeds. They are an excellent source of vitamin E, which is the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E travels throughout the body neutralizing free radicals that would otherwise damage fat-containing structures and molecules, such as cell membranes, brain cells, and cholesterol. They are also an excellent source of copper, vitamin B1, manganese, selenium, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin B6, folate and vitamin B3. Wow! Now you can see why they are so good for you.
With only 5 simple ingredients, these bars are a tasty and satisfying snack that anyone will enjoy. You can easily take them to school, work or uni or even crush them up into chunks and combine them with some fruit and dairy free milk and eat for breakfast!
- 1 cup Pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup Sunflower seeds
- 2-3 tbs poppy seeds (Or sesame seeds)
- 6.5 heaped tbs Rice Malt syrup (can sub for maple syrup)
- 1 cup Puffed Quinoa
- Combine all ingredients into a large bowl, pour over rice malt syrup and with your hands mix everything together ensuring all the ingredients are combined and covered in the syrup.
- Pour the mixture into a tray lined with baking paper. Place in a very low oven (110ºc) for 1 hour and 15 mins. Check regularly, you may need to turn them over for the last 15 minutes to make sure the back is cooked. You want them to be dried out and crunchy, not burnt and overcooked.
- Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes before cutting. The mixture will still be soft when you take it out of the oven, but in time it hardens up.
- When completely cooled down, cut and enjoy!