Park Bark!…or so we were calling it a couple weeks ago. Just look at that Maple Butter – what a pair. Yum. SO, I posted Caramel Apples + Popcorn Balls last week, but really…I don’t have a HUGE sweet tooth. I’m more of a savoury gal. BUT I do love me some chewy, slightly sweet snacks to have on hand. It also makes adding a sidekick like maple butter a pretty tasty option. These gems are full of super seeds, gluten free oats, almond butter, medjool date pieces, and spice. I’ve made up for any lack of sweetness by adding a solid dose of cinnamon, all spice, and cloves – just enough to get the metabolism moving. This is one treat you won’t have to think twice when wanting seconds!
Perfect snack when on the go! They got their name while we trekked around one of the most stunning parks in Canada - Banff National Park. These simple hearty bars were well appreciated while on the road. They curbed our appetites and spiked our energy when we needed it most - you could say we ate a few.
- 1 cup rolled oats *gluten free
- 1 cup raw hulled sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup flax seed, ground
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 1/3 cup hemp hearts
- 1/4 cup sliced blanched almonds
- 1/2 cup medjool dates, chopped *(about 6 whole dates)
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp all spice
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1&1/2 cups warm water
Preheat the oven to 310*F. Line a baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.
*If you want a more 'chewy' result, use just one baking sheet. If you would like more of a crunchy cracker, use two baking sheets, divide and spread out the seed mixture evenly onto both sheets. The mixture won't completely cover both sheets, so just ensure that the mixture is thinly but evenly spread out based on equal portions on both sheets.
Add the rolled oats, seeds, hemp hearts, almonds, date pieces, sea salt, and spices to a large bowl. Stir well. *When tossing in the dates, just ensure they're not lumped together - I usually stir as I'm adding them piece by piece.
Place the warm water in a jar or small bowl. Add the coconut palm sugar and vanilla. Stir well - the sugar will create a bit of a froth.
Add the water/sugar mixture and almond butter to the seed mixture. Fold until everything is evenly coated. Set the bowl aside for about 5mins, and then fold again. There will be some extra liquid but it will continue to thicken.
Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet(s). Spread out evenly, *right to the edges if using just the one sheet, using the back of a spoon or spatula.
Place in the oven and bake for about 40-45mins, depending how hot the oven is running. I test mine by carefully poking close to the centre of the sheet to see if it feels sponge-like. If the edges are browning, that is also an indicator you could be good to go granted the mixture was evenly spread out.
*If you've baked on two sheets, then you'll have a shorter baking time, likely about 10-15mins less. Best to keep a close eye on it.
Remove from the oven, cut into desired size pieces or squares, and allow to completely cool before lifting from the sheet.
Store in an airtight container. Best kept in the fridge and eaten within 5-7days.
~ If you went for the cracker-like option, they should be 'dry' enough to be kept at room temp. Just store in an airtight container or plastic wrap.
~ In the photo used for this recipe, I used just one baking sheet for that particular batch.