Candied Nuts and Seeds


It's true, obesity, ADD/ADHD, autism, allergies, cancer and autoimmune diseases are on the rise in children living in the United States.  As a mother and educator this does not sit well with me.  Real food not only prevents disease, but it can dramatically lessen symptoms, and in many circumstances, heal.  

After working 3 years in the schools, the decision was made to make all lunches for my family as long as our children would choose strawberry milk and Bosco sticks outside of our supervision.  Today, with 2 in school, I'm shocked to hear from them they ALWAYS want mom to make their lunch.  While there are definitely weeks where I'd give a lot not to care, making lunches is a small thing I can do to help my babies thrive.  

Candied Nuts and Seeds was born from the realization that children unite when it comes to having a love for sweets.  They especially love snacky treats they can carry in a bag and crumple up to shove in their pockets.  While raw nuts alone are insanely full of macro and micronutrients our bodies need, they seriously lack in satisfying flavor and crunch their packaged food rivals have to offer.  The best way to eat these is in a small bowl alongside some delicious fruits and veggies "of course"--as my 3-yr.-old would say!

Candied Nuts and Seeds

By Audrey Byker Health Coach

6 cups of raw nuts and seeds of your choice (cost makes the decision for me)

2 Tbls coconut sugar

1/4 cup melted coconut oil or ghee

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt (or to taste)

A sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Add nuts and seeds to large bowl.  Combine remaining ingredients then pour over nuts and seeds. Stir and toss well to coat.  Spread on large baking sheet.  Place in oven then set timer for 15 min.  Toss and shake around every 15 min. for 45 min. bake time total.  I keep setting my timer so I can multitask without distraction!  Cool completely then store in an air-tight container at room temp. or freeze for 6+ months in Ball jars.  I've never had them sit longer than a few days!


Cleaned up Scotcharoos


Way back, when I started feeding my sweet little Savannah solid foods, I can oh-so-clearly remember really questioning the package labels like I never had before.  Sure, if you read my story you know I definitely read food labels, but it wasn't until my innocent baby sat in my arms I, then, started looking at them differently.  The pediatrician prescribed baby rice cereal, but when I read the label on the box recommended to me, I could not help but wonder if it was truly rice I was forcing down her.  Shortly after a few successful attempts, it was no surprise that after many months of no issues on breast milk, she now developed constipation.  The next prescription was to then administer prune juice or a stool softener (or both) after the rice cereal.

Now, call me crazy, but my mommy radar went a little nuts.  We love our pediatrician. We love Drs.(and nurses, hospitals, surgeons...Of course), but this just simply did not compute. My baby was now suffering and I created every bit of it.  Instead of me pounding myself to the ground with mom guilt, anxiety and panic, I trusted my creator and started making my own baby food (and feeding her after she nursed if she was still hungry).  I cooked brown rice.  I mashed it up.  I thinned it with breast milk.  My baby girl thrived.  

Fast forward 7 years and we're still eating brown rice together (and thriving)!  The only difference now is we are making treats instead of mashed up breast milk (can you even imagine?!)  When I asked Savannah if I could dedicate my next recipe post to her she didn't even hesitate and squealed "Scotcharoos!!!!".  This puffed brown rice dessert-looking goodness offers nutrition and health in every bite.  The raw honey and nut/seed butters' benefits are far too expansive to even begin to list.  As the two chocolate-loving ladies in the house, this treat is our staple.  Consider yourself warned: when you add-in more real food, your guts will feel soothed, your tastebuds alive and a little bit will satisfy even the sweetest of sweet tooths.  

Cleaned Up Scotcharoos

by Audrey Byker Health Coach

1 cup raw honey(local, even better!) 

1 cup natural peanut butter(or natural nut or seed butter of choice)

7 cups brown rice puffs

1 cup raw or roasted seeds(we use hemp and sunflower)

1 cup dark chocolate chips(Enjoy Life, Ghirardelli, or Costco, in that order) 

1 tsp coconut oil. 

In small saucepan bring honey to low boil then boil for 1 min.  Remove from heat. Add PB, stir well. Add warm mixture to rice puffs and stir well. Press into a 9x13 pan, press down to flatten with silicone spatula or damp fingers.
Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in double broiler or microwave, in 30 sec. increments. Stir well until smooth.  Drizzle and/or spread over bars. Cover and freeze briefly to set. Store at room temp or fridge, cut into squares.