I’ve used rice malt syrup to bind the mix together without making it too sweet. If you’re avoiding gluten, check the label as some rice malt syrup contains barley. The syrup is available in health food shops, as are quinoa flakes. The main recipe uses chilli and rosemary, but I've included a plain variation, too.
These seedy slabs are an excellent alternative to those ubiquitous, sugary cereal bars.
- 125 g quinoa flakes
- 50 ml rapeseed oil
- 300 g pumpkin seeds
- 125 g sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½–1 tsp dried chilli flakes, to taste
- 200 g rice malt syrup
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas 3. Line a 19–20cm square baking dish with baking parchment.
Put the quinoa flakes into a large, dry frying pan over a medium heat and toast for a couple of minutes, tossing or stirring them often, until they look and smell pleasingly toasty, but only barely coloured. Tip them into a large bowl.
Put 1 teaspoon of the oil into the frying pan, add the pumpkin seeds and increase the heat a little.
Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, or until the seeds are lightly coloured. Tip the pumpkin seeds into the bowl with the quinoa. Repeat the toasting process with the sunflower seeds, and, once nicely coloured, add to the bowl with the pumpkin seeds.
Add the rosemary and salt to the mixture. Now add the chilli flakes to taste – a full teaspoon gives a serious kick so maybe start with a quarter or half. Mix well. Put the rice malt syrup and the remaining oil in a saucepan and heat gently until the mix just starts to simmer. Add to the bowl with the seeds and mix everything together well. Scrape the mixture into the lined dish, press it into an even layer and bake for 15 minutes or until just golden on top.
Allow to cool completely in the dish, then cut into bars and store in an airtight container. They keep well for several weeks.
Plain seed bars
If the savoury spicy notes do not appeal, or you want something a bit more tea-time friendly, then leave out the chilli and rosemary.
Recipe from Light & Easy by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Bloomsbury, hb, $45.00). Photography © Simon Wheeler.