Maple-Toffee Sunflower Seed Brittle
High Energy Raw Fusion Snack, Breakfast Bar, or Sweet & Savory Treat
On my 5th batch already! So surprisingly popular, people are requesting these as birthday gifts…
I have to admit that this delectable recipe is the result of a serendipitous mix-up! How it started: I bought some of Trader Joe’s maple toffee sunflower seeds infused with rosemary and thyme and my husband really liked them for a snack. So, my next thought was: Let’s find a way to make these as raw/healthy as possible. Intending to first soak the sunflower seeds and sprout them (which enhances the bio-availability of the nutrients!) I poured out my supply of dry raw sunflower seeds in a bowl. Thinking that I might as well make more, I started adding from another mason jar and forget that some time ago I had accidentally mixed up sunflower seeds in a jar with dried lentils. It would have taken Cinderella’s birds to remove all of those lentils, so I decided to “go with it” for this first run.
To keep this vegan and low on sugar, I used Lucuma, a Superfood powder that is made from a small South American fruit that has a very caramel-like flavor. I also added some mesquite, another superfood made from an edible pod, that tastes a lot like maple. Maple syrup is the only ingredient in this recipe that is NOT raw – so this is a true Raw Fusion creation!
These came out more like brittle than the loose maple-infused sunflower seed snack by TJ’s! And they make absolutely awesome energy bars!
I soaked the seeds and lentils for about 8 hours and then sprouted them lightly (see this video to learn how) in a paper-towel-lined colander. No need to wait for a full sprout – the sunflower seeds will crack at the round end and the pointed end will elongate. The lentils will start to crack and you may see a tiny sprout on some of them, but they are ready to go, as is. You can kind of see this in the photo below.
Not only are these now everyone’s favorite snack (there’s something about how the savory herbs balance out the sweetness of the maple and lucuma) they are incredible energy boosters! My goddaughter was just inducted into the police academy. I gave her a bag from my first batch and she ate them on days they didn’t let them break for lunch, claiming that they totally sustained her for the intense physical workouts. A dear friend, Kelly Murphy, also found them very energy-sustaining; She is training to do a solitary bicycle ride from Tampa to New York City starting August 9th to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer.
I love them plain, but you can make some chia raspberry jam as a topping for a breakfast treat. Students from my Natural Wellness Academy suggested that I dip some in raw chocolate fondant and then chilled to make the photograph more appealing. Great idea!
These DO need to be dehydrated on non-stick sheets. They will take about 2 days. I suppose you can make a semi-baked version on silpat sheets in a low temp oven.
Maple Toffee Sunflower Seed Brittle
makes 2-3 trays
2 cups raw sunflower seed kernels
1 cup dry green lentils
1/2 cup organic maple syrup
1/4 cup lucuma powder
1-2 tsp. sea or himalayan salt (start slowly and add more to taste!)
1 TB. alcohol-free vanilla
2 TB. fresh rosemary leaves (pull off the stems)
2 TB. fresh thyme leaves (pull off the stems)
Optional: 1/4 cup mesquite powder
Directions: Soak sunflower seeds and lentils with filtered water for at least 6 hours, drain well and rinse. Place in a colander that is lined with white paper towels and then cover with moist paper towel. Place on a plate to catch any water and place a nice dry kitchen towel over the colander and store in a corner of your kitchen. Check at least twice during the day – you may want to rinse periodically. The sprouting/germinating should be done within one day, especially if in a warm climate. May take another half day if cold outside.
Rinse and drain and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the (optional) mesquite and mix well. In a blender add all of the rest of the ingredients and blend well. Taste and add more herbs and salt if needed. Pour over seeds/beans and make sure everything is coated. You can add a little extra maple syrup if needed, but make sure everything is “gooey”.
Spread out on 2-3 non-stick covered screens on dehydrator trays about 1/4 inch thick, squaring off the corners with a spatula. Start dehydrating at 145 degrees for about 1 hour (don’t worry, it won’t harm the nutrients for that short of a time — it’s just to fix the ingredients and take care of any surface bacteria.) Before lowering the temperature you can score the squares into the sizes you prefer – either biscuit squares or longer energy bars. Lower to 115 degrees and dehydrate for 24 hours, then peel off onto the trays – if they don’t peel off easily they need a bit more time. Then dry on the 2nd side for another 16-24 hours. Break into the scored pieces and store in freezer – they will be nicely crunchy but they will not get frozen or icy. If you leave them out they will have a tendency to slightly melt and get tacky but some people prefer them that way.
This looks delicious!