It’s a winter wonderland out there today! Where I live in the Midwest, we’re under a winter weather advisory right now with blizzard conditions expected today. It’s Snowpocalypse 2012! I stocked up on food, books, and movies yesterday…so I’m all set to ride out the snow day in comfort. Maybe I’ll squeeze in a little baking, too.
As we draw ever closer to Christmas Day, maybe you’re preparing to travel. If you’re looking for a festive snack to take along with you on the plane or in the car, try these Pecan Pie Snack Clusters. They’re very lightly sweetened with plenty of texture and buttery flavor from the pecans, shredded coconut, dried fruit, and flaxseed. Paired with some fresh fruit, they could even pass for a quick on-the-go breakfast.
Packing my own food when I travel has become second nature to me over the years. I find that the hardest thing to pack is protein, since most options need to be refrigerated and I don’t always have a cooler with me when traveling by plane. So I often turn to nuts and seeds for plant-based protein and healthy fats instead. Not quite as protein dense as something like salmon or chicken, but it works in a pinch.
A few substitution notes…
- You could probably try any nut or seed in place of the pecans.
- Any nut or seed butter will work in place of the almond butter.
- I have not tried substituting the egg whites with a flax or chia slurry in this recipe, so I don’t know if it will work. They egg whites give them a great texture with slight crunch and “gloss,” and also provide an extra boost of protein. So I wouldn’t recommend substituting them with any other egg replacer.
Looking for more healthful snacks to pack with you on your journey over the river and through the woods? Try these:
- Fig & Pumpkin Seed Snack Bars (vegan & optionally nut-free)
- Pumpkin Raisin Walnut Bread (vegan & optionally nut-free)
- Spiced Banana Ginger Loaves (grain-free)
- Carrot Sesame Crackers (vegan & grain-free)
- Fruit & Nut Breakfast Treats (vegan & grain-free)
Pecan Pie Snack Clusters
Makes 28-30 bite-sized clusters
Enjoy the flavors of pecan pie without the sugar rush in these very lightly sweetened grain-free clusters.
2 cups raw pecans, finely chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins or dried currants
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons creamy unsweetened almond butter (raw or roasted)
2 tablespoons honey or Grade B maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the pecans, coconut, raisins, flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the almond butter, honey, and vanilla until smooth. Stir this into the dry ingredients to form a crumbly mixture. Stir in the egg whites to coat all of the ingredients evenly.
Drop packed tablespoons onto the lined baking sheets, spacing at least 1 inch apart. Bake for about 15 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through, until golden brown and firm to the touch. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.