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Today I’m packing for a business trip to Arizona. I got a peek at the week’s schedule and saw a marathon trip ahead of me: back-to-back meetings and evening events that stretch late into the night. I’ve traveled enough for work to know that food options are slim to none, making it hard to eat balanced. In the back of large conference rooms at various times of the day are trays donuts and pastries, taco bars, pizza buffets and plenty of soda. You get the idea. In my suitcase, I’m saving a little room for these healthy bites – easy finger food that I can stash in my purse for a quick snack.


Sesame seeds are high in calcium, iron, zinc and fiber. The nut butter provides a little protein and will help to keep you full. Note: these are pretty dense, so I wouldn’t recommend eating the entire pan in a sitting. Just one or two will go a long way!

Sesame Cashew Squares
{gluten-free, vegan}

Yield: 16 squares

2  1/2 cups sesame seeds
1/2 cup roughly chopped cashews
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
3 big pinches of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.

Add 1/2 cup of sesame seeds into a food processor and blend until they start to stick together and form a paste. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together remaining 2 cups of sesame seeds, cashews, sunflower seeds, coconut and salt.

Combine the reserved sesame seed paste, honey, peanut butter and brown rice syrup in a small saucepot over medium heat and stir constantly until it easily mixes together and thickens a bit.

Pour the wet mixture over the sesame seed mixture and mix with a big spoon. Roll up your sleeves and use your hands to mix well. The mixture will be crumbly.

Spread into the prepared pan and press down firmly with your hands. This will help to make it hold together.

Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before cutting into squares.