Here at 1840 Farm, we are three years and six months into our nut free years. Not that I’m counting. Okay, who am I kidding? I’m definitely counting. I could tell you that I don’t miss eating nuts, but I’d be lying. Nuts were my go to healthy snack back in the day. I loved to eat them and I loved to bake with them. I firmly believe that a sea salted cashew is one of the most delicious edibles on the face of the earth. Unfortunately, they are also my arch nemesis.
I gave up walking down the nut aisle in the grocery store lo those many years ago. There’s didn’t seem to be any point unless I was trying to depress myself or make my son panic at the mere proximity of his sworn enemy. That was until a few months ago when I was looking for sunflower seeds for our flock of chickens here at 1840 Farm. I had read that sunflower seeds would provide our hens with nutritious snack during the long winter. I had no choice but to force myself to turn the cart down the nut aisle and look for sunflower seeds that came without a warning that they “might contain peanuts.”
So imagine my complete surprise and utter elation when I discovered Wheat Nuts at the grocery store. A product that claimed to taste like nuts without containing even a trace of them. As in, I can keep these in my house without needing to bulk up my supply of Epi-pens. Hallelujah. Praise the genius who invented this one.
I have to admit to eating them in the car on the way home. No, I don’t normally do that, but I couldn’t wait to try them. I also couldn’t wait to alert everyone at my house that we had a nut free, nut-like snack to add to the pantry. The last thing I wanted to do was try yet another nut substitute that didn’t taste anything like a nut and watch the disappointed looks on their faces as another new product went straight into the garbage bin. Instead, I decided to take one for the team and try them myself figuring that I could get rid of the evidence on the way home if I needed to. Wheat Nuts had me at the first bite. I couldn’t believe how good they tasted.
I am happy to say that we are all still in love with Wheat Nuts. We eat them by themselves as a snack. We make our own nut free trail mixes with them. We used them to bake a completely nut free pecan-like pie. Our favorite way to eat them is baked into Pecanless Pie Bars. They are a revelation after being nut free for so long.
Now I’m off to watch the NCAA Tournament with my family. I won’t be thinking about allergies or nut free snacks, but I’m glad that we have some Wheat Nuts in the pantry just in case. I’ll just be hoping that the Kansas Jayhawks can advance to the next round. We’ll root them on and have a great time doing so. If you were here to join us in the Rock Chalk Chant, I’d be happy to pass the Wheat Nuts your way.
1840 Farm Pecanless Pie Bars
makes 24 bars
240 grams (2 cups) King Arthur White Wheat Flour
72 grams (6 Tablespoons) brown sugar
6 ounces butter, cubed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with parchment paper.
Place all ingredients in food processor. Process using on/off turns until the mixture has just formed small clumps. Do not over process. Sprinkle mixture over the bottom of prepared pan. Lightly press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes until light golden brown. Prepare filling as the crust is baking.
168 grams (2 cups) Wheat Nuts, chopped coarsely
144 grams (3/4 cup) brown sugar
4 ounces butter
63 grams (3 Tablespoons) honey
1 ounce (2 Tablespoons) half and half
Melt butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar, honey, and half and half. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in chopped Wheat Nuts.
When the shortbread crust is finished baking, remove it from the oven and immediately pour warm filling over the top. If necessary, spread filling evenly over the crust. Return pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Run a sharp knife or spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the cooled bars. Use the edges of the parchment paper to lift cooled bars from the pan to a cutting board. Using serrated knife, cut into bars. Serve.