For that 3pm Slump…

Need some ideas for that afternoon pick me up other than going to the vending machine for some chips or candy?  Try this great, clean eating idea from Dietitian Chef, Michelle Dudash, RDN, author of “Clean Eating for Busy Families.”  I loved this bar, but did add in some dark chocolate chips for the kids.  I swapped the raisins out for some dried, tart cherries that I had on hand and they came out delicious!

I used these to fuel before a run as well as gave them to the kids as an afternoon snack :O)

Quick-Fix Trail Mix Snack Bars with California Raisins

A fraction of the cost of high-quality store-bought bars.

  • Prep Time : 10 min
  • Cook Time : 20 min
  • Ready Time : 30 min


  • Serves:
  • Serving Size: 1 bar each


  •  Expeller-pressed canola oil spray
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup California raisins
  • 1 cup toasted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 raw sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


This is a recipe I perfected while working as a private chef. I wrapped and stored the bars individually in the fridge for family members to “grab and go” for snacks between work, school, errands, and activities, and I encourage you to do the same. They’re a fraction of the cost of high-quality store-bought bars. –Michelle Dudash, RD

Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C, or gas mark 2) and coat a 9 x 9-inch (23 x 23 cm) pan with canola oil spray. Finely chop cashews and dried fruit in a food processor (or smash the nuts in a bag, and chop the fruit) and add to a large bowl. Add pepitas, sunflower and sesame seeds, flaxseed, and salt and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, microwave the honey for a few seconds until warm. Drizzle honey and vanilla into the nut mixture and stir until completely incorporated. Pour the mixture into the pan and spread evenly. Spray a sheet of waxed paper with canola oil spray; place the waxed paper on top of the mixture, spray side down, and pack down gently with your hands. Bake until golden, 20 minutes; cool completely.

Place a cutting board on top of the pan. Lay one of your hands on top of the board and the other hand underneath the pan and firmly flip the pan upside down to release the cake from the pan. Cut into 12 bars. For maximum freshness, store bars individually in snack bags and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Reprinted with permission from Clean Eating for Busy Families: Get Meals on the Table in Minutes with Simple and Satisfying Whole-Foods Recipes You and Your Kids Will Love, by Michelle Dudash, RD (Fair Winds Press, December 2012). More info:

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories 260 Total Fat 18g (sat 3g, ); Cholesterol 0mg; Protein 10g; Carbohydrate 17g; (Dietary Fiber 3g; );