By peoplestaff225
Updated September 11, 2014 11:00 AM

We love supermarkets, bulk bin aisles especially. There is something very satisfying about scooping stuff into bags (see also: pick-and-mix candy stores, our truest love and biggest weakness).

Something about getting exactly the amount of an ingredient that you need, so you don’t end up with ⅞ of a box of nutritional yeast that sits in your pantry for all of eternity. Something about 15 types of raisins in a row. Something about paying absurdly less for quinoa than the same amount available in a pre-packaged box. We imagine it’s the general store, and for this pound of almonds that we shoveled from a barrel we are trading in a live chicken. Probably that is not historically accurate, but this is a daydream we are having in Whole Foods, frozen in front of the dried mango with a scooper in my hand, deep in reverie, naming my imaginary horse. Anachronism is the least of my concerns.

For example, maybe we should get out of everyone’s way.

Also, it is possible that we just need a snack.

One trip to your nearest bulk bin aisle is all you need to make these addictively crunchy bars, and it takes very little time to turn a shopping basket full of twist-tied bags into a snack you can feel good about. The recipe is endlessly adaptable, so if you’re not down with cherries, all 15 types of raisins are fair game. Try not to eat all of the sticky mixture straight from the bowl.

Bulk Bin Snack Bars
Makes 20 bars

1½ cups oats
¾ cup whole almonds
½ cup dried cherries
⅓ cup chopped walnuts
⅓ cup pepitas
½ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
¼ cup shelled sunflower seeds
⅓ cup ground flax seed
⅓ cup honey
¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 cup almond butter

1. Line a baking tin or dish (mine was 10 x 14 inches with wax paper so that it extends over the edge.
2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add honey, almond butter, and apple sauce, and combine until a big gloppy clump is formed.
3. Dump sticky mess into the baking dish, and flatten and spread with the back of a wooden spoon. Freeze overnight. Die with anticipation. Stop peeking at it.
4. Remove from freezer and cut into bars! These are best stored in the fridge in a tupperware, with layers separated by wax paper. Keep one in your purse for 2 PM…and maybe another for 4:45…8:30…midnight…breakfast the next day…second breakfast…and so on.

—Kendra Vaculin

This article was originally published on Food52, a site that brings cooks together to share recipes, ideas and support.