How to make delicious snack bars on the cheap

One trip to your nearest bulk bin aisle is all you need

Bars
(Image credit: (Photos by Mark Weinberg/Food52))

I love supermarkets, but I feel unbridled adoration for bulk bin aisles especially. There is something very satisfying about scooping stuff into bags (see also: pick-and-mix candy stores, my truest love and biggest weakness). Something about getting exactly the amount of an ingredient that you need, so you don't end up with 7/8 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. I imagine it is the general store, and for this pound of almonds that I shoveled from a barrel I am trading in a live chicken. Probably that is not historically accurate, but this is a daydream I am 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 I should get out of everyone's way.

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

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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.

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