Delicately crisp and lightly sweetened sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seed brittle and crumble make for delicious and healthful munching. Leslie Kielson’s original purpose for making the brittle was to have a protein-packed, low-sugar, energy food to power her for a seven-day bike trip. She wanted a nutritious seed-based snack with “sustaining energy that didn’t spike our blood sugar,” she says. Her company, Battenkill Wholesome Foods in Arlington, Vt., now produces brittle (energy bars), crumble, cereal, and cookies. The products are gluten-free and low in sugar. The short ingredient list for the brittle ($3.50 for 3 bars) and crumble ($8.50 for 9 ounces) are the same: organic sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, and pecan meal. (Broken bits of brittle conveniently became the motivation for the crumble.) The cereal is an oat-based muesli and comes in two flavors: Apple Raisin and Coconut Apricot. ($8.50 for 12 ounces).
Kielson’s commitment to healthfulness and sustainability extends past the foods she makes (and eats) to how she lives and works. Her Vermont cabin, with the production kitchen in the basement, is solar powered, and because she reuses, recycles, or composts almost all the waste her business generates, she ends up with less than two pounds of garbage per week. In that vein, the website offers recipe ideas for incorporating the crumble in baked goods, such as pancakes, muffins, and cookies, and using it as a topping for fruit crisps. Of course, it’s pretty near perfect sprinkled on yogurt for a satisfying and healthy breakfast.
Available at Debra’s Natural Gourmet, 98 Commonwealth Ave., Concord, 978-371-7573; Concord Market, 77 Lowell Road, Concord, 978-369-7500; The Natural Grocer, 334 High St., Newburyport, 978-463-8713; and online at www.battenkillwholesomefoods.com.
Lisa Zwirn can be reached at email@example.com