Well, here's another one for the vegan ex-pats! I realize those of you not from North America will most likely have no idea what I'm on about here. Nuts 'n Bolts is a snack food back home that I have always seriously loved. I cannot tell you how many boxes of this stuff I went through as a child and as we only seemed to buy them during the Christmas holidays, they are forever connected that way to me.
It's a seasoned mix of pretzel sticks (the bolts) cherrios (the nuts) shreddies (or similar) and back home they had either these weird cheesy squares that were hard OR the last time I had them these light cheesy sticks in them. I couldn't veganize those but thankfully they were always my least favourite in the mix so not missed at all! Oh and yes, it is essential to stick the cherrios onto the pretzels whilst eating these - food and a toy! Win, Win!!
I've been wanting to make my own for awhile now as I know lots of people do. A quick search online will show up LOADS of recipes but the seasoning mix seems to be basically the same: oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, celery salt and onion salt. This was pretty darn easy to make vegan, simply use vegan Worcestershire sauce and my only concern in making this was as only ex-pats know: European Cherrios are quite different from North American Cherrios. They are multi-grain here and crucially sweeter which I wasn't sure would work but it's all I had so went ahead anyway...
Thankfully this turned out really good, the Cherrios are sweeter which isn't authentic but in the end I really liked them in there! The seasoning was almost just like the original Nuts 'n Bolts, it reminded me SO much of them and while it is not spot on it is a beautiful homage to them. The most common thing they with the original however is their more-ishness - these are impossible to stop eating!!!
Just don't drink too much whisky and ginger ale with them like I did and start calling them Buts 'n Nolts.... :-)
Nuts 'n Bolts Party Mix:
80g plain Shreddies
50g plain Cherrios
60g pretzle sticks
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce ( I love Biona brand)
1/8 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp onion salt
1/8 tsp celery salt
First a note on the seasoning mix there, I only had celery seed and onion powder so used those and added some salt instead and it worked fine. You could use garlic powder as well and adjust the salt yourself. I suggest making half this the first time so you can adjust the seasoning to suit yourself, the recipe is very forgiving and adjustable :-)
If your pretzel sticks are too long as mine were simply snap them into smaller pieces and toss in a bowl with the Cherrios and Shreddies (both of which are labelled as vegan on Nestle's European website, other countries may be different so do check your own).
Preheat the oven to a very low 100C/ 200F. Whisk together the oil, Worcester sauce and salts then pour over the mix and toss very well with your hands until everything is lightly coated. Spread out onto a baking sheet or two and bake for about an hour - give the mix a toss about every 15 minutes. Leave to cool then tip into a serving bowl and serve, great for parties and holiday get-togethers. Makes 1 medium size bowl of mix, double or triple as you need.
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