Perennial snack nuggets

I like to nibble throughout the work day instead of stopping for lunch. If I stop for a meal, I am guaranteed to have a major food coma afterwards. By nibbling a little at a time throughout the day, I find my energy stays much more stable.

With that in mind, I’ve been trying out different experiments in small food items, the size of a small cookie or so, to use for my small-snack strategy. I want them to be nutritionally dense and diverse, and I decided to work on a version that uses 100% perennial ingredients.

My latest experiment is almost 100% perennial and pretty good, though I’m sure it can be improved on. Here it is.

Preheat oven to 300’F. Add to mixing bowl 1/2 cup each of

  • water
  • kernza flour
  • mesquite flour
  • chopped hazelnuts (substitute tree nut of your choice)
  • dried cherries, chopped (substitute dried fruit of your choice)
  • dark chocolate chips


  • 1 Tbl moringa leaf powder
  • 1 Tbl olive oil

Mix until forms a uniform (chunky and sticky) mass. With oiled hands, form small cookie size balls of dough maybe about 1 Tbl of dough each. I got 22 dough balls I think, enough for one cookie sheet. Press balls onto oiled cookie sheet so they are somewhat flattened (or not). Bake for 30 minutes. Et voila.

The result is a crunchy nugget, reminiscent of granola bars. They do NOT spread out while they cook, the way cookies do, so the size and shape of the nugget going into the oven is the size and shape coming out. For myself, my energy at work stays good if I eat one every hour or two, alongside my constant flow of green tea.

The non-cocoa parts of the chocolate chips are the only non-perennial ingredients in this version. I could fix that by using pure cocoa powder plus a perennial sweetener. (New trivia to me: I just checked Wikipedia and it turns out sugarcane is a perennial.)

In terms of nutritional diversity, this recipe includes grain, legume, nut, fruit, greens, oil, and chocolate, every food group that matters.

Future ideas: maybe increase the kernza flour by 50% (so 3/4 cups in the ratio above) so the result holds together a little better. As made, they hold together pretty well but the bits of chopped nuts and chocolate chips do sometimes fall out. I might throw in an egg since we have hens at my home. Maybe cheat on the 100% perennial by including chopped chufa aka tiger nuts or hemp seed or chia or. . . . Annual grain or legume flours could substitute for the kernza and mesquite, of course. And so on and so forth.

I’d love feedback on what could be done to improve this recipe or just variations or smart aleck comments too, if they are delightfully clever. Cheers!