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This is spicy and crunchy snack, commonly known as Nuts and Bolts here in Australia, delicious to have with a cold beverage. Who would think that combining mixed nuts, pretzels and a breakfast cereal with some flavourings would result in an irresistible snack?

This is one of those retro recipes that the modern woman in the 1960’s could easily prepare with the convenience foods that were never previously available. But you know what? Nuts and Bolts are still great today! I’ll admit, we’re not talking healthy food here – a wee bit high in salt, I would think. Since Australia Day just around the corner, Nuts and Bolts are the perfect snack to bring to the BBQ or to have on the table when friends come around for drinks. So make a double batch. You’ll have some for yourself and also fill a few jars to give as a nostalgic gift made with love.

As an Italian Australian, I grew up with pasta, tortellini and minestrone. Then one Christmas my sister was given a Women’s Weekly cookbook. What a revelation it was because flicking through the pages, we found fascinating, “new” recipes. Prawn cocktail, steak diane, trifle and choc mint slice! And Nuts and Bolts fitted in there somewhere, as well. I felt so modern and “Australianised” creating these wonderful recipes. As a result my imagination and cooking fervor was sparked. That book was probably the best cooking lesson ever and I still have a copy.

I’ve added extra spice to these Nuts and Bolts but basically it’s the same classic retro recipe. Yet this is my choice of flavours. While you can add what ever nuts you like, leave out the pretzels, change the cereal, add more spice or less. Totally your choice. Almost anything goes. Almost!

Spicy Nuts and Bolts

Makes about 8 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes


250g Nutri Grain cereal
375 mixed roasted nuts
200g salted pretzels
1/2 cup light olive oil
45g packet cream of chicken soup mix
45g packet french onion soup mix
1 1/2 tablespoons Indian curry powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F
  2. Into a large, deep roasting pan place the cereal, nuts and pretzels
  3. In a small bowl mix together oil, soup mixes, curry powder, Worcestershire sauce, paprika and garlic powder.
  4. Pour the oil mixture over the cereal/nut/pretzels and mix well.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 5-8 minutes until dry and starting to take on a light golden colour. Watch the cereal,  being high in sugar it will burn easily.
  6. Cool before storing in an airtight jar.

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