Preparation time: 15 minutes making/17 to 20 minutes baking
This is another type of “power bar;” filled with fruits and nuts, it is less of a protein bar and more of a carbohydrate energy booster. These are a wonderful (and healthy) substitute for athletes and desk jockeys alike in need of a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
Like our Basic Protein Bar recipe, these allow for infinite flavor combinations! Think of these as a healthy version of Rice Crispy Bars.
A note about corn and brown rice syrups. I know many folks have an automatic aversion to them, but organic versions used in moderation can be a safe part of your diet. In this recipe it cannot, unfortunately, be substituted with other syrups (like sorghum, maple or agave). This is due to the molecular structure of the sugars in corn/brown rice syrup; they chain up nicely and act as “glue” for the rest of the ingredients. Other sweet syrups don’t have this quality. If you think “I’m going to try it anyways,” rest assured, I thought the same thing. When I tested this recipe with both maple syrup and then sorghum syrup I ended up with mounds of goo. Tasty mounds of goo, but not really the “bar” result we’re looking for.
1 ½ cups chopped nuts and or seeds
⅓ cups crisped brown rice cereal (You can substitute other puffed grain cereals.)
½ cup chopped dried fruit
⅓ cup organic light corn syrup (or brown rice syrup)
⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
Optional: ¼ to ½ teaspoon spice (eg: cinnamon, clove, nutmeg), orange and/or lemon zest.
This recipe can be doubled and baked in a larger pan.
Tools: 8 inch square pan, parchment paper, large bowl
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Makes 10 bars. Nutritional info: Calories: 150, Fiber: 2 grams, Sugars: 14 grams, Protein: 4 grams (Note that this is a guide; there can be small variance depending ingredient choices.)
1. Line baking pan with parchment paper.
2. Add into large mixing bowl nuts, seeds, cereal, and dried fruit.
3. Add salt (if desired) and syrup to bowl and mix thoroughly.
4. Turn out mixture into pan. Using another piece of parchment or waxed paper, place on top of mixture and gently press. Mixture should be compressed evenly in the pan. Remove top layer of paper.
5. Bake in pre-heated oven for 17 to 20 minutes, until slightly browned at the edges, but softer in the middle. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes.
6. Using the liner as handles, lift out of pan and place on cutting board. Cut into 10 bars then allow to completely cool.
Storage: Wrap individual bars in plastic wrap. Will keep up to three days at room temperature, two weeks in the refrigerator, or three months in the freezer.
Here’s a sampling of flavor combinations:
Pineapple, Coconut, Cashews
Apple and Pecan
Apricot, Coconut, Almond
Dates, Almonds, Cashews, Sesame Seeds, Ginger
All Nuts! (Increase nut volume to 2 cups.)
Pepitas, Sunflower, Sesame, Hemp Seeds
Cherry and Almond