I’ll admit it. I’m a Barfly … of sorts. As an active Girl-On-The-Go with a passion for food, I’m always looking for portable, healthy and, need I say it, good-tasting snacks. I know there’s a plethora of power/energy bar products out there, but they also have a myriad of mystifying ingredients. Don’t have the time to get a PhD in nutrition? Well, there’s an alternative to those cryptic crunchies: Make your own!
Oh, I saw you roll your eyes and heard you remark that you a) don’t have time, and b) don’t enjoy eating bricks of sawdust. Trust me when I say these are a) insanely easy, and b) unbelievably yummy (just ask my friends).
I found this recipe in Canadian running magazine, Get Out There, and just added my own touch.
2 cups of crisp puffed brown rice (I used whole grain rice puffs)
1 cup of oats (steel cut are the healthiest)
½ cup Canadian wheat germ (if you don’t know the source any wheat germ is fine)
¼ cup Canadian wheat bran (see above)
Mixed dried fruit: ½ cup craisins, ½ cup dried blueberries, ½ cup chopped dried figs (I substituted 1 cup dried black currants, ½ cup chopped dried sour cherries)
¾ cup raw almonds cut in half (skins on)
¼ cup roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup flax seeds
¾ cup almond butter (I used ¼ almond butter + ½ cup crunchy natural peanut butter)
½ cup honey
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
½ cup 60% cacao chips (optional – I opted out)
- Line a 13x9x2 inch baking pan or glass dish with aluminum foil; set aside.
- Set oven to 300° F. Spread oats, sesame seeds, almonds, brown rice puffs and flax seeds on another pan or cookie sheet to toast about 6-8 minutes.
- In a bowl, combine the toasted ingredients with the wheat germ, wheat bran, dried fruit and sunflower seeds; set aside. (Mix in each type of dried fruit slowly so the dry goods stick to the fruit and the fruit doesn’t bunch up and stick to itself).
- In a large bowl combine the almond and/or peanut butter, maple syrup and honey; stir until smooth.
- Stir in cinnamon and vanilla.
- Pour dry mixture, 1-2cups at a time, into the wet mixture and stir to make sure everything is well coated.
- Evenly press the whole mixture into the prepared pan. (Best to thoroughly wash your hands and leave wet to prevent too much sticking, or press down with parchment paper to avoid sticking).
- Optional: If you want to add some chocolate into the mix, randomly place the 60% cacao chips into the top layer by pressing them down.
- Place in fridge overnight (or for 4 hours minimum) then cut into bars.
10. Wrap in plastic wrap to keep moist, or store bars in an airtight plastic container, and keep refrigerated. Bars can be stored in the freezer as well.
Easy, right? The hardest part, for me, was not devouring the entire pan in one sitting.
(photo by: Noelle Jenkinson)