Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Healthy Power Bars Made Easy

I’ve been wanting to share this recipe with you for a long time now. Before seeing Heidi Swanson’s blog post and video on ‘Big Sur Power Bars Recipe’ from her famous and appealing food blog 101 Cookbooks, I never really liked eating cereal/granola bars. The only cereal bars I’ve tasted were the ones I bought at the local grocery stores. Despite the marketing pitch found on every box of these cereal bars claiming that they’re made with real fruit, or contain Ginkgo biloba or Ginseng, these bars always tasted too sweet. Because I tasted more sugar than cereal, I questioned myself if there really was any of that healthy Ginkgo Rocky Balboa or Biloba …whatever extract. I personally view them as boring candy bars.

But now that I’ve tried Heidi’s recipe and tasted her Sur Power Bars, I can only recommend that you try it out for the following reasons:
1) EASY and QUICK to make, max 10 minutes, I swear.
2) Tasty
3) Crunchy
4) Crispy

I never go to work without grabbing a couple of these bars for emergency snacks or a quick breakfast treat.

I recommend that you watch Heidi’s video in which she shows us how easy it is to make this in her very serene kitchen. Little details like the “crisp” sound that Heidi’s partner Wayne made when he took a bite of the treat and said “mmmmh”, just sold me out. That small "crisp" sound reminded me of one of my favourite childhood sweets, rice crispies squares. Remember those? So good. When I found out that rice crispies were part of the recipe, I headed out to the market and bought all the ingredients to make these wonderful treats that same day.

Preparation: 10 minutes, no baking.

Because you can add just about anything (chocolate chips, dried fruits..etc.) in this recipe, I added cocoa powder instead of ground expresso beans, as well as dried cranberries. The result; light, chewy, crispy and delightfully crunchy cereal power bars.

Recipe of Heidi’s Sur Power Bars:
If you can't find the crisp brown rice cereal, no worries - just use regular rice cereal for ex: Rice Crispies - just stay clear of "puffed" rice cereal, it will throw the recipe off. Feel free to substitute other types of nuts, seeds, or whatever little goodies you can dream up.

1 tablespoon coconut oil (or regular butter)
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup slivered almonds
2/3 cup (unsweetened) shredded coconut
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups unsweetened crisp brown rice cereal
1 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 tablespoons ground espresso beans
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking pan with the coconut oil. If you like thick power bars, opt for an 8 by 8-inch pan; for thinner bars, use a 9 by 13-inch pan.

On a rimmed baking sheet toast the pecans, almonds, and coconut for about 7 minutes, or until the coconut is deeply golden. Toss once or twice along the way. Mix the oats, toasted nuts, coconut, and the cereal, together in a large bowl and set aside.

Combine the rice syrup, sugar, salt, espresso, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly as it comes to a boil and thickens just a bit, about 4 minutes. Pour the syrup over the oat mixture and stir until it is evenly incorporated.

Spread into the prepared pan and cool to room temperature before cutting into whatever size bars you desire.

Makes 16 to 24 bars.
Enjoy at work, at home on a hiking trip, wherever you like.

3 comments:

Trigirl 2007 - Québec said...

Ahhh! C'est trop gentil de penser à moi, :-)

Anonymous said...

Looks Yummy!

Heidi said...

So glad you liked them - I love the idea of adding cocoa powder, and have been thinking of doing a cocoa/walnut/dried banana version. Thanks for the reminder! -h