The Problem with Store-Bought Energy Bars - Page 3
Seeds of Power Bars
Who knew that sowing the seeds of power was as simple as whipping up a batch of no-bake power bars? OK, I did. Seeds really are packed with power—think of any seed as a concentrated dose of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and essential fatty acids. They are a perfect alternative to nuts, but these bars demonstrate that they are far more than understudies.
MAKES 20 BARS
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes or quick- cooking rolled oats
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup millet or hemp hearts
- 1/4 cup chia seeds or poppy seeds
- 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
- 3/4 cup plain nondairy milk or low- fat dairy milk
- 3/4 cup uncooked multigrain hot cereal
- 3/4 cup natural, unsweetened sunflower seed butter or tahini
- 1/2 cup agave nectar or honey
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange or lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
3. Spread the quinoa flakes, sesame seeds, and millet on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 6 to 8 minutes, shaking halfway through, until golden and fragrant. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in the chia seeds and flaxseed meal.
4. Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cereal; cover and let stand for 2 minutes. Add the sunflower seed butter, agave nectar, orange zest, and salt. Cook and stir the mixture over low heat for 7 minutes, until thickened and all of the liquid is absorbed.
5. Immediately add the cereal mixture and the cherries to the quinoa mixture, mixing with a spatula until coated.
6. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Place a large piece of parchment paper, wax paper, or plastic wrap (coated with nonstick cooking spray) atop the bar mixture and use it to spread, flatten, and very firmly compact the mixture evenly in the pan. Refrigerate at least 2 hours until firmly set.
7. Using the liner, lift the mixture from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 20 bars.
- Seeds of all varieties can become rancid quickly due to their high oil content. To keep them fresh as long as possible, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Vary the type and amounts of the different seeds as much as you like so long as the total amount equals 3/4 cup.
Tightly wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap.
- Room Temperature: 2 days
- Refrigerator: 1 week
- Freezer: 3 months in airtight container; thaw 1 hour
- Serving size: 1 bar
- Calories: 199
- Fat: 9.2 g (Saturated 3 g)
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 37 mg
- Carbs: 24.8 g (Fiber 3.3 g; Sugars 12.6 g)
- Protein: 6.1g
- Sesame Cashew Bars
Prepare as directed, but replace the millet and chia seeds with 1/2 cup finely chopped raw cashews and replace the sunflower seed butter with an equal amount of natural, unsweetened cashew butter. Replace the orange zest with 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and add 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger along with the salt.
- Sunflower-Fig Bars
Prepare as directed, but replace the sesame seeds, millet, and chia seeds with 3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds. Use lemon zest, not orange zest.