These yummy, chewy bars are full of healthy deliciousness and can be adapted to what you have in your kitchen. They are protein and fiber-packed, lightly sweetened with dried fruit and a touch of honey (or maple syrup). Perfect breakfast and coffee at your desk, or an afternoon snack with tea.
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Keyword: breakfast, energy bars, granola bars, pantry cooking
Author: Kiki Simpson, Healthy Sexy Kitchen
2cupsraw nutsI used pecans, hazelnuts and pine nuts. Could use almonds,walnuts, cashews, pistachios or even unsweetened coconut shavings.
1/2cupraw seedsI used pepitas (pumpkin seeds). Could use a combo; sunflower, hemp hearts, sesame, chia.
3tablespoonscoconut oil, meltedplus more to grease pan, if needed. Could use olive oil.
2cupsold-fashioned rolled oatsdivided
1cupdried fruitI used cherries, apricots and dates. Could use raisins (currants), dried blueberries or strawberries, cranberries or mango.
3/4 cupnut butter, stirred well, warmed slightly if coldI used cashew butter. Could use, peanut butter, sunflower butter, almond butter.
1/2cuphoneyor maple syrup. I used mostly honey but with a touch of maple.
2teaspoonspure vanilla extract
1tablespoonflax mealAdded to 3 tablespoons water to create a flax egg. Could use 1 large egg.
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) - or use your toaster oven. Spread nuts and pepitas in a baking pan and bake until slightly darkened, 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and let sit to cool.
Reduce or set oven temp to 300°F (150°C). Lightly grease 9"x13"(23x33cm) pan or baking dish (it helps to grease pan under parchment a bit to keep it from moving around). Line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on both long sides for easy removal. Lightly grease the parchment.
Prepare your flax egg, if using, by combining the 1T flax meal with 3T water in a small bowl. Stir to combine and let rest 5-10 minutes.
Add 1 cup of the oats to the food processor with the cool nuts and seeds. Pulse until the nuts are broken down and few whole oats remain. Should be a very rough sand texture. Transfer to a large bowl.
Pulse any dried fruit (no need to wipe out) in the food processor until finely chopped, about the size of half raisins? Transfer to bowl with nuts and oats.
Add remaining 1 cup of oats to the bowl and stir to combine, making sure to break up and distribute the dried fruit. Add melted 3 T oil and stir to combine. Drip nut butter over the top, don't stir it in yet.
In a small saucepan, bring honey, salt and vanilla to a boil then immediately reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, until honey is foaming, about 2 minutes. Immediately pour over the nut butter in the bowl and stir to combine. Make sure to break up any clumps.
Add flax egg (or real egg that has been beaten well) to bowl with all other ingredients and stir until "egg" is well combined.
Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish and press firmly into an even layer in the pan. I like to use a metal 1 cup measure to press it down, then finish with my fingers.
Bake the mixture until golden brown on top and no longer sticky, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes before scoring (lightly) into 24 pieces (I cut in half crosswise, then 2 more cross cuts in each half. Then cut in half lengthwise and 1 more cut in each half in that direction). Do not remove from pan until completely cooled. Then use overhanging parchment to lift bars out onto cutting board and using a sharp knife, cut along scoring to separate the bars, being careful to keep them intact.
Bars can be kept at room temperature in airtight container for up to a week, or stored in refrigerator for longer or frozen for longer than that.
If you choose to use sunflower or sesame seeds as part of your seed mixture, remember they will toast a lot quicker than pumpkin seeds. You may want to add them in the last 1-3 minutes of roasting. Sunflower seeds can take about 3 minutes, sesame seeds only 1-2.Chia, and hemp seeds can be added without toasting or maybe just add them to the mix 1 minute before removing from the oven.