Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Almond-Honey Power Bars

Almond-Honey Power Bars
Adapted from Eating Well Magazine

I love these power bars. I eat them for breakfast or for my afternoon snack. It's crispy, chewy, toasty, nutty, and fruity. What makes these bars so flavorful is the toasting of the oats, nuts and seeds which is an essential step. Don't be lazy to skip this part. I prefer to use Trader Joe's brand almond butter because the consistency of the almond butter is thicker than couple of other brands I've tried. If the almond butter consistency is thin, you will end up with softer bars that falls apart while eating.

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (3.0 ounces)
1/4 cup slivered almonds (1.1 ounces)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (1.2 ounces)
1 tablespoon whole golden flax seeds (0.4 ounce)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (0.4 ounce)
1 cup puffed millet cereal (0.5 ounce) OR 1 cup quinoa pops (1.0 ounce)
1/3 cup dried blueberries (2.1 ounces) or dried bing cherries, cut into fourths (2.1 ounces)
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots (1.7 ounces)
1/3 cup dried cranberries (1.6 ounces)
1/4 cup Trader Joe's brand unsalted creamy almond butter (2.1 ounces)
1/4 cup turbinado sugar (1.7 ounces)
1/4 cup honey (2.7 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position oven rack in the center of the oven. Lightly spray an 8-inch square pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

Place the oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and sesame seeds on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toss to combine and shake pan to spread out in an even layer. Bake until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 8 to 10 minutes, shaking pan halfway of baking time. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the puffed millet cereal or quinoa pops, blueberries, apricots, cranberries and cooled oat mixture. Toss to combine and set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine the almond butter, sugar, honey, vanilla and salt. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until mixture bubbles lightly, about 2 to 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and immediately pour the almond butter mixture over the cereal-fruit mixture. Mix with a spatula until no dry spots remain.Transfer to the prepared square pan. Press mixture down firmly with the back of a large spoon to make an even tight layer.

Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Remove from pan and cut into 8 bars.

Wrap each bar in plastic wrap and place them in a Ziploc bag. Store power bars in the refrigerator to keep them firm.

Yield 8 bars

1 comment:

  1. These bars are delicious! I had one today and it has the perfect balance, it's not too sweet like ones I get from the store. Usually, I find power and granola bars to be overly sweet and I get a sticky film on the back of my throat after finishing one. I love the taste of the toasted seeds and I was pleasantly surprised by the "crunch". Bars from the store have somewhat of a stale bite , but these bars have a little "pop" to it. Thank you for sharing!