Monday, January 16, 2012

No Bake Homemade Superseed Granola Bars

I had written up a post last Sunday evening (that I had yet to send) about how my gift to myself for the week to come was going to be to stay at home all week to relax, nap, and finally get my house somewhat organized. Ha!  

Raising kids is a bit like going through a minefield.  You have no idea when you're going to get hit.  And despite your best efforts to rest and regroup, sometimes life just takes over.  And that happened again last week.  I ended up getting the flu on Tuesday, the day we coincidentally spent 5 hours in a doctor's waiting room for Chloé. And the rest of the week was pretty much spent napping.  So no posts last week.

We nonetheless had a chance to get out this weekend to enjoy the sun, despite the bitter cold.

This week is super busy too, as I am at a conference later this week, so I am going to save the resting for next week.  Which I am well looking forward to!

Jérôme sent me this recipe for homemade granola bars that he had found on  Clearly, he knew that these would be right up my alley.  Only, sadly, I am not eating nuts these days, since I am breastfeeding.  So he got to be the only one to try them. Wait... it's all coming clear to me now, lol.

I do intend to make these again with sunbutter in place of the almond butter and pumpkin seeds instead of the almonds so that I can actually eat them.  But I wanted to try the recipe as is first, to see if it was any good.  And though I couldn't try them, Jérôme assures me they are blog-worthy.  And they smelled great.  In fact, I had to restrain myself from eating one every time I walked past them.  Maybe it's a good thing I couldn't eat them...

These are a great, healthy afternoon snack.  Or anytime snack.  Full of good energy and all things healthy.  If you're having a hard time finding any of the ingredients, try your local health food store.

oil, for coating the pan
1 1/2 C crispy brown rice cereal
1/2 C raw sliced almonds (I used slivered b/c that's what I had in my cupboard)
1/2 C raw sunflower seeds
1/4 C raw wheat germ
2 tbsp. whole chia seeds (I buy these at Costco)
2 tbsp. flax seed meal
1 C dried Medjool dates (about 6 ounces), pitted
1/4 C natural smooth unsalted almond butter
1/4 C brown rice syrup
1/2 tsp. fine salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 C natural unsweetened cocoa powder

1.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit and arrange a rack in the middle.  Coat an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with butter; set aside.

(Note: it is important to actually put the oven rack in the middle of the oven - I didn't do this and mine started to burn after just a few minutes!).

2.  Place rice cereal, almonds, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, chia seeds and flax seed meal on a rimmed baking sheet, toss with your hands to combine, and spread in an even layer.  Bake, stirring halfway through, until almonds are fragrant and lightly toasted, about 12 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

3.  Place cereal mixture in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and pulse until the mixture is broken up and the largest pieces are about the size of uncooked grains of rice, about 5 (1-second) pulses.  Transfer to a medium bowl; set aside.

4.  Place dates in the food processor and process until finely chopped and a ball forms, about 15 seconds; set aside.

5.  Place almond butter, rice syrup, salt and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  Stir until mixture is combined and runs like slow-moving lava, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat, immediately add reserved dates and cocoa powder, and, using a wooden spoon, stir, smashing down on the dates, until well combined and no streaks of cocoa remain.  Add reserved cereal mixture and stir, pressing as you do, until evenly combined. (This takes some muscle and time, about 5 minutes).  Transfer to the prepared baking pan and, using your hands, spread and firmly press the mixture into the pan.  Let cool completely.

(Note: we added about 1 tbsp. of water to the mixture, as we were having a hard time getting everything to stick together).

6.  Remove the date-seed slab from the pan.  Cut it in half to form two rectangles, then cut each rectangle widthwise into 5 bars to form 10 bars total.  Wrap each bar in plastic wrap.  Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 weeks; let frozen bars come to room temperature before eating.

For a gluten-free version, buy gluten-free crispy brown rice cereal.

Difficulty level: moderate


Kris said...

For gluten-free ones, what would you put in place of wheat germ?

Food for Thought Linds said...

Right... that slipped my mind. How about gluten-free oatmeal?

Kris said...

That could work for people who will eat gluten-free oatmeal. I guess you could also maybe use quinoa flakes?

Food for Thought Linds said...

For sure :)