Saturday, April 19, 2014

Energy Bars

Energy Granola Bars
This recipe is from the new cookbook of Angela Liddon whose blog "Oh She Glows" I have followed for several years.  Angela had challenges with diet in her years and today she offers very healthy recipes on her blog as well as in her cookbook.  This recipe in her book is titled Present Glo Bar.
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 1/4 cups crisp rice cereal
1/4 cup pepita seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup roasted almond butter or 
   peanut butter 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 300^F.  Line a 9" square inch cake pan with two pieces of parchment paper.  (one going each way.

Spread the pecans in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant.  Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, rice crisp cereal, pepita seeds, cranberries, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir in the cooled toasted pecans.

In a small sauce pan, stir together the brown rice syrup and almond butter until well combined.  Cook over medium heat until the mixture softens and bubbles slightly, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Pour the almond butter over the mixture using a spatula to scrape every last bit from the pan.  Stir well until all of the oats and cereal are coated into a wet mixture.  The resulting mixture will be very thick and difficult to stir.  

Transfer the mixture to a prepared pan, spreading it out into an even layer.  Lightly wet your hands and press down on the mixture to even it out.  Use a pastry roller to compact the mixture firmly and evenly.  This helps the bars hold together better.  Press down on the edges to even out the mixture

Place the pan in the freezer, uncovered, and chill for 10 minutes, or until firm.

Lift the oat square out of the pan, using the parchment paper as handles, and place it on a cutting board.  With a pizza cutter or serrated knife, slice the square into 6 rows and then slice them in half to make 12 bars total.

Wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap or foil and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  Alternately, you can store them in the freezer for up to 1 month.  

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