Energy Bars? Ummm ... YES! Who couldn't use a little more energy these days?
I feel like I've done a weeks worth of baking, grocery shopping, cleaning and attending soccer games and --- its only Wednesday! It's no wonder I feel like I'm energy deprived.
White sugar is often the culprit of spikes in blood sugar and then subsequent drops in blood sugar levels which causes me to feel like I am energy deprived. My job as a baker makes it really hard to avoid sugar completely but I do try and balance it out with meals and snacks with limited amounts of white sugar.
I found this recipe for Energy Bars in Joanne Changs new cookbook "Baking with Less Sugar." I was intrigued by her use of fruit and honey as a sweetener for delicious bars packed with energy boosting ingredients.
These bars make a great breakfast treat with a cup of tea or a perfect afternoon snack.
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup honey
1 super ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup flaxseed
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup millet
Preheat oven to 350 and toast walnuts, almonds and pecans 10 minutes. Let cool.
Combine dried fruits in bowl. Pour boiling water over fruit to cover. Let stand 30 minutes. Drain and reserve 1/4 fruit water.
Add banana mixture to dry ingredients and stir to combine.
Stir into oat mixture along with remaining fruit.
Press mixture into an 8x12 inch rectangle on a silpat lined baking sheet.
Cut into 16 rectangles.
Bake 35 minutes at 325. Reduce heat and bake 1 hour at 250. Turn off oven and leave bars in oven until cool.
In case you were wondering why there are 2 pieces missing - yup - that was my breakfast. That should be all the convincing that you need that these bars are delicious.
Use my recipe as a catalyst for your own custom made energy bars. Choose the fruits and nuts that appeal to you to customize your own bars.
I can't say that I wont be tasting cupcakes all afternoon but at least I can balance out the white sugar with some energy from fruit, honey and whole grains.
Happy snacking friends.
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