Sunday, January 19, 2014

Back to Basics 16 - Almond-Honey Power Bar

I've got a really great breakfast/snack recipe for you! This, no surprise, is an EatingWell recipe. I got it from my Simple Art of EatingWell cookbook. I make a batch of these granola bars at the beginning of the week for my boyfriend Eric to take with him in the morning as his breakfast.

These bars are very complex, filling and just sweet enough. They have so many tasty and healthy things in them! They're seriously amazing. Everybody that has tried them looovvesss them and begs me to make more.

Yields 8 bars

-1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
-1/4 cup slivered almonds
-1/4 cup sunflower seeds
-1 tablespoon flaxseeds, I like golden more
-1 tablespoon sesame seeds
-1 cup unsweetened multi-grain puffed cereal (I usually just buy brown rice puffs)
-1/3 cup chopped raisins
-1/3 cup chopped golden raisins
-1/3 cup chopped dried cranberries
Note: For the dried fruit mix, you can use WHATEVER you like. Sometimes I mix it up and use dried apricots or dried cherries. You can even use dates or prunes.

A good trick to chop dried fruit without having them stick to your knife is to spray the knife with some cooking oil before cutting them up.

-1/4 cup creamy almond butter (learn how to make your own here!)
-1/4 cup turbinado sugar (you can use brown sugar or regular white granulated sugar but turbinado sugar is a little bit better for you because it has less calories and is less processed)

-1/4 cup honey
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/8 teaspoon salt

-Preheat your oven to 350F. Coat an 8inch square pan with cooking spray, or line it with aluminum foil and then spray that.
-Spread oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and sesame seeds on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the oats are lightly toasted and the nuts are fragrant, about 10 minutes. Make sure to shake the pan halfway through so nothing burns.

-Transfer to a large bowl. Add the puffed rice and dried fruit. Toss to combine.
-Combine almond butter, sugar, honey, vanilla extract and salt in a small saucepan.

-Heat over medium-low, stirring frequently until the mixture starts bubbling up a little bit. It should take about 2-5 minutes.
-Immediately pour the almond butter mixture over the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon or spatula until everything is coated well and no dry spots remain.
-Transfer to the prepared pan. Grease your hands slightly with oil and press the mixture down with your fingers. Be careful! It might still be a little hot.

-Put the pan in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Then cut it into 8 bars, or whatever you'd like!

I decorated these for a gift basket, they're not usually this cute!

Calories: 244 calories per bar (yields 8 bars)

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