Notch-It-Up Homemade Power Bars

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Notch-It-Up Homemade Power Bars

Description

These homemade power bars are “notched up” with tender dates and cacao nibs. They’re tasty, portable and last for weeks in the fridge. Enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup oats
1⁄2 cup mixed seeds (pumpkin, sesame and chia — in whatever proportions you desire)
1 cup fruit, dried and chopped (cherries, apricots, currants, dried blueberries, golden raisins
4 tablespoons cacao nibs
¾ cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup almonds, diced (alternative: walnuts)
1⁄2 cup soy protein powder
1⁄2 cup flax meal
1⁄4 cup wheat germ (toasted or regular)
1⁄2 teaspoon salt substitute
1⁄2 cup peanut butter (alternative: almond butter)
1⁄2 cup brown rice syrup
3 tablespoons water
1⁄2 cup dates or figs, pitted and chopped finely (soak dates in the water for an hour to soften)
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate (optional)

Instructions

  1. Toast the oats and mixed seeds in a pan over medium to low heat, stirring often so they don’t burn. When done, add to a food processor/chopper/grinder and grind.
  2. Add the grinded mixture to a large bowl. Add in the dried fruit, cacao nibs and coconut.
  3. In the same toasting pan, toast the almonds/walnuts; when done, add to the bowl. Add the protein powder, flax meal, wheat germ and salt substitute and mix well.
  4. In a saucepan, heat the peanut butter, brown rice syrup, water, dates and vanilla, stirring vigorously until smooth.
  5. Add the peanut butter mixture to the dry ingredients; stir well. If it seems crumbly, add a couple teaspoons of water and mix well.
  6. Lightly oil a 7 ½″ x 11 ½″ rectangular pan. Pour the mixture into the pan and press in firmly. If desired, sprinkle chocolate chips or dark chocolate over the pressed bars. (The bars should still be warm.) Cover with a cutting board for about 30 minutes to passively melt the chocolate. (If it’s a warm sunny day, you can even set it outside to melt.)
  7. Use a frosting spatula to smooth the melted chips over the bars. Let sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes, until the chocolate is firm to the touch. You can refrigerate it, but just be careful to pull it out when the chocolate is barely firm.
  8. Use a pizza cutter to cut the bars any size you want. Make sure to do this while the bars are at room temperature or they’ll be hard to cut. For a firmer consistency, you can put the pan in the fridge or freezer. Or, they may be solid enough to pop out of the pan now — give it a try. If not, refrigerate for a few hours.

Notes

  • For snacks on the go, fill snack-size resealable plastic bags with 2 bars each; then put them all in a larger bag and freeze or refrigerate. When heading out the door — just grab a baggie!