Need something healthy to eat in a hurry? Maybe you are an athlete who needs a good source of quick, nutritious, energy packed food with good carbohydrates and healthy protein. Have kids who come home from school and look for something quick to hold them over until dinner? If you too have a busy and active family, but want healthy snacks on short notice, this is the recipe for you.
There is a lot of flexibility in this bar recipe. I rarely make them exactly the same. It depends on what variety of fruits, nuts and puffed cereal is in my pantry when I am ready to make a batch of bars. Today, I made them with raisins, dried figs and dried cherries. The seeds I chose were pumpkin, sunflower and hemp. What do you have on hand?
Bonnie’s No Bake Energy Bars
Prep time: 30 minutes Servings: 24-32
- 1 cup seeds and/or nuts (sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, walnuts, pecans, almonds)
- 2 cups of chopped dried fruit (dates, raisins, apricots, cherries, apples, blueberries)
- 6 cups puffed cereal grains (rice, kamut, millet)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups peanut butter or other nut butter
- 1 1/2 cups pure syrup (honey, rice syrup, maple or agave)
- 1 cup powdered soy milk or vegetable protein powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Optional: 2 Tbs. ground flax seeds, 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1. Combine the seeds and/or nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring until fragrant and toasted. Set aside to cool.
2. Combine dried fruit and chocolate chips (if using) and the toasted seeds/nuts in the container of a food processor. Pulse to chop until small but not pasty. Transfer to a large bowl and mix with oats and the puffed cereal. Add ground flax seeds at this time, if using.
3. In a glass quart pitcher, combine the syrup of choice and peanut butter. Heat in the microwave until bubbly. This takes about 4 minutes in the microwave, stir after the first 2 minutes. Stir in the powdered soy milk/veg protein, vanilla and almond extract (if using). Pour the peanut butter mixture over the bowl of cereal and goodies. Mix with a spoon or by hand (wet hands keep it from sticking to you) until everything is evenly coated. I mix first with the spoon and then dump onto a rimmed cookie sheet to finalize the kneading together of all ingredients.
4. Press the mixture into a greased 10-15 inch jellyroll pan using wet hands. Cut into bars and allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.
You can wrap the bars individually, cover and leave out, refrigerate or freeze. These energy packed bars last a long time…that is until everyone finds out how good they are. 😉