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Energy Bar – Attempt # 1

March 1st, 2009

Energy Bars

I love Clif Bars; so does Rachel.  I also love my grandma’s homemade granola bars, which I spoke of when I wrote a review of the “True Delights” granola bars.  Today I decided that I needed to try and make my own energy bar that is low in sugar, delicious and good for you!  I thought I would make a chewy granola bar, but Rachel suggested I make a Clif Bar.

I scoured the web high and low and became “enlightened.”  I stumbled upon a recipe for Clif Bars, but I don’t really think they are anything like Clif Bars, plus they didn’t really turn out as described.  I think I did a few things wrong, but in the end I made them work.

First off, I used old-fashioned oats when the recipe called for quick oats.  I think the difference there is not in the cooking speed, but in the size of the grain.  I didn’t process the dry mixture in a food processor, but I’m going to recommend it below in my “method.”  I think the oats, rice cereal, nuts and fruit can all be processed in a food processor until fairly fine to get a better texture.  That might allow you to use less honey/sweetener too.

I’m going to try a few more recipes in the coming months and see what works the best, I’ll keep reporting back here.  Here’s what I did today:

Boiling the sugarsDry Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/4 cups crispy rice cereal (like Rice Crispies)
  • 1 cup uncooked old fashioned oats
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • 1/3 cup honey (or brown rice syrup, maple syrup, or light molasses)
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy but creamy would probably work better)

Method:

  1. Mix cereal, oats, nuts, dried fruit and flaxseed in a food processor
  2. Process until fairly fine but not quite flour like and set aside
  3. Using a small sauce pan heat up honey and brown sugar over medium heat until bubbles begin to form (boiling)
  4. Remove from heat and add peanut butter and mix well
  5. Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients and mix until dry ingredients are completely coated.
  6. At this step I realized that my mixture was too crumbly and not sticking together.  I think the idea would be to get it to a slightly dry cookie dough texture.  If you have the same problem simply repeat step 3, 4 and 5 perhaps in smaller portions depending on how dry or crumbly your mixture is.
  7. Next I decided to try and roll my energy bars out by hand.  I grabbed a small handful of mix and squished it into a ball in my hand.  Then I flattened it and set it on a cooling rack to cool.

These bars (or cookies as my wife called them) were packed with peanut butter and dried fruit flavor but did not quite have the same level of satisfaction that a Clif Bar has.  I will keep on trying but for now I hope you enjoy them!

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  » By Keith Prickett