Lately, I've been on the search for more healthy, homemade snacks that can be consumed on the go. My wee one is almost always on the go, and she just doesn't have the time to sit and eat. Last week, she didn't eat a single meal, and it stressed me out. She snacked here and there, but meals were not happening. I, too, have been known to get quite munch-y during the day and turn to less than desirable sweets to satisfy the cravings. Something yummy and highly portable was in order.
On the search initially for homemade granola bars, I found this recipe on 101 Cookbooks, a food blog I bookmarked over two years ago but haven't used much (shame on me, because it is really fantastic!). While I didn't have all things on hand (rice syrup was tricky), I was able to make due with a few minor adjustments. I was unable to find unsweetened brown rice cereal and didn't want to go the Rice Krispies route, so I bought the next closest thing: cocoa brown rice cereal. I figured the cocoa would be a welcome flavor as far as the kids were concerned. With them in mind, I also left out the espresso powder. I may have been a bit too liberal with the coconut oil on the pan, but it was my first go with that. I am happy with it in place of butter, but I need to go lighter on the application next time. And yes, there will definitely be a next time! So yummy and very portable! I think I'll add some dried fruit too, perhaps apricots; cranberries are a definite. As they were, they definitely went over well!
Homemade Power Bar Recipe lightly adapted from 101 Cookbooks
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or regular butter)
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup slivered almonds
2/3 cup (unsweetened) shredded coconut
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups unsweetened crisp brown rice cereal or cocoa brown rice cereal
1 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking pan with the coconut oil. If you like thick power bars, opt for an 8 by 8-inch pan; for thinner bars, use a 9 by 13-inch pan.
On a rimmed baking sheet toast the pecans, almonds, and coconut for about 7 minutes, or until the coconut is deeply golden. Toss once or twice along the way. Mix the oats, toasted nuts, coconut, and the cereal, together in a large bowl and set aside.
Combine the rice syrup, sugar, salt, espresso, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly as it comes to a boil and thickens just a bit, about 4 minutes. Pour the syrup over the oat mixture and stir until it is evenly incorporated.
Spread into the prepared pan and cool to room temperature before cutting into whatever size bars you desire.
Makes 16 to 24 bars.