"Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table." -William Shakespeare

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Power Bars

Some days, the stars align,
children busy themselves with educational pursuits,
toddlers nap,
and mothers actually have time to play games with their children.

Other days, you make Power Bars anyway.

I am indebted to my sister-in-law Laura for the original recipe which has eventually morphed into this one. We both spent a lot of time and poured a lot of concoctions down the drain before the final emergence of the perfect high-protein snack. Most health food store bars are chock-full of sugar- organic as it may be- plus they are so small, each of our children could polish off three or four at one sitting. That's a pretty big pocket book ouch.

3c raw almonds
1c raw walnuts
1c raw sunflower seeds
Dash chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds (optional)
1/2t salt
Usually you add 5 Tablespoons vanilla, but I am out, so I added a 2" piece of vanilla bean

Process the above in batches in the blender or food processor into a medium-grit powder.
Add 1c whole wheat flour or pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
2-4 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, optional
And mix.

Next add
3/4 c natural liquid sweetener (I am using agave nectar and brown rice syrup, but maple syrup, barley malt syrup, or honey would be ok, too.)
And a drizzle of molasses, but I was out so I skipped that.

You will need to knead with your hands until the mixture is sticky but still somewhat crumbly. It should pack together like a snowball, but it shouldn't be runny at all. Add more liquid sweetener if the mixture is so crumbly you can't pack it together at all.

Dump onto a large jelly roll pan or other sheet with a lip. Take precautions to prevent your pan from being raided while you wash your hands. Then place a piece of wax paper or parchment paper over the top to help you pack the mixture into the pan very firmly. Use the bottom of a large meauring cup or the heels of your hands.

Place in your oven and bake at 200 till totally dried out and lightly browned- 1 to 2 hours depending on your oven. The low temp preserves much of the raw qualities of the ingredients. A dehydrator would be great, too. If you are in a hurry, you can bake at 350 for 15-25 minutes.

Basically, you want the dough dried out, but not to brown, or else the bars will be too hard when cooled. Press a long knife into the bars while warm to cut.

You may melt a bar of dark, organic chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler and drizzle over the bars at this point. But only for moms who have been really, really good. And frankly, I haven't.

"It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily. "So it is." "And freezing." "Is it?" "Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately."
~A.A. Milne

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