BANANA ALMOND BUTTER GRANOLA BARS (Vegan-Friendly)
On your stovetop, heat the following ingredients until well combined, reserving for later use:
FRUIT -- 2 ripe mashed bananas
NUTS -- ½ cup of almond butter
Next, pour the following four ingredients in a food processor, chopping until coarse and well-blended:
NUTS -- 1/2 cup almonds
Then, pour food processor contents into a large bowl, incorporating previously heated banana-almond butter mixture along with the following:
GRAIN -- 1 cup rolled oats
SEEDS --1/4 cup mixed seeds
Finally, press the whole kit and caboodle into a prepared 9-inch square metal pan, baking it in a 350 degree oven for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Cool thoroughly before cutting into individual bars.
APRICOT ALMOND MAPLE ENERGY BARS
Pulse the following ingredients in a food processor until finely chopped and well-blended:
GRAIN -- 1 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ, 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
FRUIT -- 1/2 cup dried apricots, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup pitted dried dates
NUTS/SEEDS --1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup raw almonds
DAIRY -- 2 large eggs, 1/2 cup powdered nonfat dry milk
SPICES -- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
SWEETENERS -- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
Once the mixture achieves the consistency of coarse paste, spread it evenly in a prepared 9 by 13-inch pan and bake it in a 350 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes.
DRIED FRUIT & PEANUT BUTTER SQUARES
In a large mixing bowl, add the following ingredients until well-combined:
GRAIN -- 3 cups puffed whole grain cereal (such as Kashi)
FRUIT -- 1/4 cup chopped pitted dates, 1/4 cup chopped dried tart cherries, 1/4 cup raisins
NUTS -- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
In a heavy saucepan, heat these liquid-based ingredients on high, whisking for at least one minute until they thicken:
NUTS -- 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
SWEETENERS -- 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
Pour the hot liquid into your large bowl until all energy bar ingredients are well-blended.
Then, press everything into a prepared 9-inch square metal baking pan -- the consistency will be similar to that of marshmallow rice crispy treats, so be prepared to use some elbow grease! Bake for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven until the bars become golden brown and then cool thoroughly before cutting.
RAW CHOCOLATE CASHEW ALMOND ENERGY BARS (Vegan-Friendly)
Pulse the following ingredients in a food processor until coarse but well-blended:
FRUIT -- 2 cups Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
NUTS -- cups raw cashews, ½ cups raw almonds
FLAVORINGS -- 3/4 cup cocoa powder, dash of sea salt
Add ½ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut, 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract and 2 to 3 tablespoons of cold water to your food processor until the whole mixture comes together like a dry but moist dough. Then press it into a 11 ½ x 4 ½ inch prepared, aluminum foil lined pan with a rubber spatula, allowing it to chill in your refrigerator for several hours or overnight for best flavor and consistency.
CHICKPEA FLAX GRANOLA BARS (Vegan-Friendly)
Chickpeas, you say? You mean the cute little beigey-orange morsels that I put in my salad? Yes. Believe it or not, those nutty, protein rich nuggets of goodness offer a wonderful flavor nuance to these energy bars, so give ‘em a whirl and you’ll become a believer. This recipe involves several steps, but it’s well worth the time.
First, soak 1 heaping tablespoon of ground flax seeds in ¼ cup of warm water until the mixture thickens, setting aside for later use.
Then, stir 1 teaspoon of cinnamon into 1 tablespoon of brown sugar in a bowl, adding 2 ¼ cups of cooked, rinsed chickpeas until well combined. Bake all three ingredients in a prepared 8 inch pan for 8 minutes, stirring well, and then for an additional 8 minutes. Mash thoroughly with a fork and reserve for later use.
Remember that flax mixture that you set aside? Add ½ cup of your favorite nut butter to it as well as ¼ cup of agave nectar and 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil.
Now, you might want to dust off your stand mixer or food processor because you’ll be adding your flax-nut butter-agave-coconut oil mixture to it along with your mashed chick peas and:
GRAIN -- 1 ½ cups of quick oats, 1 cup puffed cereal such as kamut
FRUIT -- 1/2 cup dried chopped apricots, 2 pitted/chopped dates, 1/4 cup raisins
FLAVORINGS -- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of salt if desired
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until everything is thoroughly mixed together, pressing firmly into an 8 inch wax or parchment paper-lined pan and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours before slicing and serving.