|Fruit & almond power bars to power you up the mountain and down again.|
As the snow melts away and my favourite hiking trails are revealed fresh, my thoughts once again are pulled outside to be in the great outdoors. I love to be outside, but walking and hiking in the damp, chilly air takes extra energy. I like to take a "stick-to-your-ribs" energy snack along on longer walks to keep the blood pumping and the mind on the birds and trees, not my empty stomach!
Continuing my search for healthy sweet treats, I found a healthy "power bar" recipe that looked like a great starting point. I have altered the original recipe quite a bit (you can find it here), removing ingredients I didn't like and adding ingredients that I had on hand. I encourage you to do the same! Don't have dried cherries? Just use cranberries! Don't like almond butter? Use peanut butter! Throw some chocolate chips in there — don't be shy! I added hemp hearts for extra protein, but you can leave it out if you don't have it. Add coconut. Like dried apricots? Add 'em! The cereal I used was Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffed Cereal. I also increased the almond butter and honey slightly; I felt that they needed more glue to hold them together. Feel free to add even more if they are too crumbly for your liking.
Fruit & Almond Power Bars (based on this recipe)
Make 18 Bars
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds, preferably golden
1 tablespoon hemp hearts
1 cup unsweetened whole-grain puffed cereal
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped dried cherries
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup creamy almond butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup liquid honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
- Pre-heat oven to 350° F.
- On a large rimmed baking sheet, combine oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and hemp hearts. Toast for about 10 minutes or until golden and fragrant, shaking the pan halfway through.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the almond butter, brown sugar, honey, vanilla extract and salt. Stir until it is all melted together and bubbling slightly; remove from heat.
- In a very large bowl, combine oat mixture, almond butter mixture, cereal, and fruit and mix until combined.
- Press into an 8 x 8 pan lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to firm up.
- Cut into 18 bars. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.