Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Organic Green Mountain Power Bars

Another early morning departure for me. At 4am my friends and I packed up our skis, snowboards, and bathing suits and began our 4 hour drive to Vermont for four days or skiing and hanging out in the hot tub. We always bring boxes of granola bars for and easy snack and energy on the mountain so instead of buying them I decided to make them.

I started out with Heidi Swanson's Big Sur Power Bars in mind but ended up changing the recipe so much that I feel i can call these my own. I stuck with her her basic idea but made it my own with almonds, walnuts, cranberries and Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips. I made two batches; one with ground espresso in them for extra caffeine and energy and one without. I made the first batch in a 9x13 glass pyrex for thinner bars and the second in an 8x8 for thicker bars. In the end I decided I like the thicker bars without the espresso the best. Feel free to mix in whatever nuts and dried fruits you choose and make sure to layer parchment paper in between the bars if you stack them up in a container.   Otherwise they will just squish together in one sticky lump.

Organic Green Mountain Power Bars
I recently bought one of those sprayers that you fill with olive oil to use like a non-stick spray so I sprayed my pan with that but brushing the pan with olive oil or butter works just as well All ingredients are organic except the olive oil. Makes about 20 Bars.

Olive oil to coat the pan
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups unsweetened crisp brown rice cereal
1 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 tablespoons ground espresso beans (optional)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 baking 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 (if using), 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 bars.

I won't have computer access so no posts until I get back on Saturday. Lots of snowy pictures to share when I get home though. :)

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