Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Do-It-Yourself Power Bars

Ever since my wonderful agent (Alexandra Machinist) sold my novel in January, I’ve felt like I’ve been running in quicksand. On top of working and volunteering, I have a crazy editing deadline. At first my approach to feeding myself during this time was: minimal effort. I bought loads of prepared foods at Trader Joe's and heated things up as the days went on. But after a week or so, my body begged for some culinary TLC. So I pulled Super Natural Cooking from my cookbook shelf (unopened after three years) and marked recipes I could make on Sunday night to tide me over through each week.

I promise to post the Otsu recipe soon (perfect for lunch), but right now I want to sing the praises of the Do-It-Yourself Power Bars. They are like healthy Rice Krispie Treats, and oh so satisfying despite being wheat and sugar free. (Actually, they call for a fourth cup of sugar, but I have no idea why, since it seems to me that sugar would ruin them.) I’ve made three batches so far, and I’m still not tired of them. Better yet, I’ve shared them with sweet-tooth kids, and they haven’t even realized they’re eating something healthy!

Do-It-Yourself Power Bars
modified from Super Natural Cooking


- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/4 cups chopped toasted walnuts
- 1/2 cup oat bran
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened crisp brown rice cereal (not puffed)
- 1 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 3 Tbsp. finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 1 cup brown rice syrup
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. fine-grain sea salt


1) Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with the vegetable oil.

2) Mix the oats, walnuts, oat bran, rice cereal, cranberries and ginger together in a large bowl and set aside.

3) Combine the rice syrup, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly as it comes to a boil and thickens just a bit, about 4 minutes.

4) Pour over the oat mixture and stir until the syrup is evenly incorporated.

5) Spread into the prepared pan and cool to room temperature before cutting into whatever size bars you desire.

6) Store using wax paper, since the bars are sticky.

Note on ingredients – the best deals

Whole Foods:
- Brown rice cereal: Arrowhead Mills brand (the recipe calls for crisp rice, “not puffed,” but I could only find puffed, and it works just fine)
- Brown rice syrup: Lundberg brand (not cheap, but Whole Foods definitely has it)

Trader Joe's:
- Oat bran: store brand
- Rolled oats: Country Choice brand

World Market/Cost Plus
- Crystallized ginger: store brand


janet brown said...

Can't wait to attempt these--without the sugar--so glad you are here once more!

Kim said...

Janet, I have so many recipes to post ... I miss Serve It Forth. Hopefully things will calm down soon and I can get back into the rhythm. Love you! Kim