Rise and Shine Energy Bars

March 10, 2014

I didn’t workout today. I didn’t really take a rest day this week, and I probably should have. And the fall yesterday left me more sore this morning than I would like to admit. I decided to rest and live to fight another day.

So instead of working out, I made energy bars to take to Triathlon 101, which is this Wednesday. In addition to the Chocolate Cashew and Almond bars from Seasaltwithfood, and the Apricot & Cashew Energy Bars from Nutritionist in the Kitch, I made two new bars. One was also from Nutritionist in the Kitch – Vegan PB & J Energy Bars…but they went terribly, terribly wrong, so they won’t get posted here. I may try them one more time, if for no other reason than to try to figure out what I did wrong. But another one, Rise and Shine Energy Barsfrom Beard and Bonnet, went great! Here’s the recipe:

Rise and Shine Energy Bars

Ingredients

1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup gluten-free oats
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup flax seeds
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
4 Tbsp. unsalted earth balance or butter
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. g-free vanilla extract
2 cups g-free puffed brown rice cereal
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the pecans, oats, pine nuts, and flax seeds on the sheet and bake about 8 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Rise and Shine Energy Bars Dry Ingredients to be Toasted

2. In a saucepan, bring the sugar, honey, butter or Earth Balance, and salt to a boil over medium heat. Simmer until the sugar dissolves and a light brown caramel forms, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

Rise and Shine Liquid Ingredients 2    Rise and Shine Liquid Ingredients Melted

3. Pour the caramel over the nut and oat mixture. Stir in the brown rice cereal and the cranberries until evenly coated.

Rise and Shine Cranberries Puffed RiceRise and Shine Mixing it all

4. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, extend the paper over the sides of the pan to use as a handle later. Pour the cereal mixture into the baking dish and spread out into an even layer. Cover the pan with a second piece of parchment and press down to compress the bars. Let the mixture stand for about 2 hours until firm.

Rise and Shine in the pan

5. Discard the top piece of parchment and use the “handles” from the second piece of parchment to gently remove the cereal square from the pan then cut the squares into 12 equal size bars and serve. (Obviously I cut them into 10 in these photos):

Rise and Shine Bars Sliced 1Rise and Shine Bars Sliced 2

From Beardandbonnet.com

I’m mixed on these bars. I’ll probably make them again, but I don’t know that they’ll be a regular recipe for me.

Pros:

1. It’s nice to have something more granola-bar texture.

2. Great taste – but very sweet from all that sugar!!

3. Actually pretty easy to make, even though you have to use both the oven and stove.

Cons:

1. Wow these were sticky! I’m not sure how you’d eat them with your fingers out and about – you’d have to use whatever you wrapped them in. Not a big deal, but not super convenient.

2. Related to #1, using the term “bar” to describe these is a bit generous. They fall apart pretty easily. You can see from the last photo that the tip of the bar I’m holding remains on the cutting board. Again, shape is probably not a big deal, but still.

Nutrition estimation according to Training Peaks:

Rise and Shine Training Peaks

Per bar, if cut into 10 would be about 325.5 calories.

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