Friday, October 14, 2016

Energy Bars

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), the theme, Monthly Featured Chef : Ellie Krieger, is the last one in line for the monthly featured chef theme. Starting from next month, the theme will be changed to a featured ingredient or dish, and we shall have the option to choose to cook with any of our past and present featured chefs at IHCC.

It has been awhile since I've cook with Ellie Krieger, and I have been thinking of making some snacks, especially on the afternoons that I want something light yet healthy to nibble on. Of course, you can count on Ellie Krieger for her fabulous healthy recipes and found just the right snack to make, Energy Bars. 

Half of the baked bars with sesame seeds spread over the top, leaving the other half as it is.

These bars are pretty easy to make, it comes together pretty quickly. What you need is a food processor to pulse all the ingredients (except maple syrup and eggs), until finely chopped. Then pour in the eggs and maple syrup and pulse  to a thick paste. Spread onto a very well greased baking tray, bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Easy peasy! I did not have any dates, so I used dried cranberries. Also did not have any maple syrup, so I've used honey.

My food processor could not pulse all the ingredients at once, so I have divided into two and pulse each half separately, mixing them together before adding the eggs and honey. One thing to note is, to cut each dried apricots into three so that it is easier to pulse in the food processor into smaller pieces. (The whole apricot got stuck in between the blades, so I got to remove them and cut into three pieces each, before proceeding to pulse them together with the other ingredients. This was done pretty quickly as there was only half a cup of whole dried apricots).

As I was spreading the thick paste into the baking tray, I was thinking of a layer of sesame seeds coating the top of the bars. I happened to have some toasted sesame seeds in a jar, so I spread them over half of the bar, leaving the other half as it is. I baked the bars for 22 minutes.

These bars cut pretty easily. It stays together and not crumbly when cut. Which one would you prefer? With or without the sesame seeds?

I like them both. Just the right amount of sweetness. The ones with sesame seeds has an extra nutty seedy bite. The ones without is equally good. The family are not fond of energy bars like this, so I knew that when I make this, I am going to be the one that is going to finish most of it. No complaints from me! I like to munch on bars and flapjacks with a cup of warm tea in the afternoon. I packed some pieces for my nephew and the rest are for me to enjoy for a few afternoons, and in between!

Energy Bars
(adapted from "The Food You Crave", Ellie Krieger)
makes 24 bars (3 x 1-/2 inch)
cooking spray
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup shelled unsalted raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup roasted wheat germ
1/4 cup whole-grain pastry flour or whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup dried apricots (each piece cut into 3)
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup pitted dried dates (dried cranberries)
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Place all the ingredients, except the maple syrup and eggs, in a food processor and pulse until everything is finely chopped. Add the syrup and eggs and pulse until the mixture is well combined. It will resemble a coarse paste.
Transfer to the baking pan and spread evenly to cover the bottom. Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then cut into 24 bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for about 3 days or wrap individually and freeze for up to 3 months.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week, 
Monthly Featured Chef : Ellie Krieger


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  1. Definitely my kind of post workout treat!

  2. Hi... love these looks yummm.... have a nice weekend.

  3. They both look equally enticing!

  4. Hi Joyce! It's great to make these energy bars at home instead of buying the commercial ones. Since your family is not fond of them, then there's more for you hah..hah..

  5. I think I'd like them either way! These bars would be a great after-school snack- They remind me of Kind bars, which I love! :)

  6. I'm not sure which one I would prefer so I'm going to say both! One of each:) I like how you made all the substitutions using what you had on hand. I have made these before and they did freeze well.

    P.S. I'm the only one in my house who ate them as well. Not sure why the kids or hubby don't like that kind of thing? They are surely missing out.