I have made protein bars before, very simple recipe, however it required egg whites which are on the no fly list at our house. After we got the orders for the elimination diet I set off googling recipes-my goodness there are a lot of people that can't eat gluten! Luckily they've done a lot of research work for me and my son gets to benefit from their endeavors.
I found this recipe on About.com a couple of weeks ago and decided that last Sunday's Betty Crocker day was the perfect time to give it a whirl.
It's fairly simple, the only thing I needed to actually buy for the recipe was the gluten free brown rice cereal, everything else I had in my pantry or refrigerator.
3/4 cup nut butter (almond or cashew or peanut or sunflower butter)
3/4 cup sweetener (honey or GF brown rice syrup or good quality Agave nectar)
1 1/2 cups roasted raw nuts and/or seeds
1 cup unsulfured dried fruit
4 cups GF brown rice crispie cereal
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place nuts and/or roasted seeds and dried fruit in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times, just until the mixture is coarsely ground. (This part was more difficult than it seems! I had to use the Vitamix and even then the almonds just would not chop much! I think next time, if I am using nuts, I will presmash them to break them up a bit before I put them in the chopper.)
In a large saucepan melt the nut butter with liquid sweetener over medium low heat. Stir and watch carefully to prevent scorching. When the mixture is smooth and bubbling, cook for about one minute. Remove from heat. Add salt and vanilla and stir to combine. Use a large spatula to stir in nuts, dried fruit and cereal. Stir until all ingredients are coated with nut butter mixture.
Scrape mixture on to the prepared baking sheet. Use a spatula to evenly spread the mixture on the pan. Place a large piece of waxed paper over the mixture and use a rolling pin to smooth the top of the mixture. Cover with the waxed paper and refrigerate for about two hours before cutting the energy bars into whatever sized you prefer.
Wrap bars in waxed paper and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
I like them, perhaps a little too much if you know what I mean! They're very sweet though, I think next time I will reduce the amount of raw honey I use. I don't think it'll mess up the mixture too much. I had some difficulty getting the wax paper to lift off. I might try parchment paper-or better quality wax paper-on my next batch. I wrapped each individually in plastic wrap and then bagged them in a gallon size freezer bag, ate one last night for dessert and it was just as good as the first day I made them. I also wrapped and stored some in the freezer, hopefully they will defrost well.
When I make these after Paulo goes back to school I will stick with 100% sunflower butter and just use seeds and fruits. We are a nut free school. This time I used a combination of sun and almond butter plus the almonds, peanuts and cashews-definitely not classroom friendly!
Making my own takes time but I appreciate knowing 100% what ingredients are going into our bodies.