Saturday, March 20, 2010

St. Patty's Recap + Very Good Recipe



Happy St. Patrick's Day! We had a good one this year. Josh's friends Pete & Amy came down from Little Rock. The 3 of them went to "The World's Shortest Parade" or whatever it's called, then I met up with them later at Maxine's. They stayed with us, and the next morning we took our hung-over selves to McClard's for a delicious lunch. (I think Josh was a little too hung over to actually enjoy that part!) I have to say, St. Patrick's Day is not really my holiday. Mainly because I don't like beer. But I ended up having a great time this year. Pete & Amy are so much fun! Except for when Pete is running naked through my house. That's just weird. That's a picture Josh took of his beer BTW. He loves the Guinness.

So today I would like to share a fantastic recipe. Almond-Honey Power Bars. When my mom started making these a few months ago, I was skeptical because I usually hate diet food. But then I tried one, and it BLEW MY MIND! This is not diet food. This is DELICIOUS food that also happens to be very nutritious.



Almond-Honey Power Bars

Ingredients
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 cup whole-grain puffed cereal (such as Kashi's 7 Whole Grain Puffs)
1/3 cup craisins
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup creamy almond butter
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Prep
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch-square pan with cooking spray.
2. Spread oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and sesame seeds on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the oats are lightly toasted and the nuts are fragrant, shaking the pan halfway through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add cereal, craisins, apricots and raisins; toss to combine.
3. Combine almond butter, sugar, honey, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring frequently, until the mixture bubbles lightly, 2 to 5 minutes.
4. Immediately pour the almond butter mixture over the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon or spatula until no dry spots remain. Transfer to the prepared pan. Lightly coat your hands with cooking spray and press the mixture down firmly to make an even layer (wait until the mixture cools slightly if necessary). Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes; cut into 8 bars.



These are the oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and sesame seeds waiting to be toasted in the oven.



These are the raisins, craisins and apricots waiting for their buddies in the aforementioned large bowl.



And this is the semi-finished product, waiting to be chilled.

Hope you make it and enjoy it! Each bar has approximately 250 calories. I like to enjoy mine with an ice-cold half-size Diet Coke. Josh and I actually have a different name for these things. We call them "birdseed bars". I used the last of my dried apricots the last time I made a batch, so next time I'm going to try chopped dates in their place (which I happen to have on hand). I'll let you know how that turns out. And here's a link to the original recipe (it's slightly different): http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/almond_power_bar.html

3 comments:

Robiana said...

Looking forward to trying this. Hope I can find the ingredients. I'm headed to Kroger!

Leigh Anne said...

sounds delicious! I'll have to try them!

Betsey Claire Buys said...

I had a heck of a time rounding up all the ingredients myself, but I (eventually) found everything I needed at Kroger. Flax seeds, Kashi cereal, and almond butter are all in the health food section. And it took me forever (actually it took me calling my mom) to realize that sesame seeds live with the spices on the baking isle.