Last February Al printed off a recipe for energy bars from Adventure Journal. The recipe was created by the wife of cyclist Christian Vande Velde. Despite my disappointment in the pro cycling community (dirty cheaters), I simply could not boycott this recipe and finally got around to whipping up a batch yesterday.
Like any recipe with unique ingredients my first step was to hit up 2 out of Laramie’s 3 grocery stories in search of tahini and wheat germ. I found tahini right next to the peanut butter, but was out of luck when it came to wheat germ. After a quick consultation with my i-phone in Safeway I learned that flax would be an appropriate substitute. Crisis averted! Other than that I followed the recipe exactly (and it was hard to do because I wanted to add M&Ms and shredded coconut).
Cast of Characters:
- 4 cups puffed rice cereal
- 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup flax (the recipe calls for wheat germ)
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
*Milk duds not included but photographed because they looked lonely sitting on the counter all by themselves.
In a large bowl combine the cereal, cranberries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and flax (or wheat germ).
In a saucepan combine tahini, brown sugar, and honey. Cook over medium heat until it bubbles and don’t forget to stir so it won’t burn. Take off heat and add vanilla.
Pour tahini mixture over dry ingredients and mix it up like you’re making rice crispy treats. I eventually used my hands because sometimes they are more efficient than a spoon.
Pour the mixture into a greased 9×13 pan, press down firmly.
Eat and enjoy!
All the nutritional stats can be found here. I like these bars because they were quick and easy to make (about 10 minutes). I’m also allergic to nuts and it’s nearly impossible to find a good energy bar recipe that doesn’t contain nuts or use peanut butter as a base ingredient.
As far as flavor goes, Al thought they were “really good,” I thought they were “interesting but okay,” I liked the sweet and salty combination. Our trail toddler had just as much fun rolling them into a ball with his pudgy fingers as he had eating them. I think when it comes to taking them out on the trails we’ll wrap them in parchment paper to keep them from sticking together.
I’ll be making these energy bars again, after all I have 3/4 of a jar of tahini to use up! Don’t ask me what I’m going to do with all that leftover flax though. (Suggestions anyone?)
And I’d like propose a new name, either “Cheater Bars” or “Sweet & Salty Sesame Bars.” Make them, eat them, and then let us know what name fits.