Saturday, January 21, 2012

my kind of bar

The holidays are long gone (thank god!), which means Nic and I are hunkering down for a few weekends spent lazily at home.

We made three consecutive road trips to Minnesota for the holidays, logging over 2,100 miles and over 35 hours of road time to spend the weekends with our family and friends.

35 hours is a lot of time on the road.

We always try to be prepared and pack drinks, snacks, and meals while traveling in order to cut down on expenses (we figured the cost of gas alone was about $100 each trip), but sometimes these things are overlooked and grabbing a snack at a gas station is inevitable.

One late Friday night, we were browsing the isles of a Kwik Trip in Rochester looking for something semi healthy to give us one last surge of energy to get us to the Cities.

The typical go to gas station snack lately has been a bag of almonds, trail mix, or pretzels. But this night, I was happy to see that they had a selection of Kind Bars. And by a selection, I mean two varieties.

Hey - beggars can't be choosers, right?

Paying entirely too much for a bar made of nuts, dried fruit and sweetener, Nic and I grabbed one of each and hit the road, sinking our teeth into a salty sweet treat.

And I've been craving one ever since.

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My Kind of Bar
adapted from Peas and Thank You

In the mix::

1 cup raw almonds - coarsely chopped
1/2 cup raw walnuts - coarsely chopped
1/2 cup raw cashews - coarsely chopped
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1/4 cup pure syrup
1/4 cup raw honey*
3 tablespoons ground flax
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350*

In a bowl, combine syrup, honey, ground flax, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine almonds, walnuts, cashews, raisins, chia seeds and flax seeds. 

Stir in syrup + honey mixture into nut mixture until combined.

Press into an 8x8 pan lined with parchment. 

Bake at 350* for 20 minutes, until edges are beginning to brown.

Allow to cool completely before cutting into 16 bars.

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*for an entirely vegan recipe, use an additional 1/4 cup syrup instead of honey.

The combination possibilities are endless for these bars.

Try dried cherries (instead of raisins) and drizzle with chocolate (like Mama's Pea's version).

Use apricots (instead of raisins), replace the walnuts with more almonds, and almond extract for vanilla for a very almond-y apricot bar.

How about an apple pie bar? Using dried apples, replace the cashews with more walnuts, and a pinch of cloves in addition to the cinnamon.

And the stats:

Picture 8

I figured the stats using Livestrong's Daily Plate calorie tracker and is just an estimate.

14 comments:

  1. What type of syrup do you use? Agave?

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    1. I used maple syrup, but you could use agave.

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  2. These are beautiful! I love the flexibility of this recipe too. Consider yourself bookmarked :)

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  3. Hi! I just found your blog through this post on Finding Vegan! I just wanted to let you know.. I don't know if you are completely Vegan or not but for your 2012 goals I recommend reading Brendan Braziers Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life. Brendan Brazier is a vegan triathlete, serious runner and owner of the Vega products. Such a good book totally recommend it to everyone, vegans non vegans! Anyone who wants to be able to improve their workouts and self! It is awesome truly is!

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    Replies
    1. That book is in my Barnes and Noble cart just waiting for me to hit "purchase"! Happy to hear the great review, thanks!

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  4. These look so awesome! I love all the nuts and seeds and all the different possibilities. I am totally making these soon - I always need snacks even for shorter trips or just around the house. Can never have too many options around here, haha.

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  5. I wonder if there's a way to do this with a dehydrator.

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    1. I bet you could! If you do try it, let me know how it worked!

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  6. I made these last night,subbing maple syrup and brown rice syrup for the syrup and honey. I also added about a tablespoon of fresh orange zest. But forgot the ground flaxseed :/ So they are not as cohesive as they might be, but very tasty...thank you !

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  7. These look great, can't wait to try the recipe! I love flaxseeds and chia seeds!

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  8. Can't wait to try these out! How long do you think the shelf life is?

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    1. I really couldn't say what the shelf life would be. We stored these in the fridge, and they were gone within a week...I don't think they will last long because they are just too good!

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  9. Tastes good. Not like Kind bars, more like homemade granola without the oats. My bars didn't want to come out of the pan, or be cut perfectly. I'm on a quest for homemade kind bars, not these.

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