Happy Monday, friends!
Don’t believe me? How about now… ?
Still no, eh? Tough crowd. I know, I know – Mondays can be a little rough. That’s why I spent
part [10 minutes] of my weekend baking up some treats to share with you guys… And by baking I mean throwing a few ingredients in a bowl, mixing them together, tossing the mixture into the fridge, and calling it good. So… no-baking, I guess? I mean, sure, there was some minor stove work involved…
… but let’s not get caught up in petty details – let’s talk about the finished product instead.
Snack/protein/energy bars. Everyone loves them. They’re quick, they’re easy, they’re convenient, and with the proper ingredients, they’re pretty healthy and satisfying too. They’re also the bane of my existence. Why? Two words – peanut.allergy. Almost every single commercial bar out there is either loaded with peanuts or may contain traces of the pesky buggers; and most of the peanut-free versions leave a little something to be desired in terms of staying power. But that’s what weekend afternoon baking sessions are for, right?
If these bars look a little familiar, it’s because they were completely inspired by my Rice Krispie Energy Bites. I loved the flavour of those so much that I wanted to recreate them – only this time with a different texture. So, I swapped out the cereal for oat flour and was rewarded with a softer, denser, and fudgier bar.
I also threw in regular oats and crispy rice cereal to add some texture and crunch; and chocolate because… well… who really needs a reason for chocolate?
The result is, in a word, phenomenal. Imagine a subtly sweet bar that’s packed with flavour and wholesome ingredients. A bar that’s soft and fudgy enough to melt in your mouth, yet dense and textured enough to surprise you with the occasional crunch. A bar that satisfies not only your body, but your soul as well. Deep. Now stop imaging and go whip up a batch! It only takes all of 10 minutes!
- 1 cup oat flour (or regular oats ground up in a blender)
- 1/2 cup quick oats
- 1/3 cup vanilla protein powder (I used whey)
- 1/2 cup crispy rice cereal
- 1/3 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Optional: 2-3 Tbsp. chocolate chips for melting
- Prepare a 9x5 loaf pan by spraying it with cooking spray. Set aside.
- If making your own oat flour, place rolled oats into a blender or food process and process until they turn into a fine powder.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine oat flour, quick oats, protein powder, and crispy rice cereal. Mix until well combined and set aside.
- In a small pan over medium heat, add almond butter and honey, stirring until the almond butter is melted and fully combined with the honey. Stir in vanilla extract.
- Remove from heat and pour into the dry mixture. Stir until everything is fully combined.
- Pour into prepared loaf pan. Using a spatula or your hands, spread the mixture evenly in the pan, pressing down firmly.
- Optional: place chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and nuke on high in 20 second intervals, mixing between each. When chocolate is fully melted, drizzle over the top of the packed mix using a spoon.
- Place pan into fridge and allow to cool for ~30 minutes before cutting into bars.
I have to say that for being ridiculously easy to make, these guys are also ridiculously difficult to resist. Photographing them was probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in a while, and it’s a miracle that I had anything left to showcase at all with the amount of snacking that went on behind the scenes. You guys know what I’m talking about… uneven edges, broken pieces, crumbs… a nibble here, a tiny sliver there. Oi. At this rate, I’ll be whipping up another batch very, very soon.
. – . – . – .
When it comes to snack bars, do you prefer a smoother and denser texture, or a lighter and crispier one?
Uneven edges, broken pieces, and crumbs… who’s with me?!