Processed energy bars have never turned my crank.
Corrugated cardboard soaked in honey and drizzled in chopped almonds has more appeal then most “healthy” energy bars on the market. So, you can only guess how excited we were when Matt Kadey, award winning dietitian asked us to test some of the recipes in his new book Rocket Fuel, Power-Packed Food for Sports + Adventure.
The request came at the most opportune time. The in-laws were in town. We had a trip planned for Botanical Beach. (If you've never been, Go!) And hiking with a toddler totally defines action packed adventure. We didn't have to struggle to figure out what to pack as a healthy and tasty snack to punctuate the end of the trail. Matt had solved the problem with his Millet Cherry Bars. We whipped them up, wrapped them in Abeego and hit the trail.
The bars are super simple to make and that goes a long way in our house. They taste amazing and that goes even further! Here's the recipe from Rocket Fuel. You're going to love 'em.
MILLET CHERRY BARS
Here’s more proof that you don’t need to dish out your hard-earned cash for energy bars designed in factories when making your own inspiring version is easy, even for the culinary challenged. Not just for the birds, millet is an inexpensive gluten-free grain that gives these bars great texture and nutritional firepower.
Dairy-free, freezer-friendly, gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian
ACTIVE TIME: 20 min.
The flat side of a measuring cup is a perfect tool for pressing the bar mixture into a flat, even layer in the pan. Also, placing the uncut bars in the refrigerator for a couple of hours can make slicing them easier.
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
½ cup raw millet
¼ cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
¼ cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons honey
Zest of 1 medium orange
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread pecans, millet, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven and heat, stirring a couple times, until golden and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes. Line an 8 × 8–inch square baking pan with a piece of parchment paper large enough so there is a 1-inch overhang.
Reduce oven temperature to 200°F. Blend cherries, honey, orange zest, salt, and 2 tablespoons water in a food processor into a paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir in toasted pecan mixture. Press firmly into prepared pan in an even layer and bake until just slightly sticky to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan before using the parchment overhang to lift from pan. Cut into 9 bars. These can be kept chilled for 2 weeks or frozen for up to 2 months if wrapped tightly.
GAME CHANGERS: Replace pecans with almonds + Try raw quinoa as a replacement for millet + Swap out cherries for cranberries + Use brown rice syrup or agave syrup instead of honey + Add lemon zest instead of orange zest
Republished with permission of VeloPress from Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports and Adventure by Matt Kadey, RD. See more recipes at Rocket Fuel.
Get to know Matt Kadey:
Matthew Kadey is a James Beard Award-winning food journalist and a registered dietitian. He is a recipe developer and nutrition writer for top health/fitness magazines and has written for Bicycling, Canadian Cycling, Canadian Running, Competitor, Delicious Living, Eating Well, Experience Life, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Prevention, Runner’s World, Shape, Trail Runner, Triathlete, WebMD, Women’s Health, Women’s Running, and Yoga Journal. Kadey won the James Beard Award in 2013 for Food Journalism. He holds a masters degree in sports nutrition and is author of Muffin Tin Chef and The No-Cook, No-Bake Cookbook. He lives in Ontario, Canada.