The only remnants that remain of Ellie Krieger's energy bars are the crumbs on my desktop. Old Mother Hubbard opened her cupboards and found them bare...well, of these scrumptious breakfast bars, anyway. Sigh. It's like they never existed. Here's how it happened: while going through our pantry last fall to do my first ever inventory. I found a very large stack of store bought, highly processed energy bars and jelly beans (yuck, don't even get me started on that.) These went to the pile marked "basement." Even though I didn't want to eat processed food anymore, I wasn't going to deny my hubby everything he was used to - he is a runner and needs these items on occasion, so they remain in our house still.
From then on, I was on a mission to find a way to create a substitute that was even better. More than a necessity item to power up for runs, but something "craveable" as Ellie puts it. Just a few days ago, I went through my nuts, seeds and dried fruit section of the pantry and sadly, 1/3 of it had to be trashed. If they didn't taste superior, they were gone. So I had to slightly alter Ellie's recipe. Here's her original one and I'll include my adjustments in the notes below:
Energy Bars by Ellie Krieger
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup pitted dried dates
1/2 cup powdered nonfat dry milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place all ingredients except the syrup and eggs in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. Add the syrup and eggs and pulse until the mixture is well combined. It will resemble a coarse paste. Transfer to the baking pan and spread evenly. Bake until just done, about 20 minutes. Cut into 20 squares.
- My sunflower seeds went bad, but I had fresh pumpkin seeds leftover from last week's pumpkin muffins.
- The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of dried fruit. Unfortunately, my apricots and dates looked sub par and I was fresh out of raisins. Instead I used dried cherries (I could only find sweetened) and dried cranberries sweetened with apple juice. 1 1/2 cups total (Split 50-50)
- After it cooled, I cut it into 12 even bars and wrapped them separately in saran wrap and put them in freezer bags. One bag went to the pantry, the other to the freezer. It is now 48 hours later, and there are all gone. They were so fantastic that I had to share them with friends.
- Yes, I know I just posted an Ellie recipe when I said I would hold off, but if you only knew the restraint I was showing! I've made another five or so recipes from her new book and enjoyed them. What can I say? She had me at hello.