Days of Boundless Energy (Bars)

Yesterday I had a revelation.  I had three whole hours of quality sit-down-do-nothing time on my hands.   It was truly marvelous.  There were no phone calls, no important emails, nothing pressing for my mind to guilt me into doing.  Simplicity.  It came after a morning jam-packed with physical labor.  The kind where I got to get dirty, outside, gardening in the aid of  others.  This splendid act is likely what pushed me to spend the following hours sprawled in abandon.

But after a sudden reflection on the busy-busy that occurs daily, I realize there are certain things that keep me going.  One of those is energy bars.  I’ve been an advocate for oats and fruit since the beginning , I think.  I cannot remember a moment in life where I did not relish the quiet textures of oats mixed with dried fruits.  Growing up, my dad and us kids would have oatmeal with “stinkbugs” (raisins) for breakfast regularly.  Since I recall always wanting this morning dish, and never having changed since, I guess I am a true oat-aficionado at heart.  With that, I’ve also been an eater of granola (and snack) bars for some time, always as a quick pick-me-up to get through the busy hours of the day.  Over time, I’ve gradually moved down the sweet scale of snack bars, until I can stand only the barest hint of sweet lightness.  These bars satisfy on those measures.

Blueberry-Raisin-Coconut Granola Bars
3 oz. raw cashews
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/4 cups rye flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried blueberries
small handful unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a food processor, puree raw cashews and brown rice syrup until thick and smooth.  Transfer to a medium bowl and mix in eggs and vanilla.
  • Combine oats, rye flakes, salt, and baking powder and mix in with wet ingredients.
  • Stir in coconut, and dried fruit.  Transfer mixture to a 9-x-9 in. baking dish.  Bake for 20 minutes or until still slightly soft when you push into the bars.
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