Sunday, February 26, 2012

Energy bars

These are my Mocha Macademia Madness energy bars. They won first prize for taste...and second prize for a prestigious energy bar making contest held at a friends house last weekend.

Every Sunday I make a batch of these. I bring two in my lunch each day and they make a great mid morning and afternoon snack. On a 90 minute run the other day I brought half bar and it went down easy. The espresso adds a nice boost:)

I originally found a recipe for Big Sur Powerbars on the 101 cookbooks site. I made that version a few times then decided to branch out. I have a bunch of ideas for different varieties and will post when I test them out. My next trial will be Apple Chai Spice.
Some modifications I made to the original recipe include using spelt flakes instead of oats, mixing up the nuts used and adding a few chocolate chips. Spelt is interesting because, even though it contains a small amount of gluten, many gluten intolerant people are okay with it. I love the fact that this recipe uses crisp brown rice cereal and brown rice syrup as a sweetener. Both are fairly low on glycemic index meaning they won't cause a spike in blood glucose. The protein in the nuts and spelt really fill you up.

Adapted from 101 cookbooks
Mocha Macadamia Madness Energy Bars

1 tbsp. coconut oil (or butter)

1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 1/4 cups spelt flakes
1 1/2 cups crisp brown rice cereal (I used EnviroKids cocoa Koala Crisps)
1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/2 tsp. fine grain sea salt
2 tbsp. ground espresso beans
1tsp. vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan with the coconut oil and set aside.  Spread nuts and coconut evenly on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for 6 minutes or until coconut is a light golden brown.  To ensure even toasting move the mixture around with a spatula about half way through.

In a large bowl combine toasted nuts and coconut, spelt flakes, brown rice cereal, and chocolate chips.  Set aside.

In a small pot combine brown rice syrup, salt, cane sugar, espresso and vanilla.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it comes to a light boil and thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

Pour the warm brown rice syrup mixture over the dry ingredients.  Mix with a wooden spoon until evenly combined.  Pour this mixture into the greased baking pan and spread it out evenly.  I found that a wet tablespoon is a good tool to really press the mixture into the baking pan.   I liken the process of making these bars to making Rice Krispies squares. Add some sticky stuff to some cereal and press into a dish.

Put the baking pan in the fridge (or outside if it is cold day) to cool for 30 minutes. 
Cut into squares and store in layers separated by wax paper in the pantry.   End result is a dense, chewy, mouth watering bar that will fill you up for hours!

Makes 15 large bars.


  1. Adrienne made these last week and they were one of the only reasons I managed to finish our long run last week....well these and Adrienne's encouragement!

  2. I will be sure to always carry an "emergency" energy bar for us on runs!