Protein-Packed Granola Bars
3/4 cup cooked quinoa or oat groats (about 1/4 cup dry, before cooking) Bowl 1:
2/3 cup no-dairy milk
2/3 cup nut butter (I used a combination of almond and cashew butter)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (or a slightly lesser amount of agave nectar or other liquid sweetener)
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract Bowl 2:
1-3/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup soy protein powder or soy flour (or other high-protein/nutritious flour)
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
cinnamon, to taste (optional) 3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 to 1 cup raisins, dried cranberries, or other mix-ins
1/2 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds
These granola/cereal bars are great paired with some fruit for a quick-yet-satisfying breakfast, and they also make a super-nutritious snack any time of the day. They freeze well, too, so You can make a double batch and have lots of bars ready for a backpacking trip or a couple weeks' worth of busy, grab-n-go meals.
1. Grain: Rinse quinoa or oat groats in a mesh strainer; set aside. In a pot, add water in an amount that is about twice the volume of the dry grains. Bring water to a boil, then add the rinsed/drained grains. Turn the burner to low and let it simmer with the lid on for 10 to 20 minutes. You want fully cooked grains, but not a mushy porridge, so drain off any excess liquid if necessary. (You could also use some leftover cooked oatmeal (thick) or quinoa if You have it already.)
2. Preheat Your oven to 325 degrees F.
3. Bowl 1: In one bowl mix together non-dairy milk, nut butter, sugar, vegetable oil, molasses, and extract. It may help to heat up the nut butter to make it easier to blend.
4: Bowl 2: Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl (oats, pastry flour, protein powder, wheat germ, flax seed, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon). Mix in with the wet ingredients. Fold in cooked quinoa, almonds, raisins, and sunflower seeds.
5. Spoon into an oiled 9" x 9" baking pan, and press down uniformly (having wet hands makes this easier). Bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Cut into 12 equal bars, let cool, and enjoy anytime!
[u]Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar Variation[/u]:Use peanut butter for the nut butter, chopped peanuts in place of the seeds, and replace 3 to 4 tablespoons of flour with cocoa or carob powder, and use about 2/3 cup of chocolate chips for the mix-ins... This makes an amazingly decadent Chocolate-PB snack bar that's just as suitable for dessert as it is for an energy boost on the hiking trail.
Source of recipe: Further experimentation with my "Granola Bars Fit for a Wench"