Even a couple of days after watching the Super Bowl, you're probably still saying to yourself, "What was I doing, dipping that many taco chips into that multi-layered dip that many times?"
Forgive yourself the indulgence and move on. In the next breath, you might decide to ramp up your exercise schedule. Always a good idea. And, there's nothing better to have as a snack on a brisk walk or as a reward after an hour at the gym than an energy-boost bar.
Here's a suggestion: Bake your own! It's not that difficult, and they're a lot healthier than store-bought ones (have you ever looked at their ingredients lists?). While you probably won't be running down a field on TV, friends and family who taste these might name you MVB: most valuable baker.
What's great about this recipe, besides that the bars are delicious, is the flexibility of ingredients. Can't find flaxseeds? Throw in more sunflower seeds! Don't like walnuts? Use macadamia nuts instead. If you want to take out the dried fruit and put in chocolate chips instead, I won't tell.
Psst...this is a vegan recipe, no eggs or butter in the mix. These bars are super easy to make and yummy. They just might find their way onto your Super Bowl, 2016, menu. That will be a touchdown for homemade healthy!
Go-To Seed Bars
Makes 12-16 bars
- ¼ cup agave syrup
- ¾ cup unsweetened organic applesauce
- 1½ cups organic old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup golden flaxseeds (not ground)
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted pumpkin seeds
- Pinch of salt
- ¾ cup chopped dried fruit (such as cherries, pineapple, or apricots)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9" square baking pan with canola oil or vegan cooking spray.
- Toast the sesame seeds by spreading them evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
- Pour the agave into a large ceramic or glass bowl and microwave on medium power for 15 seconds.
- Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir in the applesauce, oats, flaxseeds, nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and salt. Add the dried fruit (and/or chocolate chips) and stir to combine.
- Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a silicone spatula.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until set but still slightly soft on the top.
- Cool the pan on a rack for at least 1 hour.
Cover the pan or the individual bars with plastic wrap or foil and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Patricia Helding is the owner of Fat Witch Bakery, which she launched in 1998 inside Chelsea Market in New York City, and the author of Fat Witch Bake Sale: 67 Recipes from the Beloved Fat Witch Bakery for Your Next Bake Sale or Party. She has appeared on the Food Network, CBS, CNN, and MTV and has been featured in many national publications. She lives in New York City.
For more from Maria Rodale, visit www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com