Tried a new recipe a days ago from a cookbook that I unfortunately didn’t get through before it was due (and there was a hold on it, so I had to take it back or suffer the dreaded fines.) The cookbook is The Sprouted Kitchen, by Sara Forte and you can access her blog here for additional recipes: http://www.sproutedkitchen.com/. (Sara, thanks for giving me permission to share your recipe.)
I made them to take to our younger daughter, (update–she loved them), but I had to test a few (just to be sure they wouldn’t kill her, of course–wasn’t that noble of me??) and they were very, very good!! They’re quite easy to make but you have to get one ingredient that’s a little hard to find–brown rice syrup. I found mine at Whole Foods.
Sara said you can use honey instead of the rice syrup but that the bars will be tackier (in the sticky sense, of course.) These bars would make perfect road trip food, something I’m always interested in, or something simple and nutritious to grab for breakfast. I think anyone in your family would grab them. Sara said you can play with the ingredients–all almonds or all cashews, for instance. I would keep the tart cherries, though. They make the bars in my mind.
Granola Protein Bars
1 ¼ c. old-fashioned rolled oats
½ c. slivered almonds
½ c. coarsely chopped raw cashews
½ c. brown rice syrup
1 T. water
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1 t. ground cinnamon
¼ t. sea salt
1 c. crisp brown rice cereal
½ c. vanilla protein powder
1 c. dried cherries, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread the oats, almonds, and cashews on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until just barely toasted, about 10 min. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Turn the heat down to 300 F. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the brown rice syrup, water, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Add the toasted oats and nuts, the rice cereal, and protein powder and stir until everything is coated. Stir in the cherries. (I use the Montmorency cherries from Costco. Trader Joe’s has them, too. They’re also great in the Whole Wheat Cherry Scones in this post: https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/dinner-and-scones/, so get plenty cherries!)
Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides for easy removal. Dump the granola mixture in the center. Using a large spoon or your fingers, press the mixture down compactly (wetting the spoon or your fingers with warm water when they get sticky will help), being sure to push it all the way to the corners. Bake until the top is slightly toasted, 23-25 min.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Pull them out by the parchment edges and cut eight bars of equal size.
If you’re going to eat them later, wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap. They should keep fresh for about a week. But don’t put them in the freezer, they’ll get too hard. Bon appétit!