Wednesday, May 20, 2009

High protein energy bars

I love to cook. I enjoy using tried-and-true recipes and tinkering with them to see how far I can go. I also love creating my own recipes from nothing more than the vague idea that "Gee, I bet that would taste good!"

I have a recipe from the bag of Bob's Red Mill Wheat Germ. I made these once and gave them to my kids, who loved them. I'll include the original recipe and add my comments on how I plan to adapt it.

High Protein Energy Bars


12 oz carob chips
8 oz peanut butter
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup sunflower seeds (raw, shelled)
1 cup coconut, fine macaroon
1/2 cup sesame seeds (natural brown)
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup finely chopped walnuts


1. Melt together carob chips, peanut butter and margarine, then pour over and mix well with sunflower seeds, fine coconut, wheat germ, nuts and sesame seeds.
2. Press into buttered 9x13 inch pan.
3. Chill and cut.

Yields 24 bars

  • These were tasty, reminiscent of peanut butter-chocolate bars.

  • I made the recipe pretty much as-is with the exception of using butter instead of margarine. I never, ever use margarine. Also, I used finely shredded unsweetened, unsulphured coconut instead of the sweetened shreds.

  • My one complaint was about the texture of the whole sunflower seeds in there. I decided that the next time I'd make them I'd pulse all the seeds and nuts in the food processor to get a smoother texture.

Vegan adaptation:
  1. I am thinking of eliminating the margarine/butter altogether. I have never tried vegan margarine, and don't think that oil would be good in this recipe. We'll see.

  2. I will try melting the carob chips alone in the microwave in 30-second increments and then adding the peanut butter. If the texture isn't melty enough, I may add a light-flavored oil, but the peanut butter I like is Teddie all natural peanut butter, with the oil floating right there on the top, so I imagine that there's enough oil in there to get the right texture. If not, I may give a vegan margarine a try.

  3. I am definitely going to grind the nuts and seeds finely. I may substitute almonds for the walnuts though, just because I have a ton of them. I'm even wondering how essential that whole cup of nuts even is. I may reduce the amount by 1/2.

  4. I will probably line the pan with parchment paper or waxed paper so I don't have to butter it, because frankly, the idea of coating it with cooking spray isn't appealing.

When I do make these, today or tomorrow, I'll post a picture. :)


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