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"Power Hungry": making the bars from recipe #1

Breakfast Cookbook

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#1 Darienne

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 07:13 AM

Breakfast has become a problem at our house.  We no longer get up at the same time and we no longer eat the same things every day for breakfast.  So I have been searching for power/nutrition/energy/granola/health/power/etc bars to make for me to eat.  DH doesn't eat them.  Well, not at breakfast anyway.

 

Recently a new cookbook, Power Hungry: The Ultimate Energy Bar Cookbook by Camilla V. Saulsbury has come out and I have started making a few of the bars in it.   Some are excellent, some not wonderful, others way too sweet for me.  The first section contains recipes for well-known "knock-offs".  The only commercial bar we've tried is a Clif bar and both thought it was awful.  I suspect that most of them are too sweet for our personal tastes.  (To generalize wildly: Canadians are less addicted to sugar than Americans...more addicted to salt.)

 

The book includes recipes for vegans and for folks who can't tolerate gluten.   Lots of variations given with each recipe. 

 

I am proposing to go through the entire book of 30 recipes, making one after another, to find the ones which suit me.  I'll report back on this.  (Give me a purpose for surviving this horrible cold winter. :raz: )  Maybe someone else has the book, has tried some recipes, and is interested in this. 

 

Saulsbury also has a blog,  http://powerhungry.com/ , in which she has posted some bars which are not in the book.  I haven't figured out exactly which ones are repeated in the book yet.

 

 

Should have added Europeans generally like less sugar than do Americans.  Don't know about Aussies or other countries...


Edited by Darienne, 25 January 2014 - 07:46 AM.

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#2 BeeZee

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 01:31 PM

I will be interested to hear about the "winners". I like the convenience of the nutrition bars but agree that too many of them are formulated to resemble sweet cookies. Lara Bar is just dried fruit and nuts, but I prefer something with grains in the mix to lighten the texture.
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#3 Darienne

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 02:27 PM

All the various grains and suchlike (quinoa) are used in her recipes.  I've made one...have to get organized now...with raw old fashioned oats.  Wondered about eating raw large oats, but it worked perfectly.  There are even recipes using chickpeas and black beans. 


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#4 Darienne

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 08:35 AM

OK.  I bought the book yesterday after looking at our library's copy for a few days.  Seemed like a good bet.

 

Before I bought the book, I made three of Saulsbury's recipe from her blog.  It seems that I never have all the ingredients needed ahead of time for a recipe, and we live so far from a town, that I just sub what I think might work.  Sorry about that. 

 

1. No Bake Oatmeal Energy Bars with Cherries and Almonds: subbed black-strap molasses for regular, whole milk powder for non-fat, a variety of dried fruits for cherries (allowed). 

RESULTS:  delicious, very simple to make.  Alas too sweet for breakfast, but perfect for a snack or dessert.  (Well, I try not to snack. :rolleyes:  )

 

2. Date-Sweetened Quinoa Power Bars: also non-bake.  Followed recipe exactly (wow!)

RESULTS: acceptable, but not sweet enough for the DH.  Could have skipped the chocolate chips...they simply didn't fit (for me). 

 

3. Lucy Bars (knock-off Lara Bars): was also in book, p. 48, Carrot Cake Bar variation, p.51

RESULTS: just fine.  Saulsbury instructs to make dates more pliable using warm water:  much easier to use the microwave. 

 

Next to start in the book. Oh, and buy a few missing ingredient type items.  Photos were not taken, and actually they don't look very exciting in photos...they all tend to 'look' alike.


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#5 Darienne

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 04:32 PM

Next installment.  Made two recipes out of the book today as the rest of the bars from last week were gone.

 

Chickpea Champion Bars, p.80.  Subbed whole milk for non fat; used maple syrup.   They were baked for 18 minutes, although I really can't figure out why.  Nothing in them needed baking. 

RESULTS: Not a winner.  Honestly I didn't like them much.  DH liked them just fine.  Something to me tastes wrong, but I know it wasn't the chickpeas.  As noted in the recipe, their taste just disappears.   Could try them again with different variations.  Oh well. 

 

Chocolate Hemp Protein Bars.  Seemed like a good choice as we grow Hemp hearts on our farms.  In fact, I used our very own hearts to make this.

Subbed sweetened coconut.  Used one cup of Spiru-Tein Cappuccino rice, pea and soy protein powder for the base.   Can't get it in Canada...have tried...and so can't duplicate this recipe until I return to the USA.  Had to add more liquid to get the batter to stick together: first 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil, and then an unmeasured slurp of milk.  My protein powder is VERY old....?

RESULTS:  very yummy and yet not too sweet.

 

I think I like pretty much anything with chocolate in it.


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#6 BeeZee

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 06:36 PM

Darienne, on the #1 bar you made with oatmeal and dried fruit, do you think the amount of honey was the culprit? Because generally I'd like a breakfast bar with oats and dried fruit and almonds (not a fan of chocolate chips for breakfast). I checked out the web site and I think I'd like the date-sweetened quinoa bars.


Edited by BeeZee, 27 January 2014 - 07:00 PM.

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#7 Darienne

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 06:30 AM

Darienne, on the #1 bar you made with oatmeal and dried fruit, do you think the amount of honey was the culprit? Because generally I'd like a breakfast bar with oats and dried fruit and almonds (not a fan of chocolate chips for breakfast). I checked out the web site and I think I'd like the date-sweetened quinoa bars.

BeeZee, I think you are correct.  When I make them again, I'll cut down on the honey.  Of course, Saulsbury isn't suggesting that they are 'breakfast' bars. 

 

As for the Date-Sweetend Quinoa Bars, I didn't use only walnuts in them but think they'd be fine with only almonds.  ...didn't use almonds at all come to think of it.  Right.  No chocolate chips for breakfast!  :wacko:

 

Next I'm going to try from the book the 'Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars', p.110.

 

I should add that no one could find fault with the ingredient list that Saulsbury posts.  All stuff from a health food/ bulk food store with no sugar, no white processed items, no preservatives, etc.  She adds that almost all the ingredients are regularly found items.  And lists Ingredient Sources in the back.  I can't say that I like her index...but then how often is an index really useful in any cookbook?


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#8 rotuts

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 07:16 AM

this is a wonderful thread.

 

I'll get the book out of the library and take a close look.

 

thanks



#9 Alex

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 01:21 PM

this is a wonderful thread.

 

I'll get the book out of the library and take a close look.

 

thanks

Ditto here. There were no copies in my library system, which covers pretty much the entire state, so my local district library, to their everlasting credit, agreed with my suggestion to order it. :wub:

 

I prefer high-protein, relatively low-carb bars. I used to order custom ones from YouBar, but they're expensive, so I switched to Zone Perfect from Costco (and my local supermarket, when they're on sale). If there's a make-your-own alternative, that would be great.


Gene Weingarten, writing in The Washington Post about online news stories and their readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

"A vasectomy might cost as much as a year’s worth of ice cream, but that doesn’t mean it’s equally enjoyable." -Ezra Dyer, NY Times

#10 rotuts

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 01:29 PM

Alex

 

my lib. orders books for me from time  to time.

 

they of course have understood that I am a serious  connaisseur

 

it also helps that from time to time I take them some Brownies

 

two full pans

 

One w Nuts on the top. One w/o

 

Betty assists me with the initial 'box'

 

but I add my own freshly toasted nuts (   :huh: ) on the top of one tray

 

but both trays have :  fresh ground home roasted espresso  ( double ) and at least 1/4 

 

cup of dark Rum.  and some vanilla

 

:wink:


Edited by rotuts, 28 January 2014 - 01:29 PM.

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#11 Darienne

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 01:46 PM

Rotuts, your brownies sound wonderful.  And this too is my subversive action for my library ( and vet, and eye doctor, and furnace guy, and dentist, etc, etc)  Never hurts.  I love making the stuff.  Then I need to get it out of the house before we eat it all.

 

Alex,we've never actually eaten much in the way of commercial bars, but I am glad to make them at home.   Most of the commercial ones, besides being exorbitant in price as you noted, are just too sweet.

 

I took some of the Chickpea Bars to a meeting today for folks to try and report back and they were met with enthusiasm.  Then I tried another one of them.  I still don't like them and am going to put a chocolate coating on the rest to see if I can eat them that way. 

 

Put one coat of chocolate topping on a couple of pieces.  Ed said it needed another coat.  Second coat applied.  Ed said:  good.  I thought it tasted like an unpleasant power bar with a delicious chocolate topping.  Ed says he will eat them all eventually.  But not for breakfast with a substantial chocolate coating on them.  No, I won't even bother making them again.


Edited by Darienne, 28 January 2014 - 02:00 PM.

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#12 BeeZee

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 02:17 PM

Chickpea in bars doesn't appeal...but I made roasted chickpeas the other day and yum. That's a good, healthy, savory snack.


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#13 Darienne

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 02:35 PM

Well, I love chickpeas beyond belief.  The recipe says that you won't be able to taste the chickpeas in the recipe and I tend to believe that.  Like making brownies with black beans in them.  Nope.  It must be something else.  I'll take a closer look at the recipe.  Post the ingredients for you.


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#14 cookingofjoy

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 05:51 PM

My husband likes the peanut butter cookie lara bars, so I'd found this site when looking for a homemade alternative

http://leitesculinar...e-larabars.html

which looks like it's from this book?  And then purchased 5 lb of dates :)

So far we've tried the peanut butter cookie (no choc chips), cherry pie (subbing walnuts and pecans for almonds), apple pie (half walnuts and half pecans), and blueberry.  Blueberry was his least favorite, though I liked the lemon in it.  I liked the apple pie, but it was the most crumbly.  I'd used apples I'd dehydrated, and maybe they weren't moist enough.  They're all very dense and sweet, but like Darienne mentions, I like the ingredient list.  The kids like the bars, too, which is really the first homemade 'bar' they've liked.  The quinoa bars look really interesting - I'm going to have to check out the book!  



#15 Darienne

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 06:23 PM

cookingofjoy, definitely your recipes are from the book.  I checked them out.  You've made more bars than I have and are obviously having fun with them.  Glad for any insights you can share if you make more. 


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#16 Alex

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 08:31 PM

Alex

 

my lib. orders books for me from time  to time.

 

they of course have understood that I am a serious  connaisseur

 

it also helps that from time to time I take them some Brownies

 

two full pans

 

One w Nuts on the top. One w/o

 

Betty assists me with the initial 'box'

 

but I add my own freshly toasted nuts (   :huh: ) on the top of one tray

 

but both trays have :  fresh ground home roasted espresso  ( double ) and at least 1/4 

 

cup of dark Rum.  and some vanilla

 

:wink:

My district library system is great. They even have a "Request a purchase" link on their home page. They've generally been good about ordering books when I provide documentation and a reasonable rationale. I think if I brought them two full pans of your brownies they might build me my own branch.

 

It usually takes 4-6 weeks for an ordered book to show up, so I'll post here again after I get a chance to try out some recipes.


Gene Weingarten, writing in The Washington Post about online news stories and their readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

"A vasectomy might cost as much as a year’s worth of ice cream, but that doesn’t mean it’s equally enjoyable." -Ezra Dyer, NY Times

#17 Darienne

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 06:44 AM

I should ask my library if they have a 'request' link.  Mind you, they got the Power Hungry book for me in about 4 days.  I think the librarian must have gone into the local Chapters and picked it up. 

 

Chickpea Bars ingredients: oats, a combination of nuts & seeds, a combination of dried fruits, flax-seed meal, low-fat milk (subbed whole fat), nut/seed butter (peanut butter), dates, sweetener (maple syrup), cinnamon, sea salt.   Can't imagine any of these ingredients setting me off.   Maybe it was the chickpeas???


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#18 BeeZee

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 07:22 AM

must have been the chickpeas. Unless the flax seed meal was rancid?


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#19 Darienne

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 07:27 AM

must have been the chickpeas. Unless the flax seed meal was rancid?

I'll check it but seeing as I use it every day in a pre-breakfast and not yummy drink, I don't think it could be. 

I didn't keep a list of the nuts I used but sometimes the walnuts are a bit off.  I'll check those too.  OTOH, DH liked them and now with chocolate coating, he's eating them with relish.  (little joke here :raz: )


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#20 rotuts

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 07:44 AM

Darienne

 

the NYTimes must be readings your thread:

 

http://www.nytimes.c...html?ref=dining

#21 Darienne

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 08:06 AM

From NYT: "...now popular with mainstream shoppers, including dieters and the elderly..."  Nothing more was said about the elderly.  Good heavens, I am the elderly and here I am eating energy bars.  lol.

 

Thanks rotuts.  I think I am actually having fun doing this...


Edited by Darienne, 29 January 2014 - 08:06 AM.

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#22 rotuts

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 08:48 AM

looking forward to the book from the Lib.



#23 BeeZee

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 03:08 PM

 

must have been the chickpeas. Unless the flax seed meal was rancid?

I'll check it but seeing as I use it every day in a pre-breakfast and not yummy drink, I don't think it could be. 

I didn't keep a list of the nuts I used but sometimes the walnuts are a bit off.  I'll check those too.  OTOH, DH liked them and now with chocolate coating, he's eating them with relish.  (little joke here :raz: )

 

Sounds like your hubby is willing to eat most varieties...as long as chocolate enhanced!

I was poking around the supermarket today, one which has a large section of imported Israeli products and they had date paste...which was noted on the tub as being good for baking...so I thought maybe it would be useful for a softer date to more easily mix in, but it had sugar added, which kind of defeats the purpose.


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#24 Darienne

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 06:44 AM

BeeZee, too bad about the sugar in the date paste.  I do find that a short stay in the microwave softens the dates enough.

 

Yep, Ed will eat almost anything coated in chocolate.

 

Had it occur to me this morning, as I was eating a Chocolate Hemp Protein Bar for breakfast...this bar has no crunch to it.  Although I really like the bars, I guess I like crunch in the morning.  The recipe calls for seeds only except for the one variation: Cashew-Coconut Protein Bars.  Cashews are fine, but they are not my favorite.  I could either sub walnuts or filberts or almonds...or just leave the recipe as is and go back to the plan of making the next recipe in my plan: Must-Have Chocolate Raw Bars...which call for cashews or hazelnuts or almonds.  I'll buy some hazelnuts and go for the Raw Gianduja Bars, p.139. 


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#25 Darienne

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 01:19 PM

6.  Must-Have -Chocolate Raw Bars. Now these are truly delicious.  Of course, I did make some small changes to the recipe.  It called for pulsing the oats and nuts (I subbed pecans for cashews: don't have cashews: Ed has a weakness for them) "until very finely chopped (but not a paste)".  Nope.  After feeling that the Chocolate Hemp bars were too finely chopped for my taste, I simply chopped the pecans with a hand food chopper...the kind you hammer down on a central chopping pusher.  The oats had been leftover from a previous pulsing I think.  Heated the dates in the microwave.  Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly.

 

Both of us loved them.  Best so far, especially with the small chunks of pecan which are very satisfying.  Don't know about eating them for breakfast.

 

Oh, forgot.  Added a second tablespoon of melted coconut oil because mixing the 'batter' was a bit of a chore seeing as I didn't want the nuts finely chopped. 

 

Well, I'm keeping up my end of my bargain so far.


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#26 rotuts

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 01:27 PM

re Nut Chopper :

 

I have one of these, after seeing in the Gadget Corner at America's test kitchen.  it has the advantage of 'passing' the nuts through only once:

 

http://www.amazon.co...ive nut chopper

 

fine and coarse

 

mine is in Black.    :huh:

 

did not see a Red Option back then ...


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#27 Darienne

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 03:28 PM

7. Citrus-Seed-Fruit Bars, p. 62.  Had only ground Chia seeds, so I simply upped the sunflower seeds.  Absolutely scrumptious.  Lowest caloric value of the bars so far and a fairly large bar for only 105 calories.  My one problem was that my food processor refused to mix the batter but simply whirled around below the batter which clung to the walls.  Not insurmountable.  And I'm just thrilled with the bars. 


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#28 Darienne

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 01:06 PM

Back to work.  Ed is afraid we'll be inundated by power bars with no one to eat them.  Not a problem.  I'll freeze some of the already made ones. 

 

Have to replace the Citrus-Seed-Fruit Bars because I've eaten them all for breakfasts.  Each recipe makes only a very limited amount and so far I am not doubling/tripling anything.  This time around I had the called-for chia seeds and used them.  Next time I'll use half figs I think.  They are cooling in the garage currently. 

 

Today I tried the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars, p. 110, 271 calories per bar, 12 servings.  Ran out of chocolate protein powder and so it was mostly vanilla and not sweet enough really.  Plonked in a whack of sugar (don't tell on me please.  I was a tad distracted at the time and just reached for the nearest sweetener.  This whole thing of protein powders, whey and non-whey, sweetened and unsweetened I think will have to be considered before I opt for one of the recipes based on one of these.)  Didn't have liquid Stevia for the 'icing', but subbed (allowed) maple syrup instead.  Ooops.  Just realized I was supposed to reduced the amount of milk called for.  But it didn't matter anyway.  

 

What have I learned?  My food processor, a Kitchen Aid, which replaced a larger Cuisinart when it finally gave up the ghost, is neither large enough nor powerful enough to do this kind of work. 

 

The other thing, which I think I mentioned earlier is that I don't like nuts and seeds as finely ground as some of the recipes call for.  I like recognizable little chunks to chomp on in my bars. 

 

I'll report back on the taste of the chocolate/peanut butter ones.  The mixture tasted good and so did the 'icing'. 

 

Next time I think I'll go for the Mega Marathon Bars (the names get a bit repetitious and meaningless), p. 98, because it appears to be the only recipe which calls for egg and flour.  The accompanying blurb says they are perfect for book clubs, knitting circles and Ultimate Frisbee, none of which I belong to.  Alas.

 

Forgot to note that I added ground cardamom to the Citrus-etc bars.


Edited by Darienne, 07 February 2014 - 01:25 PM.

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#29 Darienne

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 04:02 PM

Back to making power bars.

 

Report on the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars, p. 110.  They tasted pretty good but the texture was not really suitable.  Made them again today, and again I didn't like the texture.  Too oily.  Next time I'll cut down on the coconut oil called for.  You can't just grab one of them when they are oily in your hands.

 

I said I would make the Mega Marathon Bars.  Sorry, I didn't.  I made another batch of the Citrus-Seed-Fruit Bars because I really like them and they were all gone.  This time I used half figs/half dates.  They were fine.

 

My food processor will work if I am very careful about ;what I put into it.  Not a good way to have to make things, but then I'm not ready to invest in a bigger more powerful machine at this point. 


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#30 CKatCook

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 05:50 AM

I have been watching this thread closely while looking for the book. I agree, out of all the different "power bars" I have tried they are mostly vitamin pills with sugar. YUCK! I am going to see if this book is in my local library if not, just buy it. I cannot wait to try some of these recipes! 

 

edit to add: That whole blog looks good. Thanks for posting that!


Edited by CKatCook, 27 February 2014 - 05:59 AM.

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