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Darienne

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

48 posts in this topic

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 (log)
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Darienne

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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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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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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.


Darienne

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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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Darienne

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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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Darienne

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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 (log)

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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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?


Darienne

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this is a wonderful thread.

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

thanks

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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

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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 (log)
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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 (log)
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Darienne

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


"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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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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Darienne

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

http://leitesculinaria.com/88638/recipes-homemade-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!

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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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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

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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

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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???


Darienne

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


"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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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: )


Darienne

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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 (log)

Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

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looking forward to the book from the Lib.

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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.


"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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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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Darienne

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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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Darienne

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