Granola-Less Sprouted Energy Bars

Granola-Less Bars Although they look more like crackers, here is a recipe for energy bars made with sprouted grains, seeds, coconut oil and dried fruit.  If you like a thicker bar, double the recipe and/or use a smaller pan.

I had some pumpkin seeds hanging around our little home and have been experimenting with a way to grind them up and use for a cookie recipe.  However, when my husband mentioned going for a day-long hike in the Flatirons (in Colorado), my curiosity was quickly diverted, and I made these.  If you haven’t cooked with them before, pumpkin seeds – aux naturelles (meaning: straight from the source) – have a very strong taste.  They’re honestly perfect in a simple pasta recipe with faux Parmesan and a good quality olive oil – and yield a hearty, robust flavor.  Having said that, they also yield a strong flavor in this recipe.  So, if you’re unsure about pumpkin seeds enough to potentially throw in the towel before going all in, try halving the amount of seeds and substituting the remaining amount with raw cashews.

Note: this recipe can be gluten free, depending on the ingredients that you use.  I used sprouted Kamut, because that’s what I had on hand, but you can also substitute another hearty grain, like: Rye, Wheat Berries, Millet, or even, Quinoa – which could also increase the protein content in these little bars. Granola-Less Sprouted Energy Bars

Granola-Less Sprouted Energy Bars

1 and 1/2 cups toasted pumpkin seeds in shells (or 3/4 c. toasted pumpkin seeds and 3/4 c. raw cashews)
1 Tablespoon whole flax seeds
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup sprouted grain (I used Kamut)
1/2 cup dried fruit (I used a combination of 1/4 c. raisins and 1/4 c. dried cranberries)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 Tablespoon sweetener, optional (I used sugar, but feel free to sub this with honey or agave)

Directions: In a blender, combine pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and salt.  Pulse (or blend) until a flour-like consistency is achieved.  Next, to blender, add: sprouted grain, dried fruit, oil, and sweetener.  Pulse until consistency is 75% smooth – with chunks and fibers throughout (see picture above for example) – and it looks like dough.

Line an 8″ x 8″ pan with parchment paper (preferably – or, if you’re out of parchment, use aluminum foil, then grease with additional coconut oil).  Transfer dough from blender to pan.  With WET HANDS, press dough until it is even, touches all sides, and the top is smooth.  Note: if the dough starts to stick to your hands at any point, Re-WET them.  These bars will need all the dough; don’t lose it to your hands.

Next, preheat toaster oven to 375 degrees and bake for 7-10 minutes.  If you’re using a regular oven, just know that it might take a little longer to achieve the same results.  Bon appetit!

Makes: 9-12 bars.

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