Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sunshine Power Bars or "Repurposing" My January Royal Foodie Joust Entry

When my television is on and it isn't turned to the Food Network it is usually turned to HGTV watching all the home design shows.  I love how the designers do a lot of "repurposing" old items into new and different things.  I'm not crafty enough to do this with furniture but I love to do it with food.  I was really happy with how my January Royal Foodie Joust entry of a Caribbean Sundae (here) turned out. 

I was especially fond of the crunchy granola style topping of big coconut flakes, puffed rice cereal and peanuts, toasted together with some brown rice syrup.  I found myself snacking on the leftover topping and since I had plenty of the ingredients left over, decided to re-purpose the topping ingredients into a Power Bar this morning. Since I had some dried apricots and crystallized ginger on hand, I threw those in along with ground flax seed and slivered almonds and some almond butter to round it out.  Not entirely a tropical bar so I named it the "Sunshine Power Bar" instead since it has been a bit gray and rainy here the past few days and I am in need of a little burst of sun.

Sunshine Power Bars

3 cups puffed rice cereal
1/2 cup coconut flakes  (I bought a large coconut "chip")
1/3 cup almond slivers
1/2 cup peanuts
3/4 cup dried apricots, diced
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
2 tsp cinnamon sugar 
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup almond butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread coconut, almonds and cereal in a single layer on a large baking sheet and toast, stirring as needed, until coconut becomes golden brown.  (About 6-7 minutes for the larger chips).  Spray a 9x13" pan with cooking spray. Pour cereal mixture into a large mixing bowl and add peanuts, apricots, ginger and flax seeds, stirring well to combine.  

Combine cinnamon sugar, salt, brown rice syrup and almond butter in a small saucepan, over medium heat and stir constantly until smooth and bubbling. (about 4 minutes).  

Pour into cereal mixture and stir carefully to ensure it is combined and the syrup covers all the cereal mixture.  Scoop sticky cereal mixture into pan, spray hands with cooking spray (so mixture doesn't stick to them) and carefully and thoroughly pat mixture evenly into pan, pressing down lightly but firmly so everything sticks together.  

Allow to cool and set about 1 hour then cut into bars, whatever size you desire.  Wrap bars individually in wax paper.  (Note: I made long, narrow bars and got 15). 

Notes/Results:  Yummy!  You get a soft chewy bar with a bit of salt from the nuts, sweetness from the syrup and the apricots and a little spice kick from the ginger.  Although not a low calorie snack by any means, it is packed with lots of good stuff and so much better for you than a candy bar or rice crispy treat. You have your protein from the almond butter and nuts, potassium and vitamins A & E from the dried apricots, Omega-3's from the flax seed, etc. You could easily substitute your favorite nuts and seeds, or use peanut butter instead of almond butter to get a power bar you like.  I liked how these turned out from just throwing them together and would make them again using this recipe or playing around with different ingredients.

BTW: If you are a Foodie BlogRoll member don't forget to vote for your favorite Royal Foodie Joust entry this month by January 6th.  It doesn't have to be my Caribbean Sundae (although I am not silly enough to complain if you do!) but there are some great recipes using the three ingredients: rice, coconut and bananas so support your fellow Blogroll members by voting in this special Caribbean-themed contest.  

Souper Sunday is tomorrow so if you made or are making a great soup, stew, chili, chowder, etc., send me a comment or email and I'll add you to this Sunday's round up!

Happy Weekend!


  1. Your Sunshine Power Bars look really good and I like that you put flax seed in because it's so good for you!
    I made chili for your Souper Sundays and just sent you an email.

  2. Your Power Bars look great. I am posting a chili recipe tomorrow for Gloria's event. I can also send it to your event if you could send me the link of your announcement as I can't find it and it's nerly 2 a.m. here in Athens.(ivyliacATgmailDOTcom) or leave me a message at BloggerAid.

  3. How clever you are!
    The bars are a great idea, I should make some for my daughter.

  4. very cool! those look great.

  5. looks great and sounds delicious :)

  6. Those bars look so delicious. I wanted to enter the RFJ this month, but was trying to come up with an entree. The bananas just didn't "fit" in. In the end, I could only think of tropical rice pudding. Your entry looks great and I will vote for it, right now!

  7. Great idea! I love your take on "repurposing." I call it "intuitive cooking," but it's the same thing really--finding tasty ways to use up leftovers.


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