Gluten-Free Awesome Bars
In order to fuel yourself for a pleasant day of your favorite outdoor activities, look no further than the “Awesome Bar”. Packed with nutrition to feed your inner-athlete AND your taste buds.
1 1/2 cups thick rolled oats
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup dried fruit
1/2 cup raw, local honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup nut butter
1/2 cup 80-100% dark baking chocolate, minced
1. In a large bowl, combine oats, pumpkin seeds and dried fruit. Set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, combine honey, vanilla extract, salt and nut butter. (I prefer almond or cashew but peanut butter works too). Slowly bring to a very gentle boil – stirring constantly. Once mixture has melted and warmed through, pull from heat (add protein powder if desired).
3. Drizzle mixture over oats while stirring until mixture is well distributed. Once cool-to-touch, add chocolate chips and press into a 9X9 square baking pan (ceramic or glass).
4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, cut into squares and wrap individually in parchment paper to stuff in your pack and go!
Time-Saver Tool Tips
-Line baking dish with parchment paper for an easy clean-up
-Feel free to add a scoop or two of high-quality whey protein to the nut butter/honey mixture once you've removed it from the heat for more protein.
-Use dark chocolate chips (like Exchange's 70% dark bittersweet chocolate chips) to reduce chocolate chopping time but be aware of unwanted ingredients like hydrogenated oils, GMO-corn syrup or soy lecithin and "natural" or artificial flavors.