This is week three where my husband, Azmi, has stopped taking meat, white rice and junk food. He has dropped 4 kilos since and is on a (re)newed mission to wellness. His next visit to the doctor is next week, and we are hoping very hard that the results will be better.
Because of his (super) rigid diet and exercise regime, I am trying to support his efforts by eating more healthily too. I was never a big fan of meat and oily foods, so the change to steam/grilled and more soup was quite easy for me. Saying goodbye to chocolates and cakes, however, was not.
We have bought some granola bars to munch on but at the end of week 2, I decided that
a) it was an expensive affair
b) was this "healthy" bar...really healthy?
Ready-made bars might have unhealthy ingredients and low-quality protein - which defeats the entire purpose of buying a nutrition bar.
So, I decided to make my own. As an added plus point, making my own bars would mean no preservatives inside.
Here's what you need:
2 1/3 cups Crisp Brown Rice Cereal
1/2 cup Rolled Oats
1/4 cup finely chopped dried Cranberries and Green Raisins (I mixed these together and popped them in the blender for a bit. I prefer the green raisins compared to the black or yellow type)
1/3 cup blended Almonds and Macademia nuts (not too fine, I like mine crunchy)
A fistful of sunflower seeds
1/2 cup organic brown rice syrup
1/3 olive spread (I didn't have seed butter, so used my olive spread instead)
1/4 Protein powder (I used GNC Total Lean shake - Vanilla Bean) *optional
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (you can use orange too)
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
Chocolate Bar Coating:
1/3 cup unsweetened chocolate chips
2 teaspoons virgin olive oil (you can use coconut oil too)
How to make you own Energy Bars:
1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Stir together the cereal, oats, cranberries, raisins, nuts and seeds in a large bowl.
3. In a small saucepan, combine the syrup and seed butter/olive spread. Heat over medium-low and stir until mixture is melted and bubbly. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the protein powder, lemon zest and salt till blended.
4. Immediately pour the syrup mixture over the cereal mixture. Mix together until all is coated.
5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Place a large piece of foil or parchment paper atop the bar mixture and use it to flatten and firmly compact the mixture evenly in the pan. Let it cool.
Spread or drizzle over cooled, uncut bars.
7.Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until the chocolate is set.
3 hours later: decided to try them out. I must say....it's pretty delicious!
I need to remind myself that I have to be careful not to over indulge in these bars too. They are, afterall, energy bars, so too much can ruin the calorie counting diet.
Let me know if you have any feedback ya? Will try another recipe next week. This should last for a week or so.