With minimal effort, you can throw these bars together in a matter of minutes. They are a quick way to whip up a very portable and delicious snack that offers a good dose of protein and energy. I will warn you that they are ridiculously addictive.
Quick Portable Energy Bars
1 1/4 cup crunchy, natural peanut butter or almond butter (I use a mixture of both)
1/2 t coconut oil (optional, if using natural nut butters with no additional ingredients)
1/4 cup finely chopped raw cashews
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup toasted oats*
1/4 cup semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips
1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)**
Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Combine peanut or almond butter and coconut oil, if using, in small saucepan over low heat. Ground nut butters do not melt very well when heated, so the addition of coconut oil is helpful, not to mention yummy.
Combine all other ingredients except chocolate chips in a small glass bowl. When the peanut butter mixture has heated, pour over nuts and oats mixture and stir together. Add chocolate chips and stir until just combined. The chips will begin to melt.
Spread onto parchment paper covered cookie sheet and cover with another piece of parchment. Using a rolling pin or your hands, gently roll or spread the mixture out between the layers until you have an even layer of thickness.
Let cool in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or freezer if you want them faster!).
When they are firm, cut them up - a sharp, non serrated knife, pressing straight down works best- and enjoy them!
*(toast oats lightly in a skillet over med-low heat for about 3 minutes or until they become aromatic.)
** 1/8 cup of finely chopped crystallized ginger is another delicious option instead of raisins!