Paleo All-Morning Energy Bars
Why This Recipe Works
It can be hard to find granola bars that are paleo-friendly because so many are made with oats, grains, and refined sugars. We wanted a portable snack that was easy to make and contained only whole, nutritious ingredients. A hearty collection of healthy nuts and seeds provided the basis for our homemade bars. Toasting the nuts and seeds before pulsing them in the food processor gave our bars a pleasant roasted flavor, and the moderate heat of a 300-degree oven ensured that they all toasted evenly without burning. Dates and maple syrup not only added satisfying sweetness to the bars, but also aided in binding the bars together. We found that processing some of the dates with the maple syrup, warm water, and an egg white gave the bars a slight chew while still allowing the nuts and seeds to remain crisp. We stirred the remaining chopped dates into the mixture for textural contrast; tasters also liked the little bursts of sweetness. The final step in perfecting our homemade “granola” bars was to ensure they were evenly baked. After baking the nut and seed mixture in an 8-inch square baking pan, we cut it into bars while it was still warm (which made cutting clean lines much easier), spread the bars out on a baking sheet, and returned them to the oven to finish baking. The result: Evenly toasted bars with lots of crunch and a slight chew that made a perfect, energy-packed snack. Be sure not to overcook the nuts and seeds in step 2; they will continue to toast while the bars bake.