These energy bars are absolutely amazing in their versatility, as well as in that they require no heating or refrigeration to prepare. They should store okay at room temperature for at least a few days, but if you want to keep them longer, they should last about a month in the refrigerator, or even longer in the freezer. They are so yummy that it is unlikely that you will need to worry about storing them for a long time!
At their most basic, these energy/protein/fiber bars are 3 1/2 cups of fibery stuff, primarily oats; 1 cup liquid sweetener, whether you use honey, molasses, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, agave syrup, or, as a last resort since it is by far the most unhealthy option, corn syrup; 1/4 cup crunchy stuff, whether it be seeds, nuts, or a crispy rice cereal; 1 cup nut butter; and sweet tasty stuff, either dried fruit of your choice or candy bits. Below is the exact combination of things that I used to make them today (in large part that this is what I had on hand that met the requirements I figured I needed) and they were delicious! My kids kept calling them brownies and my husband likened them to no-bake cookies.
No-bake Energy Bars3 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
1 cup chocolate chips
Mix oats, flax seed, and sesame seeds in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix honey, molasses, maple syrup, vanilla, and peanut butter until thoroughly blended. Pour liquid mixture into dry mixture and stir until oats are evenly coated. Stir in chocolate chips. Grease a 9"x13"in pan or cover with waxed paper (I went the waxed paper route--much easier to remove, since the bars stay pretty soft, at least that first day). Press mixture into pan, using another piece of waxed paper to make it firm. Let set an hour or two to firm up (or eat immediately, but it will be very crumbly!) before cutting.
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This recipe and many other great whole food recipes can also be found on Fresh Bites Friday at Real Food Whole Health.