We are big fans of bars here, as they are easy to make, and convenient to grab on the run. Work and school make it difficult to have “real” lunches sometimes, and bars usually do the trick, or at least work well at holding us over until we can eat something more substantial. I haven’t yet come up with one bar recipe that I make every time, but I have quite a few that always produce satisfying results. This recipe uses a combination of whole wheat and brown rice flour, as well as rolled oats and millet puffs for texture. A bit of candied ginger adds an extra treat, and makes these bars quite seasonally appropriate. I’ve used ground ginger and cinnamon here to produce a gingerbread-like flavor, but any number of other spice mixtures would work nicely.
•2 tablespoons ground flaxseed plus 4 tablespoons water
•2/3 cup white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
•1/3 cup brown rice flour
•1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
•1 teaspoon baking powder
•1/8 teaspoon sea salt
•1/2 large or 1 small banana, mashed (about 1/4 cup) (applesauce or another fruit puree would work equally as well)
•2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, or other neutral oil
•1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses (or regular molasses, for a subtler flavor)
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1/3 cup turbinado sugar
•1/3 cup rolled oats
•1/3 cup puffed millet
•2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
•2 tablespoons raw unsalted sunflower seeds
Lightly grease or line with parchment paper an 8-inch square baking dish. Preheat oven to 350°F.
1. In a small bowl, mix together ground flax and water. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
2. In a large bowl, combine whole wheat flour, brown rice flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together banana, sunflower oil, molasses, vanilla, sugar, and flax mixture. Pour over flour mixture and stir until just combined.
4. Fold in oats, puffed millet, candied ginger, and sunflower seeds until evenly dispersed.
5. Spread dough into an even layer in prepared baking dish. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until edges are just golden.
Cool in baking dish for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Can be stored in an airtight container, unrefrigerated, for up to a week.
Do you have a tried and true bar recipe? Do you even like bars? What are your favorite kinds, whether store-bought, or homemade? Any other favorite snacks that are convenient during a busy day? If I don’t have any bars on hand, I usually turn to pears and apples, and I generally keep a stash of dates with me wherever I go, for whenever cravings hit.