Monday, June 3, 2013

Kind Bar Copycat

As you know, I try to be healthy and work hard on making healthy meals for my family.  Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don't.  The real reason I don't always succeed is finances & lack of time.  Also lack of planning.  We all know organic food is more expensive and sometimes, well, we just couldn't afford it. It also takes time to cook from scratch.  My former job was so demanding that I was just worn out by the time I got home so yes, we started down the slippery slope of eating out and buying prepared things. 

Fortunately, I think our financial woes are behind us.  I got a new and exciting job and we're getting back to normal.  Since I now have some flexibility, I've redoubled my efforts to provide nutritious, organic, homemade meals. 

This website really inspired me to get back on the proverbial bandwagon.  They have so many great ideas and a nice list of recipes if you need them. 

So, anyway, as I was saying, I'm now shopping and making things from scratch again. 

One of my favorite snacks is Kind bars.  They are super yummy, nutrition-packed little bars of sunshine.  Unfortunately, they are also expensive.  At approximately $2.00 a bar, it gets a bit pricey.  So, being the cook that I am, I figured I could make them a lot cheaper then I could buy them.  I searched online and found a few recipes.  I combined them and came up with this one. 

I have to say, they turned out really tasty. Who knew rice syrup was so yummy! Next time, I may use parchment or wax paper but this time, I used what I had.  They only stuck a tiny bit the cupcake liner.  These will definitely be a staple snack.  The nice thing is, you can modify the fruits and nuts and come up with all sorts of delicious combinations.  I used all organic products and no sugar except for the rice syrup. 

Kind Copycat Bars
Makes 12
1-1/3 cups Nuts (use raw or toasted, salted or unsalted. Mine was a nut mix with pumpkin seeds)
1/3 cup Puffed Brown Rice
1/2 cup dried Cranberries
1/6 cup shredded Coconut
1/6 cup Cocoa Nibs
1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/3 cup Brown Rice Syrup
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Mix nuts, fruit, puffed rice, and assorted dry ingredients in a large bowl. 

Next, mix salt, rice syrup and vanilla in a small bowl until combined and then pour over nut mix and stir, making sure all pieces are covered.

Put cupcake liners in a muffin tin.

Drop nut mixture into cups then lightly smash down to compress a bit. 

Bake for approximately 15 minutes until just lightly browned.  Don't over bake or the bars will be crunchy, unless you like them like that. I like mine a bit gooey.

Be patient and let cool. These things are dangerous when they are hot. Wrap in wax paper or foil and store in an air-tight container.