Oat + Seed Strength Bars with Maple + Chocolate

oat+seed-Maple-bars.jpg

Nay, these are not granola bars. They are not the kind you want to take with you for convenience of mobility and eating while rushing to the morning commute. Nor are they the kind that simply languish around in your bag/drawer waiting for in-between hunger pangs or boredom snacking. 

These are in fact, purpose driven. They are made for endurance. They are made for sustenance. They are made for performance. They are made to give you a push and last you longer. They are made for the woman in you!

I call them strength bars. They are there for you when you flagging and just something to give you a boost, a little energy nudge. They are there for you when you need something full on before a workout. They are there for you when you are running on fumes and still have a ton to do. 

Ladies, you know how that feels. When you have million things to do, so many to think about and take care of, and there is only one you! Yes, you! All you! These are for you!

There is the science behind these bars. To start, maple syrup as the sweetener is nature's very own nutritive element, proven and tested several centuries of aboriginal diets. The oats and seeds are high in protein and slow release of energy, not to forget the good fats. Goji berries for more anti-oxidant protection. And, then there is the inevitable chocolate. Let's face it; chocolate makes everything good for you! 

Every diminutive bar packs the energy needed for a long day, a good workout or something to just keep you going while you hammer out yet another report on the current state of affairs at work. Every bit of that energy you need to run behind your toddler, deal with teenage troubles, listen empathetically to your significant other or friend, all while still trying to decompress from your own day. 

Much as I like Mothers' Day, I think we need to have a more generic Woman's Day! I am not a mother, per se, but rather feel like one many days! If being a mother is being selfless, forgetful of your own needs, operating 24 hours on 150%, I think we all do that, whether at home or at work.  Being motherly, I argue is inherent DNA of a woman, irrespective of whether there is a child to be taken care of. God knows, there are enough times when people around us behave like children and we are forced into the role of mothering/nueturer/care taker. 

So, ladies, here is to the mother in all of us! This one is for all the women out there, many who are the unsung heroes of everyday! Let's celebrate with some bars, eh?! {I know, very corny! :D}


Oat + Seed Strength Bars with Maple + Chocolate

The one imperative here is that you use pure maple syrup to makes these bars. Pure maple syrup is nothing but the sap of the maple tree evaporated through boiling process to reduce to 66% sugar content. As the aboriginals found this syrup contains several nutrients that are beneficial to the health, such as the electrolytes needed for maintain blood level. Also, the natural sugars are one of the best sources of fast energy while not overloading the system as refined sugars do.

I used pure maple syrup from Quebec in Canada but you can just as easily use the grade A ones from Vermont.

_________________________________

1 cup oats

3/4 cup almond butter

7 Mejdhool dates

4 T Grade A Amber pure maple syrup

generous 1/4 cup sunflower seeds

generous 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

handful of goji berries

2 oz 70% cacao chocolate chopped

2 T butter

sea salt for garnish

In a preheated oven roast the oats for 7 minutes at 350 F until toasted. Cool to room temperature.

In a bowl mash the dates with maple syrup and let rest for a few minutes. Add the almond butter and mix to incorporate. 

Add the cooled toasted oats and the seeds and mix to form a dense sticky mass. 

Line a baking tray (approx  11x7 inches) with parchment paper and press in the mixture as evenly as you can. Smooth the top by dampening your palms with a little water and running them over the surface.

Place in refrigerator to cool and firm up.

Meanwhile, over a double boiler, melt the chocolate with the butter. Once fully melted, set aside to cool slightly.

Spread the chocolate over the oat and seed mixture and even it out with a  spatula. 

Cool in the refrigerator for 5 minutes. Then sprinkle the sea salt over. Place back in the fridge for another 15 or so minutes to allow the chocolate to harden.

Using a sharp knife, cut into bars of desired size. Store in the fridge or a cool place, to make sure the chocolate does not melt.

The bars can be stored atleast a week in the fridge. They probably can be kept for longer but they have not lasted that long for me to test.