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Monday
Jun032013

Pumpkin Seed Power Bars

If you deal with a food intolerance or allergy, it's always a happy day when you spy a new goody at the grocery store that's safe for consumption! 

That was the case with these breakfast bars. We've been buying them by the carton and eating our way through them pretty fast so I thought it was time to see if I could make them at home—and trim a few dollars off of our grocery bill.

Compared to the Crunchy Perfect Pumpkin Breakfast Bar from Rise®, the version I've come up with:

  • Is a little less sweet.
  • Replaces the amaranth with chia seed so that I could reduce the sweetener required to make the ingredients stick together (a lovely feature of sugar/sweeteners).
  • Does include nuts, but you can easily make it a nut-free bar by using more pumpkin seeds in place of the nuts (I was running low on pumpkin seeds so had to throw in the nuts).

I've only made these in the dehydrator. You could probably bake them in the oven at the lowest setting (at or below 170˚F) for a couple of hours and see if that works.

Oh and the trick to the perfectly rectangular bars? An inexpensive musubi sushi rice press. Find one at your Asian grocery store or here on Amazon for under $3.00. 

Pumpkin Seed Power Bars

Ingredients:

1 cup water
1/4 cup no sugar added apricot preserves or this compote
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chia seed
1/4 cup unsweetened dried cherries or cranberries
1/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup pitted and chopped dates
1-1/2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup raw cashews, finely chopped
1/4 cup hulled hemp seeds

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan combine water, preserves, honey, and salt. Bring to boil; reduce to gentle simmer and cook until reduced to about 3/4 cup. 
  2. Remove from heat and stir in chia seed, cherries, raisins, and dates. Set aside 5-10 minutes to thicken.
  3. In a large bowl combine the pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, and hemp seeds.
  4. Stir in apricot mixture.
  5. Form uniform bars using a musubi rice press; lay a piece of parchment paper on work surface, place mold on parchment and spoon in 1/4 cup (or so) of the seed mixture. Oil press surface and use it to firmly pack seed mixture. Release from mold and place onto dehydrator tray. Repeat.
  6. Dehydrate bars for about 24 hours or until bars are firm and hold together.
  7. Store in airtight container at room temperature for a week or freeze.

Notes:

  1. The next time I make these I plan to lightly toast the nuts and seeds in a 325˚F oven for 10-12 minutes prior to mixing to give the bars a little added crunch.
  2. If I hadn't had a musubi rice press, I would have used a medium sized round cookie cutter and some random flat kitchen object to pack the seed mixture in to make round bars versus rectangular. :) 

 

Reader Comments (22)

This is so nutritious looking! Way to go! I do not enjoy buying energy bars, at all: will try this recipe, with the Chia! We have the musubi lucite press already, and have not used it lately. It never occurred to me to repurpose that gadget! I have always loved pumpkin seeds; the title of your post really caught my interest! Thanks!

June 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPohaPoha

Poha, Yes, that musubi press comes in handy for molding almost any goody. Glad you are tempted to make these :) xoLexie

June 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterLexie

YUM! These sound and look amazing Lex. You're so smart with that handy little gadget! It's on my list and so are these!

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

Cool!! The bars look great...and that gadget looks even neater! Your photos are so gorgeous. :)

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHallie

Maggie and Hallie ... you must get the gadget ... we all know, a woman can never have enough! xoLexie

June 4, 2013 | Registered CommenterLexie

You are a genius lady! I love Rise Bars, but your homemade version must be even better!

These are so totally something I would make! I love these and LOVE your beautiful photos of them too! :D

Gorgeous! And what a great idea to use that rice mold for perfect shaped bars! Gorgeous and Genius.

June 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

I made these this morning and toasted the nuts/seeds before mixing. I also followed the suggestion to bake @170 for 3 hours. I didn't have the mold described with the recipe. I used a 1/4 cup dry measuring cup and I flattened the mixture onto wax paper. They are awesome!! Not too sweet, and they look great. I can't wait to share them. Thanks for posting!

June 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Kevin ... I REALLY appreciated your comment. I blast these recipes out to the blogosphere and am not sure if people make them and IF they turned out for them. Your words made my Friday. And good to know about the toasting ... I had a hunch that it might enhance the crunch. And I am glad you thought they were sweet enough ... my sweet tooth has a much lower tolerance these days. My son is really sensitive to sugar (probably still some Candida) and so most store bought bars are a bit too much for him.

xoLexie

June 7, 2013 | Registered CommenterLexie

My husband, who enjoys long bicycle rides, was just talking about making his own energy bars the other day. Then, along comes your post. I'll have to pass this recipe along to him. Thanks!

So, are these bars like crunchy bars or chewy/sticky bars?

June 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Hello!
Your recipe sounds great! I have my own version that I have been making, but want to try yours. Using a musubi maker is BRILLIANT! Living here in Hawaii, it's a standard utensil in my kitchen. Thanks so much for sharing...Aloha, Lori

June 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLori

Wow. This is a lovely treat. I have been craving for this crunchy snack but I was worrying of food allergies stuff. It is nice to see that the pumpkin seeds and nuts are wonderfully complement each other side by side. I hope this is a crunchy bars rather than chewy ones since I am more fond of bar's crunchiness. Where can I get the dehydrator?

June 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLynne M

This is actually the first time that I've heard of this pumpkin seed power bars and I am curious about how it would taste!!! But, what I like in this recipe is it's an easy homemade thing, the ingredients are affordable, and it looks like it's so easy to make! HA HA. This is also very nutritious that's why I wanna try it. :)

June 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDen

Wow! These are super delicious! I made them this morning to take along on a trip. I also toasted the nuts and seeds. I typically cannot tolerate the amount of sugar in bars, but these I are great for me! The amount of sweetness is just right. Two out of three of my kids LOVED them. The third is very picky and judges the taste of any new food just by looking at it. My son even crumbled some bars up and turned it into granola with fresh fruit on top and loved it.

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTracy W

Tracy ... so glad they were a hit! xoLexie

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

Lex! I made these and they were fantastic! I did the oven version because i still :( don't have a dehydrator. But they turned out great!! I have one left and I'm hiding it in the butter box :)

July 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterhannah

Everything has honey in which i am allergic to. And oats and gluten etc. Can anything replace the honey? Sticky sugar syrup although really need to keep this low too? Thanks

October 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkim

Hi Kim, the thing with bars like this is that they require a "glue" so usually sticky substances like dates, honey (feel free to use maple syrup), and jams are used. One trick you can try is to make a goop of say 1/4 cup flaxseed or chia seed meal (ground seed) and about 1/2 cup water. Add that to the mix (omitting some of the sweetener) and then dehydrating. It might be worth playing with :) The "goop" will work as a binder. I hope that helps a little. xoLexie

October 27, 2013 | Registered CommenterLexie

Thank you Lexie, I will have to have a play with it. Wish I could have honey, it's so good for your immune system if you use the right sort. Bars looks lovely too. Thanks for your ideas.

October 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKim W

I love homemade granola bars! And that gadget looks awesome... if I wasn't so opposed to kitchen gadgets, it'd be useful. hahaha

November 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEyecandypopper

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