Here's a totally delicious, totally easy, no-bake bar recipe from Martha Stewart (you can view the video here). To me they are more like candy than a "power bar," and I'm sure that in addition to high-protein, high-fiber ingredients they are loaded with calories!
A couple of notes: I had only one 4-ounce bar of bittersweet chocolate (Ghirardelli brand) on hand, so I added a few dark chocolate chips to the mix. I think the bars would be plenty chocolately with just the 4 ounces of chocolate. Next time I may try adding some rice crisp cereal. Lastly, if you follow a strict gluten-free diet, be sure to buy oats processed in a gluten-free facility, such as Bob's Red Mill brand. I used Quaker oats.
No-Bake Chocolate Almond Oat Bars
1) Spray an 8" square baking pan with non-stick spray. Line bottom and sides with parchment paper; set aside.
2) In a 3-quart saucepan, put 1 stick of butter, 1/3 cup honey and 1 cup natural almond butter (just nuts, no added oils). Cook over medium-low to medium heat, about 6 minutes, until smooth and butter is melted.
3) Remove pan from heat and stir in:
- 4 to 6 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
4) Mix well. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Put in the refrigerator to chill until firm. Remove from pan and cut into squares or bars and enjoy!
While we're on the subject of cooking, I'd like to say how much I'm enjoying our new, 3-quart Le Creuset saucepan. We'd been wanting to replace a Calphalon pan of the same size for a couple of reasons. One is the handle, which is not at all ergonomic (what's up with that? Seems simple enough to design a pot handle that feels good in the hand and is easy to hold, rather than one that's uncomfortable and hard to grip). The other is that the Calphalon pan is tapered, rather than straight-sided. The bottom of the pot is too small for all but one of our burners, even at a 3-quart size.
While shopping at Crate & Barrel recently (one of my favorite stores) I gravitated immediately to the cookware section to check out their options. A 3-quart saucepan by Le Creuset was actually on sale, and while I wouldn't typically spend more than $100 on one pot, I'm glad I did this time.
Made of 3-ply stainless steel, this pan has an aluminum core sandwiched between two layers of stainless, which continues throughout the pan to ensure excellent heat conduction from base to rim and prevent hot spots. The rim is rounded for drip-free pouring and the shorter extra handle opposite the long one makes it very convenient for carrying a heavy pot to the sink. Because of its excellent heat conduction, the "Care and Use" guide warns not to heat over high. We have found that water comes to a boil quickly at a "7" or "8" setting on our electric range, and holds a simmer at a lower number too -- clearly a well crafted piece of equipment. Now I'm wanting a 12" Le Creuset fry pan as well! Maybe for Christmas ...?