When I started blogging, Don found himself some fitness and cycling blogs to follow. He’s really gotten into a few of them, sending me recipes now and then. This recipe is our favorite so far!
I made these Blueberry Beast Bars for our weekend trip to Stowe, Vermont. They are ridiculously delicious and made of whole food ingredients. You can’t buy a bar like this at the grocery store — or even at a health food store. Beast bars will fill you up and keep you going because they have a good mix of fat, carbs, and natural sugar. I can speak for my whole crew when I say that we looked forward to our snack at the lodge after skiing Stowe Mountain on Saturday and Sunday!
We really missed granola bars when we went gluten free because most of the lesser processed bars contain peanuts or are manufactured with peanuts. We haven’t found a granola bar off the shelf that we love, both taste and ingredient wise. Bananas work well in most situations when you would normally grab a bar, but these beast bars work better. Let’s face it: a banana is a banana. It’s not dense or crunchy or balanced like the Beast (the monkeys were calling them “the Beast” all weekend!).
After I made this recipe a few times, I bought a pastry roller and I’m so glad I did. The back of a spatula doesn’t pack the mixture down enough. When you get to that point in the recipe, really bare down hard and evenly press the mixture into the pan. It takes a few minutes and some patience to get it even, but it’s totally worth it.
- 1/4 cup unsweetened big flake coconut
- 1/4 cup sunflower seed kernels
- 1/2 cup whole toasted nuts
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries
- 2 cups quick oats
- 2 cups brown rice cereal
- 1 cup creamy roasted almond butter
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the coconut, sunflower seeds, nuts, blueberries, oats, and rice cereal. Set aside.
- In a small sauce pan, gently warm the syrup and the almond butter. Once the maple butter mixture is warm, stir until smooth and homogenous. Add the vanilla.
- Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and mix until all of the dry ingredients are well coated. Next, top with parchment paper. Press the mixture into the prepared pan with a pastry roller or the back of a spatula.
- Let cool completely in the refrigerator. Once cool, slice and eat! Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze.
– Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
– We toast raw pecans for this recipe because they’re the monkeys favorite. Blue Mountain Organics does not process any peanuts so their nuts are safe for Sweet Pea (Use code TAKE5 at Blue Mountain Organics for $5 off a minimum purchase of $50!).
– For a nut-free beast bar, substitute chocolate chips for the nuts and use sunbutter instead of almond butter.
– Use certified gluten free oats if you’re avoiding gluten. We like this brand, which I order through Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program for an extra 15% off.
– I use parchment paper a lot for our gluten free baking. It makes for a much easier clean up too!
– Check the ingredients in the brown rice cereal you choose. I buy this kind because it’s organic and only contains three ingredients. And no, we never eat it in a bowl as cereal!
– I prefer Grade B maple syrup because it’s produced later in the season and has a darker color, which means more minerals including manganese, riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and potassium.
– Substitute another freeze dried fruit if you can’t get freeze dried blueberries (I found organic at Whole Foods).