DSharp’s Amazing Homemade Energy Bars
Dan Sharp has been with us at the 8th Street Owl House now for a few weeks. He climbs uphill very fast and makes a mean steak. We love him.
He also makes a pretty mind-blowing homemade energy bar. Upon tasting it, I held a kitchen knife to his gut and made him promise to show me all his secrets. Apparently he thought I was serious because he kindly obliged.
Sharp was inspired to make his own energy food after a ride through the London countryside during which his riding companion shared a delicious bar with him. He promptly returned to the states and reverse-engineered the deliciousness.
About the Recipe
The following is a “recipe” only in loose terms. Sharp cooks, as I often do, “by feel” – adding a handful of this or a squirt of that. For the purposes of this blog post, we attempted to measure everything in question, but you should know that you can experiment and everything will be ok.
A few more dates and your bars will be more moist. A few more nuts and you will get something more like a dry granola bar.
Play until you find your special balance.
We also encourage you to play with ingredients. We’ve been keeping our eyes out as we shop in Tucson and have been inspired by things like dried fruits, spicy components and carob nibs. These haven’t made it into a batch yet, but I’m sure they will.
It’s hard to exactly quantify nutritional values for this recipe but I calculated general values:
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- 1 cup oats
- 1 cup spelt flakes
- 1 T. malt
- 1 T powdered sugar
- 1.3 lb. medjool dates (best to have extra lying about for possible consistency adjustment – the dates are your primary binding agent)
- .5 cup pecan pieces raw
- .5 cup roasted/salted pecan pieces
- 1 cup large hazlenuts
- 3-5 T agave syrup (this is another consistency adjustment ingredient)
- .5 cup coconut flakes (this is optional, substitute with ingredient[s] of choice)
How it Works
-Preheat oven to 325-350. Ish.
-Spread the oats, spelt flakes, malt, and powdered sugar on a cookie sheet (here we are using a cake pan because, well, our vacation rental in Tucson doesn’t have a cookie sheet). Mix well. Put the pan in the oven to toast (about 15 minutes or so, keep your eye on them).
-While they are toasting, cut the dates “smallish but not small”. This is a direct quote from DSharp. Observe the following photos with smallish but not small guidelines. He slices them in half, removes the pit, then slices them lengthwise, then he lines them up together and chops them into (smallish but not small) bits, psycho-killer style.
-Next we will chop nuts. (Don’t forget to keep an eye on your toasting oat mixture)
-Sharp uses a patented nut-mashing technique that he learned from his Pretty Lady (Ms. Tori Bortman of Gracie’s Wrench). Put nuts in plastic bag. Place bag on cutting board or other hard surface. Bash with rolling pin. You can do something less violent if you wish, just get the nuts into little pieces (but not TOO little), ok?
-Has it been 10-15 minutes? Go check your oats! They’re probably ready. Look – ours are!
(Headless oat man)
-Ok, where are we? Right. The nuts are chopped. Small but not too small:
The dates are all cut into smallish but not too small pieces (see, the box is empty – that’s proof!):
And our oat-spelt-malt-sugar mixture is all toasty:
-Time to mix. Add the nuts to the dates. Then at the oats to the dates and nuts. Then add the coconut. Got that? Everything in the same bowl. Good!
-Now that your pan is empty again, clean it and then lube it up. I mean grease it. You can use PAM or butter or coconut oil or whatever you like. Just make sure you use something because you want these little guys to slip out nice and easy when all is said and done.
-Now comes the fun part. Knead everything together with your hands until it starts to form a lump. As you’re kneading, pay attention to consistency.
-Add agave syrup one tablespoon at a time until you’ve reached desired moisture levels.
-When the lump is well-formed, put it in your pan. If you’re using a cookie pan, you can put a sheet of wax paper on top and roll it out with a rolling pin. We didn’t have that luxury, so used our hands and then improvised and used a cutting board as a flat-smasher.
-The bars should be about 3/4 inch thick when you’re done.
“This looks perfect!”
-Put it in the oven at 325-350 for about 20 minutes. Keep your eye on it toward the end. They’ll emerge golden and toasty and crisp:
-Let cool, then cut into bar shapes. This particular recipe makes about 18 bars.
-Store in a dry location in zip-lock baggies. They’ll last for a good long while but I bet they won’t be around long enough for you to find out.
More notes: “Cut. Eat. Ride”
[Stick it to man.]
All good advice, mind you.