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Cocoa, Almond and Dried Cherry Power Bars

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Recipe courtesy of Earth Balance

Perfect for lunchtime, post workout or anytime a power-packed pick-me-up is needed. Heart smart nuts combine with fiber-rich oats and crispy rice for a chewy, satisfy energy bar. Best of all, they’re made with Earth Balance® Peanut Butter for rich peanut goodness that’s free of refined sugars and trans fats.

Makes 16 bars

1 Tbsp. Earth Balance® Organic Buttery Spread
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup shredded or flaked coconut
2 cups crispy rice cereal
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup chopped dried cherries
2/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup Earth Balance® Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 cup natural brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup Fair Trade chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a 9 X 13 baking pan with Earth Balance® Orgnaic Buttery Spread. Toast walnuts, almonds and coconut on a baking sheet 5 to 7 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Mix toasted nuts and coconut with cereal, oats and cherries. Set aside.

In a saucepan, combine brown rice syrup with peanut butter, brown sugar and cocoa. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly for 3 to 4 minutes. Add vanilla and almond extracts and salt.

Pour brown rice syrup mixture over the nut mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Press into baking pan and allow to cool for about an hour before cutting into bars.

 

*Vegetarian, *Gluten-Free