Monday, January 7, 2013

Crunchy Energy Bars

These bars are super easy to make and in my opinion put other bars like Lara Bars to shame.  Think salty, sweet, and crunchy compared to thick and pasty.  I almost always make a batch of these before an outdoor trip because they provide plenty of quick energy and are tough enough you can just throw them in a bag with some other food and they wont get crushed.  Sometimes I like to add a little kick to the bars by adding a dusting of cayenne.

1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (optional)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I like the large flake variety)
1/4 cup honey ( I like 1/4 cup but you could use 1/2 cup if you like it sweeter)
2T Butter or coconut oil/manna (The coconut oil tends to make them a bit greasy)
1tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (raises, dates, etc.)
Dusting of cayenne (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Rough chop the nuts using a knife or food processor.  Do not over chop.  Think about cutting a cashew into 1/3-1/4 no smaller.  Add the chopped nuts, seeds, and coconut to a large bowl.  In a bowl or measuring cup mix together the honey, vanilla, and butter/coconut product.  Heat honey mixture in microwave if needed to get to a more liquid state.  Add to nuts and mix.  Add salt and mix again. 

Spread nut and honey mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 10 minutes, re-spreading the mixture once to cook evenly.  After 10 minutes mix in the 1/2 cup dried fruit and bake for another 10 minutes stirring once.

Remove the mixture from oven and pour into a large bowl.  Do not let it cool on the parchment paper as you will not be able to remove it without sticking.  Let mixture cool until you can easily handle it with your hands, yet not cool enough that it is rock hard.  This should take about 10-15 minutes. 

When cool, form into bars with your hands by compressing the mixture between your two hands.  You need to use pressure to initially hold the bars together until they cool.  I like to form bars that resemble a Clif Bar.  About 1/2" thick X 3" long and slightly oval shaped.  You however, can make any shape you want just realize they will become hard when cool so ball shapes aren't easy to eat.

Let shaped bars cool in room temp for about an hour then toss into fridge.

Have a wonderful winter season!

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  1. This looks like a fantastic recipe! I also find coconut oil tends to make baked goods greasy, even if you reduce the quantities right down. Yum!

    1. Thanks Vicky! Let me know how they turn out if you make a batch. The oil thing is a bit of a bummer. Coconut manna worked much better but is harder to find.

  2. Thank you for writing your book. I enjoyed reading the details of your journey and wonder are you still feeling well? I have a 12 year old with UC

    1. Hi there and so glad you found the book and diet. My health is still very good. I still have to remain very strict on the diet but that's fine with me. That has to be very tough having a son so young with UC but congrats on catching it so soon and getting him on the right track to better health. Better days will come...

  3. Well...he was diagnosed at age 6 and is currently on Remicade. Between that and blood transfusions, it saved his life. His current treatment is not ideal but I did not discover SCD until his hemoglobin was at 5.3 and the doctors were insisting his diet was not important. I'm glad to hear you are still finding success with SCD. I'm thinking about giving this a full on try and finding good information like your book make the decision process easier. Any new tips not in the book? What other resources have you found? (I already have the yogurt maker from Lucy) Thanks, Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa,
      I am Carol Thompson ( Tuckers mom and co-writer of our book)
      I saw your post today and thought I'd reply...the SCD was a life saver for Tucker and has definitely given him a normal and very active life. Hopefully you are already doing the SCD and remember to go 100 percent...its easier for your child if all the food/meals in your house are SCD at least until cravings go away (which can take a year). Its a healthy diet for anyone and everyone's health will be better for following it too. New tips would be to keep it simple in the beginning, don't try to be a gourmet cook and to have your child help with food prep. It can be a fun thing you do together, and will give your child a greater understanding of the SCD and a sense of control of their own diet.
      Check out other SCD blogs such as the ones listed on Tuckers Two Steps blog.
      Print out the legal/not legal list and keep it in the kitchen.
      We like making beef jerky using a food dehydrator recipe in Tuckers book.
      Get help from extended family members if you can! especially in the beginning so you can have lots of food choices available.
      It will get easier and its wonderful to see your childs health get stronger each day!

  4. Love Tucker's book and enthusiasm. I was diagnosed with UC when I was in my last year of nursing school. I have lived with it for 12 years before trying the SCD diet. When I am on it 100%??? I am healthy, slender and happy. When I fall off the wagon (so to speak...) I'm back on meds and miserable. It's hard for people that don't have good organizational ability and the strenght to follow matter how sick you get. But when I'm able to commit 100%, the results are amazing. Even years later as a very savvy medical person I find it hard at times. I'm not a full blown awful UC/Crohn's picture. So I find it tough not to cheat at times. But what is wonderful....the increase in blogs for SCD friendly diets. Those blogs have exploded and are sooooooooo helpful for the rest of us!!! Keep up the good work Tucker!!! You inspire us all!!!!

  5. Tucker and Carol, Thanks so much for writing the book. Just started SCD 10 weeks ago and slowly coming off the Prednisone. SCD is going well, Prednisone tapering going fair. Its good to have the book to read and reread over again to know that someone else had a hard time for a while and to just fight through it. The book has truly been inspirational to keep going and sticking with it. I hope some day I have the same success story. Thanks again! Jan G

  6. Hello,
    Sorry for my English, I´m from Slovakia :) I have a lot of health problems - colitis ulcerosa also, allergies, foodsensitivities, osteoporosis, etc. I have Followed the GAPSdiet /99%similar to CSD/ 1,5 years now - sometimes it is better, somtimes not, but it has had helped a lot!! But last year I had a bad injury, so I can´t go one year, I was on help of my surround. Now it is better, but I am not able to do everything alone = and I´m thinking of that I´ll go back only to gluten-dairy-whitesugar-free diet. It was not so good for me, but in the future it will be too hard to follow the diet - now alone and then during my work. My housband is eating "normally"and separately. I eat everything organic, but it is very-very expensive by us and we don´t have here farmers neither = do You eat organic things? Or what can I use,that is diet-legal, but not organic? What can I do, that I can stay on the diet, but make it easier, or some exceptions? I can´t eat dairy,nor yogurt or cheeses - buy us is no cheese, what is raw and aged /and organic/ - maybe can You help me with this? I can´t eat raw vegetable, I have to cook-bake-roast everything. Seeds,nuts are O.K.when I soak&dehydrate them /and take them with Betain Hcl+diegstive enzimes/ and from the fruit I can eat peeled apple and ripe bananas. I must pre-prepare everything for a long time soI can´t imagine, how can I do this everything with my health problems, and later, when my leg will be hopely better - during the work. I use a lot of vitamins, enzimes, etc. It is very expensive - but without them my body doesn´t work /for my 37year I have a strong osteoporosis=that´s why the injury of my hip join and other boneproblems. Your book is very encouraging and the recipes are also good - I´m planning to make them all, what I can /the bread was very good!/ Thank You very much also for book and for helping me! Have a nice snowing day :) Kate

  7. Thank you for your post Carol. You and your son are very inspiring and I am so very grateful to own a copy of your book. Thank you for the tips and I will check out the other sites as well.

    Stay healthy and thank you both for all you are doing!

    1. Hi Tucker and Carol. My son is 28 and was diagnosed with UC last July, after having developed intestinal bleeding, urgency and severe headaches in March of last year. The doctor is totally unhelpful. I asked about the diet and was rebuffed. He said that food doesn't matter and that my son is thin already. He told us that the only thing the diet may help with is excess gas and it isn't worth it to risk losing weight. What he didn't know was that my son had already been on the diet for about 10 weeks when we went for the follow-up to the colonoscopy appointment and had gained 2 pounds. He is a busy accountant for a hospital and I have been cooking for him and packing legal lunches for him. He is doing very well. At this time he has been on the diet just 6 months and has discontinued his Pentasa, which he was originally on 4/day after a bad scare with side effects from 8 Asacol per day. Bleeding is intermittent now and only in small amounts, headaches have been gone since just a week after starting the diet. He follows it religiously. Today I made these energy bars and while the mixture was warm I pressed it into buttered muffin top or whoopie pie pans to form thin patties. I think these will be great to take in lunches or as a quick snack away from home. I have your book and it scared me a bit when you had your setbacks but I am encouraged by your continued success and that of all the other people I have read about. And I agree with Lucy when she says that she feels everyone who sticks to the diet will be healed by it. Thanks again.........Cheryl

    2. So nice to hear Cheryl! It is great you are helping him through this as he figures things out and how to juggle everything (disease, diet, cooking, work, etc.) It can be very overwhelming at times but do trust that it becomes easier and almost second nature. It sounds like he is making good progress and you should continue to see results even after setbacks. Two steps forward, one step back!
      Take care, and thank you for the message,