Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sourdough Surprises: Monkey Bars

(Apologies for the late post – my computer spent 10 days in repair and blogging from my phone wasn't feasible).

Why had I never made granola bars?

I'm on a high protein diet and I have a major sweet tooth. My local Vitamin Shoppe knows me by name and knows I'll never leave without protein powder or bars. I eat some sort of protein bar every day. I love to cook and bake. Seems like it's easy to put two and two together, right?

I have my reasons (convenience, mainly), but Sourdough Surprises challenged us to make granola bars. It was a curious possibility (I'd never heard of using any flour based binders before). Still, especially as I have my sourdough protein project that I occasionally get to working on, it seemed like something I should take head on.

I'm actually not a fan of true granola bars (I frequently take them to work, where the Florida heat melts the binder and turns them to a sticky crumbly mess), and with the flour in the sourdough starter, it made sense to make them more cake like – sort of like the Kashi Soft Baked bars. Not having a whole lot of similar recipes to go on (and a half-empty jar of Peanut Butter & Co White Chocolate Wonderful calling my name) I got inventive:
Sourdough Monkey Bars

Makes 8 bars

1/2c sourdough starter
1/4c Peanut Butter & Co White Chocolate Wonderful
1 large banana
1 scoop (1/3 cup) vanilla whey protein  powder
1 cup quick cooking oats

Mix everything but oats in a blender. Pour over oats & toss to coat. Spread in a greased 8" square pan & bake for 10 minutes at 350.
Simple enough (although the peanut butter flavor got lost behind the vanilla and banana). They also were not pocket friendly, meaning I couldn't take them to work. As far as taste goes, though, they were definitely on par with some of my favorite commercially produced bars. I will probably be playing with this recipe for the Sourdough Protein project.

On the other hand...why would I make my own when I can find things like this?
Check out our other awesome Granola Bars!