the taste space

Fruit, Nut & Seed Power Bars

Posted in Desserts by janet @ the taste space on September 15, 2010

My last post was written a while ago… one of my many recipes from the draft folder. And while these fruit, nut and seed bars were made later in the summer as well, I am writing this post after biking the double imperial century ride from Ottawa to Cornwall and back.  The big kahuna. The grand finale.

And I did it!!

It was such an amazing feeling to accomplish such a feat, especially since I only started long distance cycling this year. If I can do it, anyone can! :)

What was more amazing during this ride, though, is that I learned how great it is to cycle in a group. Usually I bike with 1-2 other people, but we just have fun while cycling, stopping when we want, etc.

This was different.

My Dad and I joined the Touring 1 group for the Imperial Century Route (160km). The posted average speed was going to be 23-26 km/h.  I usually get around 23km/h which is really not that fast but I can’t seem to do any better. I can do 26km/h average when mainly downhill…. but not when I factor in going back uphill! Hills are my weakness.

So there were 6 of us in the group.  Totally not a beginner group (um, what kind of beginner would be cycling 320km??). A and T were both older gentlemen who enjoy cycling and were along for the ride. Strong cyclists but always reminding us to have fun! H was going for a ‘hat trick’ award. This year, she had already cross-country skiied 160km over 2 days, ran a marathon, and once she did the double imperial century, she was all set! Her friend L came along for the ride – but she had only done the shorter routes before. My dad has done the Cornwall and Kingston rides for 10 years, so he’s very strong.. and then there’s me!

It is mainly flat, but I found it quite windy. Being in a group of 6 (3 pairs), we rotated routinely, and were able to draft off of each other. The hills at the end had me struggling a bit, especially when I fell out of formation but the group would wait at the top and my Dad would try to deflect some of the wind off me. Once you lose the group, it is even more hard to join up again!  We left at 0800 and arrived in Cornwall at 1600. Not bad at all. I was very pleased! 165km. 4 breaks, including a longer one for a flat tire. Average speed 26.1 km/h.

We lost and added a person for our return ride. T wanted to do the 120km and J joined us from the faster group. There were 60 people doing this ride and we were the only group doing the 160km back. We had 1 other person, biking solo, pass us, so most people picked the 120km back.

Anyways, we got the hills over with at the beginning and the route was mostly the same but it did change in some places as well.

In the end, our stats were: Left at 0730. Arrived at 1430 (imagine that!!) with 4 breaks. 162 km. Average 26.6 km/h!  By 124 km, our average was 27.0 km/h! But it rained the last 30km, so we slowed a bit.

The group was really fantastic. Very encouraging and never dropped me despite being the weakest in the group. In fact, they were great about whisking me along. I felt a bit like Lance Armstrong as people tried to figure out where to position me in the group to capitalize on my strengths. There was a LOT more wind this time and sometimes it helped us! Our max speed was 39km/h which we got on a flat.

In conclusion, it was a great end of season trip. While I won’t be putting away my bike just yet (I hope to keep commuting until December, at least until the snow arrives), I am also not entirely sure where to go from here. I am considering investing in a nice road bike, but we’ll see.

Now about these bars! I spotted them at Enlightened Cooking. They were a nice change of pace from the date-heavy bars, with a citrusy burst from the orange juice and the apricots. The seeds and almonds provided a nice crunch as well. They were a bit more moist then some of my other bars this year as well.

This is my submission to this month’s Sugar High Friday featuring bite-sized desserts.

Fruit, Nut & Seed Power Bars

1 cup whole raw almonds with skins
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup prunes
1/4 cup orange juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line an 8×8-inch square pan with foil.

2. Place the almonds, apricots, dates, and prunes in a food processor; pulse a few times until coarsely chopped. Add orange juice and salt; pulse until mixture starts to stick together. Add pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, pulsing a few times just to incorporate.

3. Scoop mixture into prepared pan. Using a large square of wax paper or plastic wrap, evenly press mixture into pan, using your palms to flatten.

4. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Use ends of foil to lift bars from pan. Cut into 16 small bars. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator.

Makes 16 small bars

Per bar: 83 calories, 10g carbs, 4g fat, 2g protein

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12 Responses

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  1. Matt said, on September 15, 2010 at 8:27 AM

    Congratulations!!! :)

  2. Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said, on September 15, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    Loving the bars and congrats on completing the grand finale. Must be a proud moment.

  3. Camilla said, on September 15, 2010 at 7:28 PM

    Janet, I am so flattered that you made and posted these! And thrilled that you like my chocolate power bars, too :)

  4. Aparna said, on September 18, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    Congratulations on completeing that ride. Its something to be very proud of. :)
    And these bars look wonderful. My kind of thing, alright.
    Thanks for sending them in to SHF: Bite Size Desserts.

  5. [...] spent the summer training for a double imperial century bike ride and have since rejuvenated my cycling energy within the past couple of weeks. You see, I finally [...]

  6. [...] I find dried apricots more flavourful and have incorporated them into many salads, granola and energy bars. I have even added them to savoury dishes. When I do find myself with fresh apricots, baking is the [...]

  7. [...] am also experiencing amnesia this year. I trained last summer to cycle between Ottawa and Cornwall (325 km) over 2 days.  I had wet rides in the rain, tough [...]

  8. [...] Balls Carob Blueberry Energy Bars Peanutty Energy Bars Paley’s Energy Bars Blueberry Oat Bars Fruit, Nut and Seed Power Bars Cacao-Cacao Chip Cookies (recipe elsewhere) Dark Chocolate Mint Cookies (recipe elsewhere) [...]

  9. [...] has been ticking since I bought my commuter bike in October 2009. It followed me as I cycled to Cornwall, Niagara Falls and Kingston. Averaging over 4000km each year, it seems more impressive than it [...]

  10. [...] support my exercise, I have never really considered myself an athlete. I have cycled really, really long distances although it seems like such a distant memory right now. Even though I tucked my bike away [...]

  11. [...] made granola bars before, but those had refined sugars and butter. I’ve also made oodles of raw energy treats, but they were usually more [...]

  12. […] I have cooked and baked with prunes before, I subconsciously think of my bowels when I see prunes. I know it isn’t […]


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