Video: Big Sur Power Bars Recipe

A homemade powerbar recipe packed with lots of toasted nuts and coconut, crisped rice and ground espresso beans. Video how-to as well as written instructions.

Video: Big Sur Power Bars

I wrote a homemade powerbar recipe for my last book, and it's one of those recipes I never get tired of. Wayne and I spent a few days in Big Sur last week so I made a batch with a few twists. The Big Sur version is packed with lots of toasted nuts and coconut. The crisped rice is flecked with a sizable dose of ground espresso beans. It has been a while since I've shared any video, so I thought I'd share some of the footage from our trip, along with a show-and-tell of how the powerbars come together. The written recipe instructions are still down below.

Video: slightly larger version

Let me know if you have ideas for other twists on this recipe - I was thinking toasted walnuts, cocoa powder (to turn them chocolate flavored), and even more espresso than I used in this version. Sam did a beautiful version here (with a lovely photo).

Related links:
- We stayed at the fantastic Treebones Resort in a yurt. (ask for #15 or #8)
- This is the state park you see in the video, we hiked the Ewoldsen Loop.
- For those of you looking for a no bake, high-protein, high-fiber bar (it is sweetened with agave nectar and stevia instead of sugar) have a look at Elana's version.
- Allen of Eating out Loud's hickory nut, blueberry, and flax seed version.

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Big Sur Power Bar Recipe

If you can't find the crisp brown rice cereal, no worries - just use regular rice cereal for ex: Rice Crispies - just stay clear of "puffed" rice cereal, it will throw the recipe off. Feel free to substitute other types of nuts, seeds, or whatever little goodies you can dream up.

1 tablespoon coconut oil (or regular butter)
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup slivered almonds
2/3 cup (unsweetened) shredded coconut
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups unsweetened crisp brown rice cereal
1 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 tablespoons ground espresso beans
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking pan with the coconut oil. If you like thick power bars, opt for an 8 by 8-inch pan; for thinner bars, use a 9 by 13-inch pan.

On a rimmed baking sheet toast the pecans, almonds, and coconut for about 7 minutes, or until the coconut is deeply golden. Toss once or twice along the way. Mix the oats, toasted nuts, coconut, and the cereal, together in a large bowl and set aside.

Combine the rice syrup, sugar, salt, espresso, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly as it comes to a boil and thickens just a bit, about 4 minutes. Pour the syrup over the oat mixture and stir until it is evenly incorporated.

Spread into the prepared pan and cool to room temperature before cutting into whatever size bars you desire.

Makes 16 to 24 bars.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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I'd like to find a way to do this without sugar...any suggestions?


Wow. this video is beautiful.. the views, the bars.. I'm overwhelmed...


Great video, the views are amazing!!! the recipe too, sounds so yummy!!! have you thought of adding cranberries and sunflower seeds...

Porsche Girl

your video made me homesick as well, how i miss the california coast! i make a version similar to yours with candied ginger and toasted nori for extra nutritional punch (you can't even taste the seaweed, i promise!) i love that you put espresso powder in these, that will *definitely* be in my next batch!


big sur is wonderful, but wasn't it freezing? I'm up in Sacramento and we have had the most freezing winter ever... As a personal peanut butter addict, I think that a nice cup of peanut butter would be wonderful with this bar but then it wouldn't be so healthy. But a little healthy fat never hurt anyone, right?


I tried making a chocolate bar from Sticky, Chewy... by Jill O'Connor, and I have to say it was a bit too chocolatey (Is that a word, and is it actually possible...?) Anyways, this is more to my tastebuds, I think, if I can get hold of brown rice syrup, that is...


I wish I could find a savory breakfast-type bar that is good for me. I have been trying to brainstorm such a thing but nothing has turned out. Any suggestions?


Hey Heidi - I have been working on what I call a "Black Forest" version of your power bar. I have made it a couple of times so far and have loads of notes so I can improve it even further. It's going to be wickedly awesome when I've twiddled with the few things I want to change. It' super delicious, sinful and pleases the vegans in my office as well as the non-vegans. When I've got it down to a tee, I'll post it up on my blog. So sorry i missed you the other weekend. Soon, I hope, I am currently sick so best wait til i get better. xxx


Wow! These sound amazing. I already have a camping trip in Big Sur planned for the summer but I think I'll have to try these before then!


Hi, It's great to hear your voice Heidi! Great video and music. Thanks for the power bar recipe!


Do you have any good substitute(s) for the nuts? I would love to make the power bars but it seems as if nuts are always a big part of any recipe I've found. I'm allergic to them.


So nice to see them in action! I have made them with a candied ginger/sesame combination, and also a nutmeg/pinenut/maple syrup one too. I love going down to Big Sur but it's always hard to figure out where to stay, do you have rec's?


great video; and great bar recipe!! sounds scrumptious!!


I love, love, love the video. It's such a perfectly simple recipe and having the video helps us remember that. I'm totally enthusiastic and I'm going to make some this weekend. Keep it coming, Heidi! You rule!


Thank you so much for sharing the video and recipe with us. It was just the mini vacation I needed today. A couple of years ago I made homemade granola bars from an epicurious recipe that had cardamom in it. They were delicious. I wonder if your more healthful version could incorporate the cardamom - not sure how it would go with the espresso - might need to leave that out - maybe adding a tea infusion to the syrup and sugar could lend some nice flavor.


Thanks so much for sharing the video, it was really cute to hear your voice. Off the current food subject but important none the less. Since you posted the Lively Lentils recipe, I have made it (with a few tweaks) three times. Hugs to you and your foodie brain.


Brys and I were simultaneously watching this and cross-emailed to tell the other to watch it. It's like the "Old Joy" version of 101 Cookbooks. More video, Heidi!


thoughts on an oat substitute? my wife is allergic to oats - that can be quite the pain as so many things use oats to sub for wheat :-(


Heidi, I just recently moved to Colorado from Sacramento and this video makes me so homesick. Thanks for the great recipe - I will make them before my first spring hike in Boulder.


Thank you. Looks like so much fun. Off to the kitchen to make power bars.


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