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've not heard of brown rice syrup before. Don't think I've seen it here in Australia. What might be a substitute? Cheers!


This is my first comment here, and I thought I'd let you know that I absolutely LOVE your website and all of the well-written recipes that are in it! I'm always visiting when I get an email update to see what's new. Great video and recipe, keep up the good work! The scenery was very beautiful, by the way. You got some great shots!


I think this looks good, but I would love to find a power bar that does not have sugar in it. I love the idea of a meal-in-a-bar, but why do they have to be sweet?


Lovely video. I encourage you to make more.


Yay Heidi! I can't wait to try these, and your video is beautiful. Well done!


For all those folks with oat issues, I believe you can find quinoa flakes in your local health food stores, or even rice flakes, they should sub just fine. I am headed to the West coast next month, thanks for the views to look forward to!


great video and great recipe (like all your recipes!) my husband and I love big sur (and monterey) so so much. I'm jealous. last time we went was summer 2006... I'm thinking we need to take the drive very soon. :)


I'll echo several folks, but 1) it was a treat to hear your voice — and 2) what a delightful, serene three minutes or so to calm me down after a hectic day. Lovely images, soothing sound and fabulous food. A real winning trifecta! Thanks


Love your website and the video was great! One I buy "unsweetened crisp brown rice cereal" in the cereal section? or with the rices? and do you know any name brands to search for?


I love the sound of the recipe and the idea of homemade energy bars, especially such delicious ones! By any chance, is there a good substitute for the oats in this recipe? I recently discovered I have an allergy to oats (probably from overindulgence!). Thanks :)


Howdy. Got coordinates for that spot around 3:13?


Heidi, Thanks for the recipe. Power bars are handy to have. One comment re instructions: confusing about size of pans - obviously one would need a cookie sheet type edged pan for roasting upon; but, then to let the mixture cool in, one could use the same pan or substitute an 8" x 8" or a 9" x 9" baking pan.


I loved the video, especially the bit at the end with the relaxing waves! How about some cacao nibs (if you can get 'em) for chocolate without too much sweetness? I'm also a sucker for dried cherries in anything like this for that sour/sweet kick.


What a lovely video! I've never been to Big Sur and now I'm seriously considering taking up a friend's offer to go camping in the summer, even though I'm probably the worst camper ever. Do you think that a combination of molasses and maple syrup might work as a substitute for the rice syrup? I just can't imagine what else I'd use the syrup for after I made the power bars. (Of course, I guess I could keep it on hand for every time I *do* make power bars.)

pen and paper

Does anyone know any good substitutes for the coconut? My nephew is allergic but I think these would be a great gift for him...


Thanks SO much for this recipe! My fiance is planning a three-day hike and camp of the Appalachian Trail in May and will be incredibly excited to have these along for snack time!


The bar looks delicious. I can add some cranberries too. I just love your emails and look forward to them everyday. You have opened up a whole new world of food to me. I am so excited to try your Tofu and brussel sprouts recipe today! Yum Yum!


The bar looks delicious. I can add some cranberries too. I just love your emails and look forward to them everyday. You have opened up a whole new world of food to me. I am so excited to try your Tofu and brussel sprouts recipe today! Yum Yum!


Thanks for the recipe. This will will be great for a breakfast on the run.


Homesick :( Thank you so much for sharing the video Heidi. Big Sur is my most favorite place on the earth. I miss my trips from SF to Carmel terribly.


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