Savory Do-It-Yourself Power Bars

A savory take on the DIY Power Bars I developed years ago when writing Super Natural Cooking. I packed these for a recent QK sourcing trip. They're the perfect plane snack, or, wrapped in parchment, they’re good for days tucked into a purse pocket ;)

1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup crumbled kale chips
1/2 cup chopped oil-cured olives
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 1/2 cups unsweetened crisp brown rice cereal
1 cup brown rice syrup
pinch of saffron (optional)
pinch of dried chile flakes (optional)
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

Grease a baking pan with the coconut oil or ghee. If you like thick power bars, opt for an 8 by 8-inch pan (or smaller); for thinner bars, use a 9 by 13-inch pan. Mix the oats, kale chips, olives, walnuts, and rice cereal together in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the rice syrup, saffron, chile flakes, and salt 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 over the oat mixture and stir until the syrup is evenly incorporated.

Spread into the prepared pan and cool to room temperature, pressing down on the surface of the bars to compress them a bit about half way through cooling, before cutting into whatever size bars you desire.

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