A reader asked if I could get the recipe for the Bird Bars sold at Down to Earth and I promised I’d try.
But I gotta be honest: I can’t take any of the credit for the recipe that follows. Here’s what happened: I went to Down to Earth, bought a couple of bars, painstakingly took down the ingredients listed on the tag below the tray of bars, nibbled at a bar on the way home, then sat down at the computer to see what similar recipes might be on the Web.
And there it was, first hit on a Google search for Bird Bars: a plea on a food chat site for the Down to Earth recipe. And, a couple of unhelpful responses later, the recipe, courtesy of Down to Earth, posted by some guy in New York. It’s a reprint of printed in HMSA’s Island Scene magazine some time ago.
The ingredients here conform largely to the list I copied at the store this morning (the only differences are in oil — canola instead of safflower — and the ones in the store listed some water in the batter). I’m glad it worked out this way. I enjoyed these bars, which are very crunchy, slightly sweet, packed with seeds and grains, a bit nutty-tasting despite the lack of nuts. But I wasn’t looking forward to the price tag for recipe testing, requiring that I invest in half a dozen different types of seeds that I don’t normally stock.
On the other hand, the recipe gave me what I think will be a good starting point — the flour, oatmeal, flax, sugar, oil and egg replacer batter — for developing a better “kopy-kat” recipe for my beloved chewy Kashi bars, which are so expensive but so satisfying. I made on attempt that I like, which I called “Cash-ey Bars” — delicious but not really very much like the real thing. These Bird Bars come closer, though Kashi bars used fewer seeds.
Dieters and diabetics, note the sugar content. You might try creating a version employing Splenda brown sugar, or possibly part Truvia or stevia.
1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar (raw sugar, or brown sugar)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 tablespoons unsulfered molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon egg substitute mixed with 5 tablespoons water, or two egg whites, whisked until foamy
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups uncooked rolled oats
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/3 cup uncooked millet
1/3 cup brown sesame seeds
1/3 cup flax seeds
1/3 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds
Lightly grease a 12-by-17-inch jellyroll pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, molasses, vanilla, egg substitute or egg white. In another bowl, combine baking soda, salt, rolled oats, flour, millet and seeds. Combine contents of both bowls and spread evenly in pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Using a very sharp knife, cut into 40 pieces while still warm.
Per piece: Calories 110, protein 2 g., carbohydrates 16 g., fat 4 g., cholesterol 0, sodium 120 mg., fiber 1 g.