Cook the Book: Do-It-Yourself Power Bars

In early 2003, Heidi Swanson, an enthusiastic cookbook consumer, made a resolution: "When you own over 100 cookbooks, it is time to stop buying, and start cooking." From that resolution sprang a food blog—one of the earliest, in fact—called 101cookbooks.

Insightful and beautifully designed, 101cookbooks became one of the most popular food blogs out there and, eventually, brought things full circle for Swanson: In 2004, she became a cookbook author herself with Cook 1.0: A Fresh Approach to the Vegetarian Kitchen.

Swanson's latest book, Super Natural Cooking, was released recently, and we're proud to highlight it in this week's Cook the Book feature. Today's recipe, for DIY power bars, follows.

Cook the Book: Do-It-Yourself Power Bars

About This Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened crisp brown rice cereal
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 cup natural can sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt


  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    Mix the oats, walnuts, oat bran, cereal, cranberries, and ginger together in a large bowl and set aside.

  3. 3

    Combine the rice syrup, sugar, vanilla, 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.

  4. 4

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


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