By Lisa Maliga
Lemon Coconut Oats Energy Bar
It all began when I was working on the second book of the Yolanda’s Yummery series, Magical Cakes of Love. Initially, I’d planned to give out some recipes for cakes in the form of either personal sized magical cakes of love, cupcakes or at least a cookie recipe. But it was the middle of summer and I just didn’t feel like baking. I was also immersed in writing and creating original recipes for another soap crafting book and needed to concentrate on that. So I was still in the kitchen, just in front of the stove—not the oven.
Around July 4, I took an afternoon off from soaping to try making a batch of energy bars. My main character introduces some healthy energy bars to her yummery, so I found a recipe online. It was an odd recipe because it contained butter but not real eggs – it called for either a flax or chia egg. Well, I used a regular egg. Unfortunately, that recipe didn’t turn out anything like the original as I was able to pour it rather than use a spatula or my hands to pat the mixture into the pan like the recipe described.
So the squirrels benefited from the leftovers of that mess.
In September, I had a little time to bake and thought I’d try a variation of the energy bar recipe that uses Kamut Khorosan flour, a special non-GMO wheat product that is higher in protein and minerals than ordinary whole wheat flour. It’s a lovely pale yellow color, is stone ground, and has a more buttery flavor than most other flours. According to Bob’s Red Mill, which is the brand I used: “Bob’s Red Mill Organic Kamut® Flour is made from Kamut® Khorasan Wheat, an ancient relative of modern day wheat that has a buttery flavor. On average this flour has 40% more protein than does regular wheat flour, and most people find it more satisfying and filling in baked goods than those made with wheat because of its higher lipid to carbohydrate ratio. It’s healthier in many other ways, and its taste is sweeter.” Being able to concentrate fully on the recipe, I made this version easily enough.
Lemon Coconut Oats Energy Bar Recipe
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole-grain Kamut Khorosan flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons almond milk
1 cup lemon curd
4 Tablespoons shredded coconut [unsweetened]
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Line a square pan (8×8) with parchment paper and oil sides and base with butter.
In a large bowl, mix the oat base dry ingredients: oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt.
In a small bowl, mix the melted butter, maple syrup, almond milk, and egg. Stir well.
Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix well.
Set aside about a cup of the oat base for the topping.
Scoop the oat mixture onto the pan and press down with a spatula [I prefer the silicone kind] or use your hands. Pour on lemon curd and smooth out. Now sprinkle on the reserved 1 cup oat mixture. Top with coconut.
Bake at 350 Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 45 minutes before slicing into squares or bars and removing from pan. Store in a container in the fridge to keep firm.
I used the entire 10 ounce jar of Dickenson’s lemon curd because the flavor is such a wonderful blend of tart and sweet and it goes so well with coconut. This brand can often be found in most supermarkets and discount stores. Of course, there are other brands and you can also make it yourself if so inclined.
Butter melting methods:
Cut the butter into little chunks rather than melt a whole stick. I recommend melting the butter in a double boiler or in a heavy pan on the stove top using a LOW setting. With the pan method, you don’t get a messy microwave and you can even walk away from it as it’s melting while you’re mixing your dry ingredients.
I baked this recipe for exactly 30 minutes because I prefer a softer, chewier type of bar. However, it could’ve been baked another 2 or 3 minutes without compromising the texture.
Consider using about 8 ounces of the lemon curd unless you want a lot of oozing filling!
The Kamut Khorosan and oats batter after being scooped into the pan
After adding the lemon curd and shredded coconut topping
Right out of the oven. Bottom right shows a small missing area because I had to sample it right away!