Sweet nori bars
I often surprise myself when the smallest thing inspires me to create something fantastic. Take these sweet nori bars as an interesting example of what can come out of reading an old issue of an unknown women’s magazine while sweating to the beat of Rihanna’s “Rude Boy” on the elliptical. Firstly, reading or thinking about food while exercising your brains out is not advised. Secondly, having a Bulk Barn so conveniently located beside the gym and stumbling towards it after your workout in a sweat- and hunger-induced haze is also not advised. It only leads to temptation at its worst.
But alas, that is what I did after reading the magazine article about sushi and remembering that I still had a package of nori in my cupboard that really needed to be used up. But, unfortunately, I’m not a fan of sushi-making. So what to do?
I’ve had healthy snack ideas on the brain since increasing my cardio routine a few weeks ago so, after collecting some simple ingredients in bulk, I came up with these no-bake brown rice cereal bars that are made up of all the delicious flavour components of sushi, minus the rolling and vegetable slicing. They include hints of nori, peanuts, sesame and wasabi combined with crunchy brown rice cereal and the subtle addition of brown rice syrup and coconut oil. Super yum.
When creating these treats, I experimented with different liquid sweeteners and I found that the thick brown rice syrup combined with enough agar flakes worked out best as a binding agent, so you won’t see these babies falling apart as soon as they hit room temperature. This recipe also requires sheets of nori that are crisp enough to crumble into tiny pieces. The easiest way to do that is to place the sheets directly on your oven rack and toast them at 350 degrees for a few minutes until slightly crisp. You can lightly toast your peanuts and seeds at the same time. Enjoy!
Sweet nori bars
- In a medium saucepan, combine the brown rice syrup, coconut oil, salt and wasabi. Sprinkle the agar flakes on top and gently stir. Heat over medium-low until the coconut oil melts and the mixture comes to a light boil. Simmer for about 30 seconds until the mixture begins to thicken slightly. Remove from heat.
- Add the brown rice cereal, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and nori. Stir until well combined, making sure the dry ingredients are well coated with the syrup mixture.
- Spoon the mixture into a 8 x 8-inch square pan, pressing down gently and spreading it out evenly using the back of a spoon. Place the pan in the freezer for about one hour to firm up. Cut into bars using a sharp knife. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer.