At this point, you might be quite bored of using oats to make homemade energy bars, and those famous cycling rice cakes might not be your thing after several attempts to get the boiling point for rice right. Don’t worry, we’re going to show you three different ways to use rice without having to boil it or eat it raw either. These recipes use puffed rice, rice cakes, and rice flour. Let’s get cooking:
Crunchy, puffed rice energy bars with nuts
If you love a good crunch, you’ll love this recipe. You’ll need a 25 x 18 cm (9 x 7 inch) mold or baking dish, a big saucepan, a high-heat scraper or a big spoon, and parchment paper.
- 100 g of honey. You can also use agave or maple syrup, molasses, etc.
- 70 g of sugar
- 2 tablespoon of water
- 100 g of nuts. Choose your favorite kind. You can use whole, chopped or sliced nuts.
- 100 g of whole-grain puffed rice. If you can’t find it anywhere you can use any other whole-grain breakfast cereal, but make sure it is crunchy enough as well as sugar free.
You’ll need a buttered or greased 25 x 18 cm (9 x 7 inch) baking dish or mold. If the one you have is bigger you can press and place the mixture on one side.
Heat the honey, sugar and water over medium heat in a big pot until bubbles start to form on the surface.
Lower the heat to the minimum and add the puffed rice and nuts (whole, chopped or sliced).
Turn off the heat, but don’t remove the pot so that the mixture doesn’t harden excessively. Mix together well and pour the mixture in the mold.
You want the mixture to be compact, so place a piece of parchment paper on top and press it with your hands.
Do not put the mold in the fridge, and just let it cool at room temperature until the mixture is hard enough.
We usually cut it in small portions, so we end up having 12 bars. If you prefer to cut them bigger you’ll get 8 bars.
Using honey, sugar and a mix of roasted nuts, and by cutting the dough into small portions, each energy bar has: 128 calories, 21 g of carbohydrates, 4 g of fat, and 2 g of protein.
No-bake energy bars with puffed rice cakes and dates
For this recipe, you’ll need a food processor and a 25 x 18 cm (9 x 7 inch) baking dish or mold, a high-heat scraper or a big spoon and some parchment paper. You can also use a 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inch) square mold or a similar sized one.
- 175 g (1 cup) of pitted dates. You can also use prunes, figs or dried apricots, but keep in mind that if the fruit is too dry you’ll need to soak it in water beforehand so that the resulting mixture is moist enough.
- 85 g (¼ cup) of honey. As you know, you can use any other sweetener of your choice.
- 32 g (2 tbsp) of peanut butter or any other nut butter of your choice.
- 150 g (1 ½ cup) of chopped nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Use any kind you like or whatever you have around at home.
- 4 whole-grain puffed rice cakes. Approximately 30 g ( 1 ½ cup).
Grease the baking pan and line it with parchment paper. Set aside.
Put the dates, the honey and nut butter in the food processor. Blend the mixture well. If you feel it turned out a bit too dry you can add a few teaspoons of water gradually, but not too much or it’ll be too liquid. Pay close attention to the consistency in the video recipe.
If your food processor is big enough, you can add the rest of the ingredients inside. If it is quite small, transfer the mixture to a big bowl and then add the mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruit, and the 4 crumbled puffed rice cakes.
Mix all the ingredients until the dough is uniform and sticky.
Pour the mixture in the mold, spread it evenly and press until compact.
Put the mold in the fridge overnight or for at least 5-6 hours until the dough is firm enough.
Then, use the parchment paper to take it out of the mold and slice into 8 bars.
We used honey, peanut butter, dates and a blend of nuts, seeds and dried fruit. By cutting out 8 portions, each of them will have: 221 calories, 37 g of carbohydrates, 6.3 g of fat, and 3.1 g of protein.
Steamed rice cakes
This is a really easy Chinese recipe to make. The name of this dish is ‘Bai Tang Gao’ in Mandarin and ‘Bak Tong Gao’ in Cantonese. We have decided to include it not just because of how tasty these cakes are, but also because of their soft and spongy texture that makes them easier to chew and digest while on the bike. Plus, they’re even tastier when cold.
To make this recipe you’ll need a bowl to mix all the ingredients together, a whisk, a saucepan, a spoon, plastic wrap, a pot, a casserole or a pan to use as a steamer and a small metal dish (approx. 16 cm diameter).
- 250 g (2 cups + 2 tbsp) of rice flour
- 150 g (¾ cups) of sugar
- 500 ml of water
- 5 g of dry yeast
- 20 ml of lukewarm water
- A few drops of sunflower oil or one that doesn’t have too strong of a taste
Mix the flour with 250 ml of water in a big bowl. Whisk well and set aside.
Place the sugar and the remaining water (250 ml) in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir with a spoon to melt the sugar and wait for it to come to a boil.
As soon as bubbles start forming on the surface, remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the liquid over the rice flour and water mixture in the bowl. Blend well and wait until the temperature of the mixture drops down to 35ºC.
Meanwhile, mix the dry yeast with 20 ml of lukewarm water, and set the mixture aside for at least 5 minutes before pouring it into the big bowl.
As soon as the rice, water and sugar mixture drops to the aforementioned temperature, add the dry yeast dissolved in water and combine. If you don’t have a thermometer to check the temperature you can use your finger: just dip it in the mixture and if you can handle the heat for 10 seconds then it’s good to go. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
After those 30 minutes have passed, add the oil and mix well. Cover again with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1-2 hours. The rising time depends on room temperature: if you live in a cold area you should keep the bowl in the oven next to a container filled with really hot water.
You’ll know the dough is ready when thick bubbles start forming on its surface.
Once the fermentation is complete, prepare the pot that can serve as your steamer and place the 16 cm diameter metal dish (greased with a little oil) on it.
Bring the water to a boil and pour the dough inside the dish, making sure there’s a one-finger distance from the rim. This dough yields more or less two dishes of around 16 cm each.
Cover with a lid and steam for about 15 minutes on high heat. Then turn off the heat and wait for another 10 minutes.
You can take out the rice cake now, but be careful when holding the metal dish, as you risk burning yourself.
Wait until this big rice cake reaches room temperature to take it out using a knife to lift off the edges.
Let it cool completely before cutting and eating. Meanwhile, you can steam the rest of the mixture.
The whole mixture has 1468 calories in total, 375 g of carbohydrates, 1.25 g of fat and 18.5 g of protein. If you make two dishes and cut the cakes into 4 portions each, one portion will have: 183.5 calories, 43.3 g of carbohydrates, 0.15 g of fat and 2.31 g of protein.