Eat Like the Ancients: Aztec Energy Bars
Guests of Mexico’s beautiful Viceroy Zihuatanejo now have a special treat to look forward to post sweat sesh: delicious, protein-packed Aztec Energy Bars. Along with the usual suspects of oats, nuts, and dried fruits, Executive Chef Paco Isordia used amaranth to really give these bars a boost of amino acids, fiber, calcium, magnesium, and iron.
Amaranth is an ancient grain once believed to be the food of the gods by the Aztecs and while these bars are fast becoming a guest favorite at the Viceroy, you can enjoy them after your very own workouts (or as a mid-day snack) thanks to Chef Isordia’s recipe below!
Aztec Energy Bars
Makes 3 dozen bars
4 cups oats
2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup organic honey
1 ½ cups diced dried apricots (or diced dried peaches)
1 cup diced candied figs
1 cup dried cherries or raisins
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups cooked amaranth
1 cup agave syrup
1. Preheat oven to 350 °
2. Combine the oats, coconut, walnuts and almonds in a large bowl. Stir the olive oil and honey together in a small bowl and pour over the oat mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until completely mixed together. Spread the mixture on an oven tray and bake, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until golden brown, about 40 minutes.
3. Blend in the dried fruits and cooked amaranth and return to the oven for about 5 more minutes.
4. Bring the agave syrup to a boil. Transfer the energy bar mixture to a tray basted with a little oil to prevent sticking. Add the hot syrup to the mixture and combine thoroughly with a spatula. Using a rolling pin, flatten and compact.
5. Once hardened, transfer to a cutting board and using a sharp knife cut into bars in the shape and size you desire