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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Snack Bars

We really struggle with breakfast around here. Breakfast food is one of my favorite genres of food, but not in the morning. I have a really sensitive stomach in the morning, and most the time, nothing sounds good. We also are usually strapped with time in the morning, so the combination of the two generally results in no breakfast. But, since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we are always on the look out for new breakfast ideas.

A few weeks ago in my Culinary Nutrition class, we were studying whole grains and one of the recipes in the lab was for Peanut Energy bars. They ended up using almond butter instead of peanut butter, and they were really good! I knew that I had to make some at home, and after a few tweaks, this is what I came up with. It ended up making a really big batch, and so we didn't eat all of them before they got old, so next time I will make a smaller batch. One recipe will make one 9x13 pan.

The great thing about these is that you can easily make changes in them to fit many types of diets. You can change the type of nut butter, use gluten free products instead of regular, and add additional products as well.

Energy Bars 
adapted from Peanut Energy Bars in my Culinary Nutrition class




1/2 cup dry roasted salted peanuts(or other nut-we used walnuts)
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds or other chopped nuts
2 cups Crasins, raisins, or other dried fruit(we also added dried apples and strawberries to ours)
2 cups rolled or instant oats
2 cups Rice Krispies(we used the brown rice gluten free ones!)
1/4 c toasted wheat germ(optional)
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed(optional)
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup, honey, or agave nectar(I used half corn syrup, half agave)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2oz dark chocolate, melted

1. Coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
2. Combine nuts, sunflower seeds, Crasins, oats, Rice Krispies, wheat germ(if using) and flaxseed(if using) in a large bowl.
3. Combine peanut butter, brown sugar and corn syrup(agave/honey) in a large microwaveable bowl; microwave on high until bubbling(1 to 2 minutes). Add the vanilla and stir until blended.
4. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until coated.
5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Press down firmly.
6. Let stand for 1 hour to harden. Cut into bars. Drizzle with melted chocolate. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.





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