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Easy No-Bake Bars

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via – Stephanie Doty | Team AVAC®

I always try to find ways to take short-cuts when it comes to cooking. Raising three active children over these past 17 years made finding ways to save time a necessity! But I’ve come to learn that taking the easy way out on meal planning and shopping can really take a toll on my family’s health and diet — especially when it comes to choosing healthy snacks.

While strolling down the grocery store isle it’s ridiculously easy to reach for the pre-packaged crackers, individual snack-packs, boxed granola bars, etc. But once I started skimming the ingredient labels on these handy snacks I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I’ve actually come to feel guilty relying on many of these products for my family over the years. The amount of hidden sugar and unnatural ingredients in many snacks is obscene! Take Quaker Chewy Granola Bars for example. These bars are made by Quaker Oats (a subsidiary of PepsiCo) and include 8 separate instances of added sugars in one form or another. Not to mention the long list of other unnatural ingredients and trans-fats appearing on the label. Quaker touts “With 8g of whole grains, and no high fructose corn syrup, it’s a tasty option for your active family.” Just because a product is implied to be healthy, doesn’t mean it really IS healthy!

A friend suggested I try taking a hand at making my own snack bars. After some research and creativity I came up with this almond butter version. My 11 year old son LOVES them, and my picky husband even gave them a thumbs up 🙂

oat bars 7.22.15

No-Bake Almond Butter Oatmeal Bars

  • 1/2 cup light honey
  • 1 cup almond butter (fresh ground – you can grind your own at Whole Foods or in a food processor at home)
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup shaved coconut
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet choc chips (optional)

Makes 10-12 bars (depending on your desired width)

Directions:
Microwave honey and almond butter until just soft enough to easily stir. Fold in oats & coconut. Once the mixture has slightly cooled, add in the chocolate chips.

Spread the mixture into a 9×9″ pan – press down firmly in pan to compress the ingredients (using wax paper while pressing on top of mixture can help with this step.)

Place the pan in fridge allowing mixture to set.
Once set, slice into individual bars. Enjoy!

Optional healthy additions:
vanilla extract
pureed apricots (reduce the amount of honey)
dried fruits
chopped nuts
seeds (chia, sunflower, pumpkin)

– Stephanie Doty, Team AVAC®

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Author: stephdoty

Almaden Valley Athletic Club®

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