I swear, the title of this post is just a blog from me waiting to happen. That's for later, though. Today it's for this recipe I found. I'm on Weight Watchers, you know (I promise to quit mentioning it soon!), and I crave sweet lately. I found these healthy bars, like cereal bars, that satisfy my need for chewy, crunchy, and sweet! This is an "expensive" snack as Points go, but if I have a craving that a piece of fruit (ZERO points!!) can't hamper, then I may not mind using 6 points to find my happy!
MORNING HEALTH BARS
(adapted from a recipe found on JustAPinch.com)
1 cup peanut butter [I used Jif Extra Crunchy]
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (can reduce amount or replace with stevia or truvia)
1/2 cup honey or pure maple syrup (can reduce amount or replace with stevia or truvia) [I used 1/4 cup honey & 1/4 cup Splenda]
1/2 cup cup butter, melted (can sub 1/4 cup of mashed bananas or applesauce for replacing the butter) [I used 1/4 cup applesauce]
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract [I am NOT a fan of almond, but stuck with it on this recipe. It turned out well and tastes good, but I probably won't use it again. I don't like the smell!]
3 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup flaked coconut, sweetened or unsweetened*
1/2 cup chopped roasted and salted pecans (can sub sesame or sunflower seeds, or any other kinds of nuts)
1/2 cup dried cherries (can sub raisins, craisins, chopped dates, currants, dried cranberries or any other dried fruits)[I used Pomegranate Craisins.]
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (can sub carob, bittersweet, or milk chocolate chips)
*I made a half-recipe with coconut and the other half I substituted 1/2 cup Kashi GoLean cereal.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan (I used a spray of Pam).
In a large bowl stir together the peanut butter, the melted butter (applesauce), the brown sugar, the honey or syrup and the vanilla and almond extracts until smooth.
Add all the other ingredients. Stir well.
Press the mixture into the greased pan and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, or just until lightly browned around the edges.
While still warm score into 24 bars, but let cool completely on wire rack before removing bars to a serving platter or storage container.
Store any leftover bar in the refrigerator as they keep best that way.
Recipe Note: You can individually wrap each bar for a quick on-the-go healthy breakfast bar. You can freeze them for long-term storage that way too.
I love all the online tools you can use to calculate Points, calories, etc. They are part of my happy!
Weight Watchers Points: I used the Weight Watchers Online tool called the "recipe builder," and recorded all of the ingredients I chose to use in this recipe. Each bar is 6 Points.
Did you know about the Spark People Recipe Calculator?
It tells me all this information about this recipe (the one with coconut):
Amount per serving:
Total Fat 7.1 g
Saturated Fat 2.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 24.5 mg
Potassium 134.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 31.7 g
Dietary Fiber 3.4 g
Sugars 14.3 g
Protein 2.9 g
Vitamin A 0.0 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 1.7 %
Vitamin C 0.2 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.0 %
Calcium 1.9 %
Copper 9.7 %
Folate 3.4 %
Iron 7.8 %
Magnesium 11.3 %
Manganese 63.8 %
Niacin 4.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.4 %
Phosphorus 13.0 %
Riboflavin 2.5 %
Selenium 0.6 %
Thiamin 12.8 %
Zinc 7.0 %