Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Healthy Snacks – Oatmeal Raisin Bars

Ok. I am trying to come up with healthy and affordable snacks for the kids to take to school. The school provides a good lunch, but they need nibbles during the day too. I used to provide cereal bars and things like that – still do – but they are very expensive here, as are fruit snacks, dried fruit and nuts. Yes, I know that fresh fruit and veggies would be ideal, but they aren’t always portable, and they don’t always get eaten in a timely manner, which is wasteful. They can eat squished granola bars – squished bananas are not very nice. I am also limited because both kids have children in their classes with severe allergies so no peanuts. I also do not like candy (obviously), cookies, chips, and the like. Crackers and real cheeses (not cheese products – blech!) are good, but not for every day, and there’s the wastage problem like with fruit and veg. There’s a local string cheese – like mozzarella, but very salty. They like that sometimes. Anyway…

Today I made some cereal bars. This is a mashed up recipe, frankensteined from multiple recipes I’ve read for inspiration and portions, and using local ingredients.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars

1/2 cup butter (warmed)

3/4 cup brown sugar (I used natural brown granulated sugar cane sugar – not the fine ground, dark brown sugar like I am used to using in recipes in the US)

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons dark corn syrup (I would have preferred molasses, but didn’t have any)

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

3 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp salt

3 cups quaker oats (I used quick cooking, not instant – uncooked)

1 cup sultanas (rinsed and plumped just slightly -Raisins in the big grocery stores, are expensive. So are nuts – and most nuts are roasted as dry as paper! I got these sultanas and walnuts at a small grocer, where they were being sold by the kilo at a good price.)

1 cup walnuts (chopped fairly small)

* Cream together the butter and both sugars.

* Add the corn syrup and mix well

* Stir in eggs and vanilla

* Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cocoa powder, salt and oats. Mix well.

* Add raisins and nuts. Mix well again. Batter will be very thick.

* Preheat oven to 350F

For bars, press into 13X9X2 baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool. Cut into bars. I assume these could be cookies too – drop by tablespoons on a cookie sheet and cook for ?8? minutes (the batter is thick!) I haven’t tried that yet.

The verdict – delivered when the kids got home from school: “Momma can I have another? Can I have the rest of yours?” Yes, they do want to have them as a school snack. And when I said that I could experiment with other recipes, they said “No! We like these!”


Cairo Typ0 said...

It's hard to find snacks that kids will actually eat (rather than trade away) and are still healthy. These seem tasty! :)

Connie said...

They are tasty cereal bars. My kids don't even like many typical kid snacks. Forget things like peanut butter and jelly, even if we could bring peanut butter. They don't like sandwiches or much sandwich bread. It's hard. Also hard trying to find time to make this stuff in advance and have it ready. I'm getting into a routine now and hope to do this more often.

LiLu said...

I am SUCH a sucker for oatmeal raisin! I am so making these!

bettyl said...

I'm always looking for a healthy recipe. Thanks!

vicsens said...

Thanks for the recipe, Connie. I made them this morning. I substituted chocolate chips for nuts, since we don't eat many nuts around here. They are really yummy!

Connie said...

The 1st thing my husband asked was why did I put in raisins instead of chocolate chips?! I bet they would be great with chocolate, but I was trying for a school friendly snack and the kids loved these... of course, a few chocolate chips would probably be ok... !

Expat Mom said...

I'll have to get that recipe for no-bake chocolate cookies up for you. It's actually pretty healthy, too, because it uses cocoa.

These bars sound great. I'm going to have to try them and see my kids will eat them. They're so darn picky these days!

vicsens said...

Had to come back and let you know, my husband asked me to make these again today! He doesn't eat many sweets (that's my job! lol). He said he likes these because they aren't too sweet. Thanks again for the great recipe!

Connie said...

I just got more oatmeal at the store to make another batch - this time I'm throwing in a handful of chocolate chips! Glad you like them too :)

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