Category Archives: Bars

Grandma Lee’s No-Bake Bars


Today I had my first meeting with my new clinical team. I wanted to make a sweet treat but didn’t want to turn on the oven. It was 88 degrees in my house! I haven’t turned on the air … yet. 

I have been wanting to make Grandma Lee’s recipe for a while now. She used to prepare it for the school where she was employed as head cook.  I can remember growing up and going to visit her at work. She’d always sneak me a cookie and some milk when I visited with grandpa. Grandma also always stored these in the freezer as well, so when we’d go visit her at home she never let us go with a cookie for the road. 

This recipe can be made into cookies or bars. I was pressed for time; therefore, went on the safe side and made bars. 

Yields: 24 bars

Ingredients:

1/2 cup, 1 stick unsalted butter (grandma uses salted, I just used a pinch of kosher with the unsalted butter)

1/2 cup (fat free half & half) grandma uses whole milk

1 cup natural creamy peanut butter

4 Tablespoons cocoa powder ( I prefer penzeys)

1 1/2 cups quick oats

1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (grandma uses all quick oats)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

9 by 13 pan & lined with Parchment paper

Directions

1. Take a medium sauce pan on medium heat and add first 4 ingredients and bring to a boil.

2. Once the sauce boils, allow to boil for two minutes & then remove from heat and add oats and vanilla. 

3. Incorporate the oats into the melted mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Even out the batter with a rubber spatula. Cover with sealable container or foil. Store on the counter. Do not refrigerator. 

4. Allow to harden, I waited overnight. Use the parchment paper to pull the bars out of the pan and on a cutting board, cut the bars into even pieces. 

As pictured Recipe yields 24 bars. 

If you decide to go the cookie route, this recipe will yield 30 to 36 cookies using a size 40 scooper. I would recommend dropping them on wax paper and letting them sit before storing them in a sealable container.

Enjoy !

Sweet & Salty Whole Grain Bars

I planned a very big trip this weekend. I went to Georgia to pick up my baby girl Lucy. My second cousin breeds Labs and I have wanted one of her’s for years. 

I am starting a new chapter in my life, and I am looking forward to the road ahead with her. She already has stolen my heart. 

I made these bars to take on my adventure to Georgia. I never like to go anywhere empty handed. These tasty treats turned out delicious. Even my Cousin said they taste really good for looking like bird food. 😂

Yields:

24 bars 

Ingredients
:

9 by 13 glass Pyrex pan 

Parchment paper

3/4 cup honey

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 1/4 steel oats

1 cup pretzels pieces (crumbs)

1 1/3 cup Millet

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups Puffed barley cereal

Pre directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Parchment paper line 9 by 13 glass pan. Set aside 

Directions:

1. In a large bowl mix the honey and peanut butter. Microwave in 30 second intervals. Until the batter is very smooth and easy to mix. It only took me 1 minute to reach the consistency I was going for. 

2. In a separate bowl while the peanut butter softens. Place all the remaining ingredients into a medium bowl mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the honey/peanut butter blend. Stir until combine. 

3. Pour the batter into the parchment paper lined baking dish. Spread the batter evenly. I like to use another piece of parchment paper to do this. 

4. Place in preheated oven for 17-20 minutes. 

5. Remove from oven allow to cool and cover place in refrigerator over night with lid. 

6. In the morning remove the bars using the parchment. Place them on a cutting board. Cut into 24 bars using sharp knife. Place in snack size ziplock bags or place back in the glass dish and store in refrigerator. 

Enjoy

Roasted Cashew Oat Bars with Dark Chocolate Drizzle

My hubby loves cashews, last night we made ginger cashew chicken and we had some leftover cashews. I have been wanting to try cashews in a bar for a while now. He will be heading back to the burgh in a few a days so I thought I make these for him to snack on during his commute. Hopefully they will hold him over so he doesn’t have to make too many stops at Sheetz. 🙈

This recipe yields 12 bars
Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups raw whole cashews, unsalted (divided); chop roughly 

2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

2 Tablespoons hemp seeds

3 Tablespoons canola oil

2 Tablespoons milled flaxseed

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup raw sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground Vietnamese Cinnamon 

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup dried cranberries, low sugar

1/3 cup Dark Chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli), optional 

Predirections

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Take a glass 8 by 8 baking dish and line with parchment paper. Set aside.

Directions:

1. Place 1/2 cup of the cashews and all the oats and hemp seeds on a parchment paper lined 1/2 sheet baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes and toss with wooden spoon and bake for 5-10 more minutes (until oats and cashews turn golden brown). 

2. In the meantime place remaining cashews, canola oil and flaxseed in food processor and purée until nut butter consistency. Set mixture aside. 

3. While the oats continue to bake, place a 2 quart sauce pan on medium heat, add honey, raw sugar, cinnamon and salt. Allow contents to heat for 4-5 minutes, remove from heat and add cashew butter mixture. Stir to combined. 

4. Once the oats have baked to desired golden hue, using parchment paper siphon the baked contents into large glass bowl, add the dried cranberries. Pour warm liquid cashew mixture over oat mixture. Fold all the ingredients together with spatula. Make sure to incorporate all ingredients together until there are no signs of dry residue. 

5. Take mixture and press into prepared baking dish. Press flat & even using another piece of parchment paper. 

6. Place the dish in the center rack of the oven and bake 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set on wire rack and allow to cool & harden (about an hour). Using the sides of the excess parchment pull out of the pan and set on cutting board and cut into 12 bars. Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds and stir and continue to heat in 30 second intervals, stirs after each interval until smooth.

7.  Place the chocolate in a snack size ziplock bag and clip the end of the bag with food sissors and drizzle away. 

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Bars

I’ve been so lucky this week my sister, and nephew have been keeping me company down in North Carolina. Today, I was able to take off from work to spend the entire day with them. I prepared them these bars for breakfast. These banana bars are a spin off of your traditional banana bread or muffins.

I enjoy this recipe because it is super easy to prepare and clean up! Not mention another great way to use up ripe or frozen bananas.

This recipe was adapted from TOH Banana Squares. 

Prep time: 10 minutes 

Bake time: 35 minutes

This recipe yields: 12-15 bars

Ingredients:
2 eggs, separate whites and yolks

1/3 canola oil

1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup mashed bananas; about 3 medium  (I used frozen)

1/4 cup low fat buttermilk

1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Pre-directions:

  • Line 9 by 13 inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees


Directions:

1. In a stand mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; pour into small bowl and set aside. In same stand mixer bowl cream peanut butter, canola oil, and sugar. Beat in egg yolks; mix to combind. Add the bananas and mix well.

2. Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed banana batter alternate the flour with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Fold in egg whites. Lastly, fold in chocolate chips.

2. Pour the batter into a prepared 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. I did use a dark metal pan, which does effect the bake time. Cool pan on wire rack before cutting into bars.

3. After the bars have cooled completely store the bars in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

Mother Nature’s Protein Bars

Today I presented to 6-7 th graders interested in becoming future Nutrition Professionals. I was the first speaker to present in their career series for the day. 

I thought I’d better feed these students a nutritious snack if I am going to be talking about food.  As a general consensus, I make people hungry when I talk nutrition. I put together this recipe with keeping in mind they could possibly make these at home without any supervision. Which I think their moms will thank me for. 

I do believe, I might of nailed it, I didn’t have any bars left. Good thing I made a double batch since they are also my hubby’s favorite. 
This recipe yields 32 bars

Ingredients:

 1 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup milled flaxseed

1/2 cup sesame seeds

6 tablespoons of chia seeds

3 cup of old fashioned oats (not quick oats)

1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

1 cup creamy natural peanut butter

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 cup honey

2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

Pre-directions: Take two 8 x 8 baking dish and line them both with parchment paper make sure to allow for some of the paper to overlay on the sides. This step will help you pull out the bars for easy cutting. Set aside.
Directions:

  1. Take the first seven ingredients and mix them in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Place both peanut butters and honey in a large microwavable safe glass bowl. Place in microwave in 30 second intervals. Stir between each intervals until soft and creamy. Add in the vanilla and stir to incorporate.
  3. Take the dry ingredients and add them to the peanut butter mixture. Fold to incorporate all the ingredients together.
  4. Take the granola bar batter and divide it evenly in half and add both batters into the prepared 8 x 8 baking dishes. Take an extra piece of parchment paper and press it into the top to evenly distribute the batter this will allow for a nice even distribution of your batter for your protein bars.
  5. Cover the bars with saran wrap in the baking dishes. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. This step will allow them to firm.
  6. Remove the bars utilizing the parchment paper access from the sides. Place on a cutting board and cut into 32 bars. Now you can either individually wrap or freeze to pack them lunches or take to your next meeting. Keep these granola bars chilled or frozen for best results and optimal taste.

Sunflower Cocoa No Bake Bars


Recipe yields: 12 bars 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup sunflower butter

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 quick oats

1 cup brown rice crisps cereal 

1 oz Dark chocolate (melted) optional 

Pre work:

Take a class an 8 by 8 baking dish and foil line it and spray with cooking spray. Set aside

Directions:

Place the sunflower butter & honey in a large glass microwave bowl. Microwave for 1-1 1/2 minutes and stir. Add in the cocoa, & salt. Add in oats and stir. Lastly fold in rice cereal. Press the batter evenly into the prepared class dish. Cover and let the bars firm up in the refrigerator for 2 hours to even overnight. 

Take the foil on both sides and pull the bars out of the glass dish. Place on a cutting on cutting board. Cut the bars into 12 bars. If you wish drizzle some chocolate on the top of the bars. Place in a resealable container. 

Sea Salt Caramel Peanut Butter Brownies



I recently asked my husband, what dessert he would like for his sweet treat for his lunches? I enjoy packing his work lunches. I always like to include a few proteins, whole grains, veggies, fruit, salty snack, and sweet goodie. 

Also, I love packing lunches for my husband and I because brown bagging is a resourceful way to use leftovers. Packing a lunch daily can really help save money & reduce waste. So many people dine out or order in for meals for lunch breaks. This habit can be easily $10-20 a day downtown in a city; not to mention high in  unnecessary & unwanted calories. 

His response to my question for his sweet treat was brownies. I asked what kind and he mentioned a traditional style (last week I had made Blondies).  I couldn’t bare making Plain Jane Brownies; therefore, I spiced them up a tad. This led me to the mix up of a beautiful marriage salted caramel,peanuts, and chocolate. 

Prework:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Foil line a glass 9 by 13 baking pan and spray generously with canola oil cooking spray

Ingredients:

1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil

4 oz of extra dark chocolate (63% cacao), plus more for drizzle 1-2 tablespoon melted 

4 Tablespoons of natural peanut butter

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 1/2 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of pure vanilla

3 eggs

1 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 scant cup of dry roasted unsalted peanuts

1 1/2 cups of pretzels (wheel or mini pretzel shape)

6 ounce jar of sea salt caramel sauce or homemade prepared caramel sauce, plus 1-2 tablespoon for final drizzle

A few pinches of Sea Salt for final sprinkle (optional)

This recipe yields 16 large brownies or 32 mini
Directions:

  1. Take over a double broiler and melt the chocolate, coconut oil, and peanut butter. Once the mixture is melted add in the applesauce, & sugar. Remove the double broiler and add in the eggs one at a time with a whisk and lastly add in the vanilla. Set aside.
  2. In the meantime, whisk together the flour, kosher salt, and baking powder. Add the liquid chocolate mixture to the flour. Mix until combined.
  3. Pour 1/3 of the batter on the bottom of the prepared 9 by 13 pan. Layer the pretzels evenly on top of the batter (it is roughly 47 pretzel wheels), than sprinkle with the peanuts. Drizzle with half of caramel sauce. Place the remaining 2/3 of batter on top of the nut, caramel, pretzel layer. I find using a plastic spatula sprayed with cooking spray makes for easier spreading.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 33 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center of the brownies clean. Place the brownies on a wire rack to cool. Allow the brownies to completely cool before removing from the pan.
  5. Using the foil sides, lift the brownies from pan and place on parchment paper.
  6. On a diagonal drizzle with caramel and chocolate. Lastly sprinkle with sea salt. Store in a sealable container. Cut to your desired serving size.
  • Make sure to store in an airtight container 

Banana Peanut Butter Blondies

 

We celebrated a special birthday yesterday at work! One of the birthday girl’s favorite combinations is banana, peanut butter, and chocolate! But than again who doesn’t love this happy marriage of flavors. I know Elvis did as well hence the name!

Prep time: 10 minutes Bake time: 35 minutes

Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cooking spray a glass 9 by 13 glass baking dish. Set aside. 

Recipe yields: 32 blondies

Ingredients:

2 (4) inch ripe bananas, mashed  (about 3/4 cup)

1/2 (1/4cup) stick unsalted butter, room temperature 

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup mini chocolate covered Peanut butter cups or mini buckeyes

Directions:

In a electric mixer bowl, cream together the sugar, bananas, peanut butter, butter and vanilla. Gradually on low speed, add one egg at a time. 

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and kosher salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.

Fold in the mini peanut butter cups. Evenly spread the batter into a lightly sprayed baking (9×13) pan.

Bake at 350° for about 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and edges start to brown. Let cool on a wire rack. Once completely cooled store in a sealable container. 

Tip: These are best served with some ice cream :)

Protein Packed Powerhouse Granola Bars

Today we have our monthly Nutrition Support Team meeting. The meeting is at noon, I always like to come prepared with a snack or treat of some sort. These are super packed with plant based protein! Bonus is these are no-bake for this fabulous hot July day! No need to turn on your oven and make it any hotter. 

This recipe yields 16 bars

Ingredients:

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup milled flaxseed

1/4 cup sesame seeds

3 tablespoons of chia seeds

1 1/2 cup of quick oats

1 teaspoon apple pie spice

1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

1 cup creamy cashew butter ( I am fairly excited I found this nut butter at ALDI)

1/2 cup honey

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pre-directions take a 9 x 9 baking dish and line it with parchment paper make sure to allow for some of the paper to overlay on the sides. This step will help you pull out the bars for easy cutting. Set aside.

Directions:

1. Take the first eight ingredients and mix them in a large bowl. Set aside. 

2. Place peanut butter and honey in a large microwavable safe glass bowl. Place in microwave in 30 second intervals. Stir between each intervals until soft and creamy. Add in the vanilla and stir to incorporate. 

3. Take the dry ingredients and add them to the creamy cashew butter mixture. Fold to incorporate all the ingredients together. 

4. Take the granola bar batter and add it into the prepared 9 x 9 baking dish. Take an extra piece of parchment paper and press it into the top to evenly distribute the batter this will allow for a nice even distribution of your batter for your protein bars.

5. Cover the bars with saran wrap in the baking dish. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. This step will allow them to firm.

6. Remove the bars utilizing the parchment paper access from the sides. Place on a cutting board and cut into 16 bars. Now you can either individually wrap and freeze to pack them lunches or take to your next meeting. Keep these granola bars chilled or frozen for best results and optimal taste.

Pumpkin Oat Bars

We had a special birthday in the office the other day and one of her favorite things to eat is pumpkin flavored treats . Luckily I still have a stock pile of puréed pumpkin in our freezer from our generous neighbors . I love using pumpkin purée in baked goods.

Sometimes I like to add it as a mystery ingredient for moisture and other times I like it to be the star of the show . Puréed pumpkin is a very moist and packed nutrients. It is a perfect substitute to swap out some unnecessary fat with oil or butter in a baked good. Pumpkin is high in vitamin A and bonus only 30 calories per 1 cup cubed. 

Ingredients:

1 cup pure puréed pumpkin

1/2 cup steel cut oats

1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup puffed wheat cereal

1 cup raw sugar

1 oz chocolate hazelnut spread

1/2 cup peanut butter 

1/2 cups dried craisins
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 by 9 baking dish with foil. Spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Thoroughly mix together in a large bowl the first 7 ingredients and then fold in the dried cranberries. 
3. Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Spread the batter evenly into the baking dish. 
4. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 
5. Allow to cool, cut into 16 bars, and enjoy!