no bake "clif" bars

{can you tell which one is the real thing?  okay, i know it's not that hard but it was a fun and worthwhile experiment}

in our family, we love snacking.  however, i do not love trying to find adequate snacky-ish foods.

as part of my crazy plan to run a marathon, i've been running a lot (weird).  running a lot = a lot of calories burned which need to be replenished.  i never dreamed this would be a problem for me, having to eat more.  the challenge is that i am committed to fueling my body with quality foods but most quality foods are low in calories which leaves me feeling like i'm constantly eating even when i'm not hungry.

the point? during my quest for sufficient snacky-ish foods, i decided i really like clif bars and the kids do too.

the problem?  well, there are two problems here.  #1, clif bars run about $1.50/bar and #2, the inulin fiber in clif bars (chicory root), causes really bad gas (ever had a fiber one product?  you'll know what i'm talking about).  when five people in one house are eating clif bars that contain chicory root on a regular basis, the evenings are rough, it's not pretty.  we cannot hang out in the same room without killing each other off.  may the strongest survive!

at first, it was funny.  especially to the kids but now, even they are getting annoyed with the passing of wind and so i decided it would be worth trying to make my own bars without the inulin fiber.

luckily, i didn't have to look too far.  this woman was way ahead of me so i followed her lead.

i had the kids helped me so they would want to eat them when we were done (it worked).  cayden made the chocolate chip, brooklyn made the peanut butter and i made the cranberry with pepitas.  after a taste test, we decided brooklyn's were the best.  the cranberry bars are edible but would be a lot better if i hadn't used almond butter.  next time, i'll use the peanut butter for a little more sweetness.

all in all, i'll for sure make these again (less the chocolate bars, the didn't work out at all but that could have something to do with cayden's measuring skills).

here's what we used:

chocolate on the left, peanut butter in the middle and the cranberry on the right.

a close up:

check out the recipe and variations here.

1 and 1/4 cups crisp rice cereal (e.g., I like Erwhon Crisp Brown, but Rice Krispies are fine)
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (flaxseed meal)1/4 cup finely chopped dried fruit (e.g., raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, etc.)
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts or seeds (pepitas are great)
1/3 cup brown rice syrup 
1/2 cup nut butter (preferably natural, well-stirred, but creamy is fine, too)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine the rice cereal, oats, flaxseed meal, dried fruit, and nuts in a large bowl.

Combine the syrup and nut butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until melted and well-blended (alternatively microwave in small microwave-safe bowl 30-60 seconds until melted). Stir in vanilla until blended.

Pour nut butter mixture over cereal mixture, stirring until coated (use a wooden spoon at first, then get your hands in it. It will be sticky, but this way you can really coat everything. Just scrape off your hands when you're done). Press mixture firmly into an 8-inch square pan (sprayed with nonstick cooking spray) using a large square of wax paper (really tamp it down). Cool in pan on a wire rack and chill at least 30 minutes to help it set. Cut into 12 bars. (Wrap bars tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator).


Tonya said...

I think these actually sound pretty good. And I just realized they are no bake. Nice!

~* Allen Family *~ said...

These look really good, I am going to have to try them. I posted these on our running groups' facebook page too (South Jordan M.O.M.S). I'm sure they will all love them too :)

Mrs. JM said...

let me know what you think ladies!

cool des! so do you have to live in south jordan to be invited to the running group for moms?

~* Allen Family *~ said...

Nah! We started this group when we ended up with 30 of us going to St George this past January. We all got matching shirts etc. It was lots of fun. The plan was to continue to run races together. Since I've stopped running, I don't keep up much with them but it's a great group of moms!

Jensons said...

Impressive! I want to try those....

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