Chewy Bars for the Lunch Box

Sep 6th

Back to school! Today is the first day for a lot of students and a terribly gross rainy day, at that. I remember a staple in my lunch box for years was the Quaker Toasted Oats Chewy Bars, always in chocolate peanut butter flavor. I’m sure you’re familiar.

I’m gonna get a little “green” on you, so indulge me. Think about the packaging used up just by ME over the years, just with those bars? Plastic wrappers, cardboard boxes… day in day out. Another reason cooking is great is because it’s “green”-er. Make up a pan of these on Sunday and have treats for the kids (or, um, YOU, since they’re delicious and easily customizable) all week!

Green-er and HEALTHIER. I’ve looked at the ingredients lists of even the healthy “organic” bars. There are always, without fail, a few ingredients that I can’t pronounce. Well guess what? When you read the ingredients list below you will be able to recognize and pronounce each one. These are moist, delicious, and a definite kid/crowd pleaser.

Chewy Bars for the Lunch Box

Makes 9 bars; double for 18

1/2 c. peanut butter

1/2 c. honey or agave (or 1/4 c. of each)

3 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 c. toasted rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)

2 c. old fashioned oats

3/4 c. chocolate chips, nuts, peanut butter chips, dried fruit, etc. Your choice!

What’s agave? It an all natural sweetener. It’s not lower calorie than sugar or honey, but it technically is more “natural”. It would work well here, if you are so inclined. You can get it pretty much everywhere, now. Mine is from Trader Joes.

1. Lightly spray an 8 by 8 baking pan with cooking spray.

2. Microwave peanut butter, honey (or/and agave syrup) and brown sugar in a glass bowl for 2 minutes or until bubbly and heated through. Add vanilla and stir until smooth.

3. In another bowl, stir oats, krispies, and dried fruits/chips. For my version I did craisins, chocolate and walnuts.

4. Pour the warm mixture over your dry ingredients and stir until evenly combined.

5. Press into prepped pan. To not stick, lightly wet hands before pressing mixture in.

6. Cool at room temp or refrigerate until set. Cut into squares and either wrap individually (for lunches) or enjoy!

Chewy Bars for the Lunch Box

Makes 9 bars; double for 18

1/2 c. peanut butter

1/2 c. honey or agave (or 1/4 c. of each)

3 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 c. toasted rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)

2 c. old fashioned oats

3/4 c. chocolate chips, nuts, peanut butter chips, dried fruit, etc. Your choice!

1. Lightly spray an 8 by 8 baking pan with cooking spray.

2. Microwave peanut butter, honey (or/and agave syrup) and brown sugar in a glass bowl for 2 minutes or until bubbly and heated through. Add vanilla and stir until smooth.

3. In another bowl, stir oats, krispies, and dried fruits/chips. For my version I did craisins, chocolate and walnuts.

4. Pour the warm mixture over your dry ingredients and stir until evenly combined.

5. Press into prepped pan. To not stick, lightly wet hands before pressing mixture in.

6. Cool at room temp or refrigerate until set. Cut into squares and either wrap individually (for lunches) or enjoy!

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