I’m always looking for semi-healthy snacks for the kids- things that are not processed and full of sugar. We eat loads of fruit, but I like having chewy and crunchy things to munch on too.
I’ve also been experimenting with sugar alternatives like brown rice syrup. I already use maple syrup and agave nectar here and there and try to use them more in my baking.
I’ve had this recipe for “sports bars” from a Bon Appetite magazine circa 2002. The original recipe calls for corn syrup, which I substituted with brown rice syrup and agave. The results were excellent. The kids love them too. Of course, they would prefer if I put chocolate chips in them too.
Here is the recipe:
3 cups puffed whole grain cereal (such as Kashi)
1/2 cup nuts (any kind, I used cashews & sunflower seeds because that’s what I had)
1/2 – 3/4 cup assorted dried fruit (I used chopped apricots & golden raisins)
1/3 cup creamy nut butter (peanut, almond, sunflower or cashew – any kind will work)
1/4 cup agave (or honey)
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 9-inch square metal baking pan with oil, margarine or butter. Mix cereal, nuts and dried fruit in medium bowl. Combine nut butter, agave & brown rice syrup in heavy small saucepan. Bring to boil, whisking constantly until mixture bubbles vigorously and thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Pour peanut butter mixture over cereal mixture in bowl; stir to blend. Transfer mixture to prepared pan; press to compact. Bake until just golden around edges, about 8-10 minutes. Cool completely. Cut into bars. Store in a single layer in an airtight container at room temperature.