Back-to-School Energy Bars
If you’re a regular reader, you know how much I try to avoid processed sugar. I am very busy, and I like to keep my energy level consistent and high throughout the day, without resorting to caffeine. In the summer, I will sometimes have an ice cream cone, and even less often I will order a dessert in a restaurant. As a health coach, I advise my clients to limit their sweets, and to focus on including more sweet vegetables in their diets and lighter food in general to avoid cravings.
All this said, there are definitely times when I just want (need!?) something sweet. In particular, I like to make desserts to enjoy with my grandchildren. Kids are so active and can burn off sweets much faster than adults can. Also, I am a person who likes to have a snack between meals especially during the day. I don’t snack in the evening, but generally get a hunger pang between breakfast and lunch and then sometimes another between lunch and dinner! I don’t eat large meals and am more of a grazer, but everyone is different, and I advise people to listen to their hunger messages of and honor them. Some people feel better eating bigger meals and then not eating for five or six hours, whereas I need nourishment about every three or four hours, even if much of that nourishment comes in the form of small snacks. I look for recipes that will satisfy my sweet tastes but not totally compromise my health.
My daughter Maia has also been requesting recipes for healthy lunchbox treats, so I was motivating to expand my repertoire of healthy snacks!
I turned to fellow health coach Terry Walters for inspiration, and as usually her cookbook, Clean Start, did not disappoint. These energy squares are easy to make, and my grandchildren love them too! They are a perfect snack or healthy dessert for the lunchbox, too. Try them out and let me know what you think!
You can your favorite toasted nuts, seeds, or dried fruit for your own unique creation!
- 1 cup nut butter (I used almond, you could use cashew, peanut, or sunflower)
- 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 ¼ cups crispy brown rice cereal
- ½ cup toasted almonds
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ cup flax seeds
- ¼ cup organic dark chocolate chips (can use carob chips or lighter chocolate chips or skip and use raisins or dried fruit instead)
- In a medium pot over low heat, whisk together nut butter, brown rice syrup, and maple syrup. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In separate bowl, combine rice cereal, almonds, coconut, and ground flax. Fold dry ingredients into nut butter mixture until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Rinse 8X8 inch baking dish in cold water to prevent sticking.
- Spoon in batter, sprinkle with chocolate chips and press firmly and evenly into dish.
- Refrigerate for 45 minutes or until firm. Remove from refrigerator cut into squares and store in airtight container. Makes approximately 36 bite size squares.
Suzanne, Certified Holistic Health Coach
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I am starting my little one in preschool and have to pack a lunch and afternoon snack. Unfortunately, they dont refrigerate the lunches or snacks. So, its very limited on what I can send. I was looking for snack ideas. I noticed that your recipe has nut product. Unfortunately, nut products are not allowed in the school. Do you have any other ideas for snacks that would last a long time (and does not have nut products)? I was thinking of going with fruit pouches (like Happy Tot) but I was trying to go with something that I could make and would last a long time at school. Let me know if you have any ideas. Thanks!
Nut products are not recommended for school lunches due to allergies in other students. Many places, including Canada where I’m from, schools have completely banned nut products and most seed products too. Your recipe looks fabulous to eat at home.