Oatmeal-Peanut Butter Trail Bars

These homemade trail bars are packed with protein and make the perfect energy-boosting snack.

[quicklook-recipe prep_time=”25min” cook_time=”25min” serves=”24″ details=”” ]

When you bake your own “energy” bars, you can be assured that they include whole grains like rolled oats and whole wheat flour and healthy fats like canola oil, peanut butter, and walnuts. Peanut butter stands in for butter in these treats, reducing the saturated fat and boosting protein. These bars make ideal snacks—tuck one into your pocket when you head out the door.

[ingredients-list title=”Ingredients” serving_size=”1 bar”]
[ingredients-left]

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup natural-style smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 large egg

[/ingredients-left]
[ingredients-right]

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or almonds (2 ounces/60 grams)
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

[/ingredients-right]
[/ingredients-list]

[step-list-wrapper title=”How to make it” time=”50 minutes”]
[step-item number=”1″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Coat a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33-centimeter) baking pan with nonstick spray.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”2″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the peanut butter, sugar, and honey in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until blended. Blend egg and egg whites with a fork in a small bowl. Add to the peanut butter mixture, along with oil and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add reserved flour mixture and mix with a rubber spatula. Mix in oats, dried cranberries (or raisins), walnuts (or almonds), and chocolate chips. Scrape batter into the prepared baking dish. Use a piece of plastic wrap to spread batter into an even layer. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”3″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Bake the bars until lightly browned and firm to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack before cutting into 24 bars. One serving is one 2 x 2-inch (5 x 5-centimeter) bar.[/step-item]

[factoid]If you must avoid peanut butter because of an allergy, you can substitute soy nut butter or sunflower seed butter (for tips on adapting recipes to sunflower seed butter, visit www.sunbutter.com). You can replace the nuts with unsalted roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and/or sunflower seeds (look for unsalted seeds in the bulk bins of natural foods stores).[/factoid]

[cooking_tip]To avoid wasting the egg yolks, use reconstituted dried egg whites, such as Just Whites, which are available in the baking or natural foods sections of large supermarkets.[/cooking_tip]

[nutrition-info calories=”175″ calories_fat=”” fat=”8g” sat_fat=”” choles=”9mg” sodium=”68mg” carbs=”24g” sugars=”” protein=”4g” fiber=”2g”] [/nutrition-info]

Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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