I often find myself looking for a quick snack during the day or just before a run. Something that doesn’t take any time to prepare and something that I can eat with one hand while I’m holding a toddler or chasing a four year old.
In the past, I used to buy granola bars or other snack bars to have on hand. One of these bars that I used to purchase is the Nutrigrain bar by Kelloggs. I haven’t eaten one of these in years, but I decided to look up the ingredients. I was curious, and here’s what I found:
CRUST: WHOLE GRAIN OATS, ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, VITAMIN B1[THIAMIN MONONITRATE], VITAMIN B2 [RIBOFLAVIN], FOLIC ACID), WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, SOYBEAN OIL, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, SUGAR, CALCIUM CARBONATE, WHEY, WHEAT BRAN, SALT, CELLULOSE, POTASSIUM BICARBONATE, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, SOY LECITHIN, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, WHEAT GLUTEN, NIACINAMIDE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, CARRAGEENAN, ZINC OXIDE, REDUCED IRON, GUAR GUM, VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE), VITAMIN B1(THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE) , VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN), FOLIC ACID. FILLING: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, GLYCEROL, APPLE PUREE CONCENTRATE, SUGAR, STRAWBERRY PUREE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BLUEBERRY PUREE, SODIUM ALGINATE, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, RASPBERRY PUREE CONCENTRATE, CITRIC ACID, MALIC ACID, METHYLCELLULOSE, DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, RED 40, BLUE 1.
I cringe now when I look at that list. A few things stand out – high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavour, Red 40, Blue 1. I can’t believe I used to regularly ingest such awful ingredients. And how many times can sugar be listed in the ingredients? I counted 5. That is atrocious.
Here is my answer to the Nutrigrain bar. It is free of refined sugars, refined flours and also free of gluten (if using GF oats), dairy and soy. It is quick and easy to make and it is something you can feel good about eating. Oh yeah – it’s also delicious.
Recipe – Mixed berry oat bars
Adapted from Choosing Raw
Preparation time – 10 minutes
Baking time – 30 mins
Makes 8 squares
1 cup oats, ground into flour using a food processor, magic bullet or Vitamix
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp. maple syrup
1 medium apple, cored
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. shredded dried coconut, unsweetened
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. water
1 organic egg
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup raspberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl, mix together ground oats, rolled oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- Blend the maple syrup, apple, vanilla, coconut, almonds, olive oil, water and egg together in a food processor or Vitamix until smooth.
- Mix together wet and dry ingredients. Stir in berries.
- Place in a 8×8 glass baking dish lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 350 for 30-35 mins, until edges are turning golden brown.
- Cool on a rack and cut into squares or bars.
- Eat and enjoy, knowing you are nourishing your body with healthy, whole foods. Be thankful that you are not eating a Nutrigrain bar.