Sunday, October 17, 2010
Homemade Nutrigrain Bars
Since moving back to the US, I've been very concerned about the fact that most everything has high fructose corn syrup. In fact, I did a lot of reading earlier this summer and even wrote a post about what I had learned but never put it up on the blog. Here's a bit of what I wrote (back then):
I learned in my readings that HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) is made by a chemical and enzyme processes that makes a concentrated fructose which the body doesn't recognize. And unlike the fructose in fruit and such (called levulose) the naturally occurring enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fiber, fruit pectin etc. has been stripped away in HFCS. The video I watched last night (actually several months ago now but you can see it here. It is well worth the time!) explains how fructose is digested in your liver and is converted into fat rather than being converted to blood glucose. The presenter likened drinking a can of coke to drinking a can of beer (the way your body has to process it). Scary!
Anyway, back to the homemade nutrigrain bars. Sometimes I need to grab a quick snack to have on hand when I take the kids to their activities. I wrap these (or put them in small containers) to grab on the go in place of the more expense store bought bars:
1 cup butter (or margagine) softened (30 secs in microwave worked well for me)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat (wholemeal flour) flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 cup almond meal (or just 1 full cup all purpose flour... almond meal is a bit expensive and I found it in the baking/organic area of a store called Wegmans, but not at our close-by grocery store)
1 1/2 cups oats
1 teaspoon almond extract (I made it once with almond extract, once with vanilla extract--they make very different flavored bars)
press 1/2 the mixture into a 9X13 greased baking pan
spread a whole lot of jam (such as strawberry or raspberry preserves) on the top (the recipe calls for 16oz but I only used about 8 or 10 oz -- perhaps a bit over a 1/2 cup?)
crumble the rest of the mixture on top of the jam layer
Bake at 350 (170C) for 20-25 minutes.
Cool and cut into bars
Apparently they freeze well, but mine disappear too quickly so I can't attest to that!
Here is a recipe for Raisin Bars which are similar, but which my kids like even more than these Nutrigrain Bars!!!