Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Snack Idea: Walnut Dried Cherry Bars

   Oh my, are these bars delicious! They are fun for breakfast, a snack, or even if you are craving something sweet after dinner. I love how they hold their shape well, which makes them a great treat to pack when you are on the road. If you don't have or are allergic to walnuts and/ or dried cherries, just change it up! See the Change it Up section at the bottom for more swap out ideas. 

In the picture above, I didn't have any dried cherries on hand so I used a mixture of raisins and dried cranberries. Super yum! Also, these bars do not use any table sugar, but instead is replaced with honey and applesauce which adds the perfect amount of sweetness.

*this recipe came from Ellie Krieger's recipes . You can check out the original recipe from this Food Network link.

Walnut Cherry Bar Recipe
Serves: 12 Prep: 20 minutes Cooking Time:  30 minutes

1 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or regular whole-wheat flour
 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 egg white
3/4 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped finely
1/4 cup apricot preserves (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350*F. In a medium mixing bowl, combine oats through salt. In a different smaller bowl combine honey through egg white. Add honey mixture to oat mixture. Mix in cherries and nuts.
2. Pour mixture into a 8 inch square dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Meanwhile, boil preserves in microwave for 30 seconds or bring them to a boil in a small saucepan. Once bars comes out of the oven, brush immediately with apricot mixture. Let cool on cooling rack.

Per Serving

Calories 230; Total Fat 9 g; (Sat Fat 1 g, Mono Fat 3 g, Poly Fat 4 g) ; Protein 4 g; Carb 34 g; Fiber 2 g; Cholesterol 20 mg; Sodium 60 mg


Plan and Prep Ahead 

Here are some helpful techniques to make life a little easier once dinner time hits. These tips will especially help those that work full-time and don't have a lot of time to prepare dinner. 

~Chop walnuts ahead of time, and keep on counter until ready to use.
~Mix dry ingredients together and leave on counter until read to use.


Who likes to CHANGE IT UP? 
 ~Try oat bran instead of wheat germ.
~Instead of honey try agave syrup.
~Some alternatives to dried cherries are raisins, dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, or currants. 
~Replace walnuts with pecans or chopped roasted almonds.


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