{home-made & healthy] whole grain fruit energy bars

wpid-img_20150805_174030.jpgMy husband often leaves for work in the morning with a huge glass of milk as “breakfast”. I mean, a HUGE glass of milk–like between 24-32 ounces. But if there’s something like a granola or cereal bar, he’ll take it along. So I decided to find a recipe to make a “bar” at home for his breakfast so he can cut back on some milk. (It’s a good thing he likes milk, but we can go through 3 gallons of milk a week and I only use milk on my cereal/oatmeal in the morning, so I’d love to cut back on that–it’s over $2.50 a gallon so the savings would add up.)

They taste pretty good!! But I think they’re kinda light on the fruit, so next time I’m going to double that part. You can definitely still taste the fruit, but I think it could do with more.

I found a page with a few recipes, but the bonus recipe at the end was the one I thought looked best was here: Whole Grain Raspberry Jam Bars. Nick doesn’t like raspberry, but I figured it would work pretty similarly with any fruit/jam. Anyways, here’s the breakdown:

INGREDIENTS

  • Cooking oil spray
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks butter, cut into 16 pieces and softened
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 3/4 cup sugar-free raspberry jam (I used strawberry jam)
  • 3/4 cup fresh raspberries (I used strawberries)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with foil by spreading two sheets of foil perpendicular to each other over the pan, with extra foil hanging over the edges. Grease the foil with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk the flour, wheat germ, granulated sugar and salt in a large bowl. Beat in 14 tablespoons of butter with an electric mixer on low until the mixture looks like wet sand, about 1½ minutes. Reserve 1¼ cups of the mixture for the topping and put the rest into the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press it into an even layer. Bake the crust until the edges begin to brown, about 14-18 minutes.
  3. Mix the reserved flour mixture with the oats, nuts, brown sugar and flax seeds. Add the remaining butter and pinch the mixture with your fingers into small clumps.
  4. In a separate bowl, lightly smash the raspberries, jam and lemon juice together.
  5. Spread the berry mixture over the hot crust and sprinkle the crumb streusel on top. Bake until golden brown, about 22-25 minutes.
  6. Let the bars cool completely in the pan. Remove bars from pan by lifting up the foil edges. Cut into 24 squares.
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