One of my most favorite families in the world is also a family I “babysit” for. I used to babysit their 2 girls when I was in high school and college. Now I’ll go over there and hang out with their youngest one at night if she’s going to be home by herself. It’s probably my most favorite way to spend an evening out because it typically consists of dinner out at a fun restaurant followed by some nail painting or magic tricks and ending with some Disney shows or a kid friendly movie. I love the Disney channel. And kid friendly movies.
The night typically ends with the parents coming home the three of us enjoying some wine and chatting. I love it. They’re sort of like my cool young aunt and uncle. They love me like I’m a family member and are very protective of me. I’m pretty certain any guy who gets to marry me will have to pass their test (and their test might just be harder than my own parents’ test).
The other night I was over at their house and the mom, Jenn (great name, huh?!), was telling me about these amazing power bars that she started making. She said they were super easy to make, really delicious and healthy. Sign me up! I typically will eat a Cliff Bar on Saturday mornings before I run or during the week if I go climbing or running after work. And let me tell you, they are not cheap. Making my own power bars sounded like a good alternative to buying them.
Jenn sent me the recipe (which she got from a friend who found it at Lunds/Byerly’s) and
I headed out to Trader Joe’s to pick up the ingredients. I mean, I headed out to Lunds to pick up the ingredients. I can’t lie. It was TJ’s.
And here is the recipe:
Lunds & Byerly’s Ultimate Power Bar
3 ½ cups organic oats
¾ cup golden raisins
2/3 sunflower seeds
½ cup toasted sesame seeds
½ wheat germ
½ oat bran
3 tablespoons flax seeds
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups Maranatha Creamy Peanut Butter
1 cup honey
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup chocolate chips
In a large bowl, combine first nine ingredients. Stir in peanut butter, honey and melted butter. Press mixture firmly into foil-lined 9×13-inch pan. Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven; sprinkle chocolate chips over bars. Return to oven until chocolate is softened (about 2 minutes). Spread chocolate evenly over bars. Cool slightly. Refrigerate until firm (about 2 hours). Cut into bars; wrap individually. Store in refrigerator.
If you are a really observant person you will notice that my photo of ingredients does not include wheat germ OR sunflower seeds. Yes, I knew I didn’t have these items in my cupboard. No, I didn’t realize they were in this recipe. I even looked at the sunflower seeds at the store (they were right next to the sesame seeds). I even made a list. (Ok, I made a list on a scrap piece of paper while eating Mexican food for my friend’s birthday. Don’t judge.) I really don’t know how I missed them. I debated for about 30 seconds waiting and getting the ingredients but I decided to just go ahead and make them.
Like Jenn had said, they were super easy to make! Mixing in the honey was a little challenging. That’s when I set the spoon to the side and used my hands. Don’t worry…I washed them multiple times before starting to bake. Oh and cutting them was hard. But hey, I’m not Martha Stewart so I don’t really mind if I have one bar that is 3 times the size of another one.
Seriously people, you have to try these. Or some form of these (not using the wheat germ or sunflower seeds made no difference, I promise). They’d make great snacks for you or for your kids. Or a quick breakfast option for you husband when he’s running late (he’d also probably think you’re super amazing for giving him some chocolaty goodness for breakfast…or maybe that only works on women). Regardless, make them. Eat them. Love them.
And thank you Jenn for sharing your recipe and for being such an amazing friend!