Saturday, January 14, 2012

2012 Snow Day Snacks Part 1

To me, the best thing about Winter is snow, and with it, Snow Days! Yesterday my brother and I got up bright and early to check the local radio stations to see if our school was on the list for closings and delays. It wasn't, but we weren't deterred and we kept checking back until it was.

Having a snow day was a little disappointing because, as you may remember, I had semester exams on Thursday and Friday, but that was largely overshadowed by the fact that we DIDN'T HAVE TO GO TO SCHOOL! Now with a four day weekend I have even more time to procrastinate study and more time to bake clean. But I think Senioritis hit me early this year, because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't even crack a book let alone study.

Instead I did what I do best: Sit on my loveseat and pour over health food blogs. Then, inspiration struck! One of the blogs I read mentioned nutri-grain bars and... oh! Who am I kidding? As soon as I read those words I was already clicking on my trusty search engine Yahoo! and typing in "homemade nutri-grain bar recipes." None of them were quite what I was looking for though. Some used yogurt (no good as I can't eat dairy temporarily), some used way too much sugar (in the form of cake mixes, and where's the healthy in that?) and a lot "tasted" like Nutri-Grain bars but looked nothing like the bars I love and remember so well.

So, like in the past, I was on my own. In the end I used the ratios of basic baked good recipes and after two tries I succeeded in making a healthy, tasty snow day treat that rivals the supermarket snack:

Healthy Nutri-Grain Bars

Servings: 8 bars

Calories: about 100 calories each (varies with filling)

Great with a cup of Joe on the go!
  • 3 dates (or 1 tbsp honey)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup egg beaters (replace with egg substitute or fruit puree to veganize)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 7 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • Filling: fruit puree, applesauce + cinnamon, sugar-free jam or... pb + chocolate chips (add sugar if needed to sweeten)

  1. Place the dates in a small bowl and cover with applesauce. microwave on 50% for 2 minutes.
  2. Put soaked dates, applesauce, egg beaters and vanilla extract in a food processor. Blend until smooth.
  3. Put all of the rolled oats in a food processor and blend for about 10 seconds to make a coarse oat flour. Separate 1 tbsp out for topping and put the remaining 8 tbsp in a medium bowl.
  4. Add the unbleached flour, baking powder, salt and 4 tsp of sugar to the oats and mix. Then stir the wet date mixture in until combined.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
  6. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts. 
  7. Take one piece and roll thin into a rectangle on the cookie sheet. Put 1 tsp of the filling on one half of the rectangle. Fold over the other side and pinch to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  8. Sprinkle the set aside oats on top of the bars. Bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Let cool and enjoy for breakfast, snack or dessert!

Note: I don't have a huge sweet tooth, so these Nutri-Grain bars aren't super sweet like the one's you would find in the store. If you would prefer sweeter bars, I would add a few tablespoons of sugar (or your preferred sweetener) to the dough and sprinkle some extra sugar on top of the filling before closing them up.
With raspberry filling
If you make any changes when you make the recipe, let me know in the comments. I'm all for making my recipes better!

Do you have any super-market goodies that you miss eating? I had almost forgotten about Nutri-Grain bars, but I'm so glad I didn't! Some of my other favorite (semi-healthy) processed foods were fruit snacks, peanut butter and crackers, nature valley granola bars and salty preztels.

What do you do on snow days? Most people go back to sleep. I had a few five minute "cat-naps" yesterday but most of the time I was on the computer, baking or watching tv.


  1. Yay for a snow day! I love baking when the weather is bad :) This recipe is fabulous, such a great idea!!!

  2. Ohh these look delicious! Loving the raspberry filling! <3
    On snow days I drink more tea than usual!