If you can’t beat them… join them. That’s my motto for the Weight We Were Challenge.
The holidays are a very hectic time for pastry chefs. While everybody else is getting time off, attending holidays parties, and visiting family, we are working twice as hard, trying to fill the demand for sugary treats. So by the time a new year rolls around we are ready for the quiet that comes when all our customers swear off sweets and join the gym.
But as much as I’ve enjoyed the peace and quiet over the last few weeks, I can’t stay idle for long. I miss the hum of a busy kitchen a little too much. So this week I decided to create a healthy snack for those busy mamas on the go. Matcha Energy Bars. These all natural, healthy bars are perfect for when hunger strikes, and will keep you away from the drive-thru window when you are out running errands.
Did I mention they take less than 30 minutes to make? One batch should last you the whole week. If they are well hidden. Your kids and husbands will love them too and this is one snack you can feel good about giving them.
The Matcha green tea powder provides a much-needed boost of antioxidants. They are sweetened with agave nectar because it is the same amount of calories as honey but doesn’t boost your blood sugar level. The oatmeal provides fiber. The peanut butter is a good source of protein. (Be sure to buy all natural peanut butter that doesn’t have High Fructose corn syrup. Smucker’s has a great all natural peanut butter.) The nuts provide more protein and essential fatty acids. And the dark chocolate chips, they are our reward for working so hard!.
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup dehydrated milk powder
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon Matcha green tea powder
- 1/3 cup agave nectar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup Planters nut mix
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325° F. Prepare an 8” x 8” casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray, and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Combine the peanut butter, rolled oats, dehydrated milk powder, shredded coconut, Matcha green tea powder, agave nectar, water, vanilla extract, and baking soda in a food processor and pulse until well combined. The mixture should have the consistency of a thick paste. If it is too dry add a few tablespoons of water until a thick paste forms. Transfer to a medium size bowl and fold in the nuts and chocolate chips by hand.
Press the mixture evenly into the prepared casserole dish. Bake at 325°F for 15-17 minutes or until the bars feel firm to the touch and look dry. Allow to cool. At this point, I transfer the casserole dish to the fridge and let it chill for 20 minutes. It makes them easier to cut. Cut into eight even bars. And wrap each bar in plastic wrap or aluminum foil for easy transport. I always throw one in my workout bag when I head to the gym. They will stay fresh about four days at room temperature or eight days in the fridge.