Monday, August 12, 2013

Re-creating the Nutri Grain Bar...

The Burlesons are trying to eat more whole foods, more fruits and vegetables, and are trying to make exercise and healthy living a priority! Foods like the veggie sticks pictured above are becoming less and less of a mainstay around here ;-) However, I have found that finding good snacks is one of the most challenging parts of eating well, especially since we are trying to get away from all processed/packaged foods, especially for Luke. We have the added challenge of trying to find healthy, yet calorie-dense snacks for Luke, since he is not a big eater and he is on the very light end of the weight charts.

Inspired by my amazing stepsister, Ashley Brouwer (check out her awesome food blog at, I have been trying to replace some of the packaged foods that we eat with homemade versions of the same items. Today's challenge was to see if I could find a good substitute for the Nutri-Grain bar. I must say that this recipe hit the mark...Luke LOVED them. I apologize for my food photography - hopefully you can get the idea.

Wild Blueberry Whole Grain Bars (adapted from Parents magazine)

3/4 c all purpose flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c flax meal
1/2 c dark brown sugar
1 1/4 c regular rolled oats
1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c butter, cubed
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 c fresh blueberries
1 10-ounce jar of blueberry preserves (I used Bonne Maman Wild Blueberry)

Preheat oven to 350 and line a 13x9x2 baking pan with parchment paper, making sure that there is enough paper to hang over the edges for lifting the bars out of the pan. 
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, flax meal, brown sugar, oats, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. 
Using a pastry blender (or 2 forks), incorporate the butter cubes into the mixture until it resembles course crumbs. Transfer 1 1/2 c of the mixture to a small bowl and reserve.
Stir the egg whites into the remaining mixture. Stir in the berries. Pay mixture into the prepared baking pan, pressing mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until crust is brown.
Remove pan from oven, spread preserves over the crust, and sprinkle the reserved mixture evenly over the preserves. 
Bake until bars are golden brown, anywhere from 30-45 minutes. 
Let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then lift bars and parchment out of the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. 
Cut into bars and store in airtight container.