Sunday, June 22, 2014

I Hate Baking

I sent an email to the customer service department at Clif Bar last week.

Regarding Product Name: Clif Crunch Granola Bar
Flavor: Peanut Butter
Best By Code: 14DEC14 N2 11:49

Your Comment:
I don't know why, but you've changed the formula and made the Clif Crunch Bar sweeter. We don't want it sweeter. What we want is a fairly nutritious snack (compared to the rest of the Granola Bar category), not a sweet.

__ __ __

I hope they don't send me coupons for their products.

Sugar. Dried Cane Syrup. Juice Concentrate. Agave. Dextrose. Maltose. Stevia. Fructose. Honey. Sucralose. Aspertame.

Added sweeteners. So sick of 'em.

Did I have a couple of cookies at the baby shower I went to last weekend? Sure I did, Lydia is a kick-ass baker and there was no question about sampling her handiwork. Am I eating cookies every darn day? No. And I don't want cookies masquerading as granola bars, either. You can't exercise your way out of a crappy diet.

No, diet soda and diet crystal light and diet bottled green iced tea and diet whatever-the-heck is not a healthy choice if you're drinking it every single day.

"But Jane! Fruit has fructose!"

Yes, it does. In a gorgeous natural package full of fibers and vitamins and minerals and antioxidants and other snazzy biochemical compounds that are darn good for you. Eat a little bit of fat or protein at the same time as you eat that whole piece of fruit, and you won't have to worry much about your insulin levels springboarding.

So listen, I HATE baking but I'm making my own granola snack to pack in my lunch Monday through Friday. I found it on a food/nutrition app called Fooducate. When I scanned the barcode for Clif Crunch bars, up popped this recipe alternative. I baked, we tasted, we liked. They freeze well, by the way, so guess who is going to be making big batches at a time so she doesn't have to bake every dang week?

In a recent batch I accidentally doubled the amount of nuts. And I liked it better that way.

All credit to Lisa Cain, Ph.D. and blogger at, who posted the recipe to Fooducate.

Cereal Bar Recipe
(makes 12 to 24 depending on the size of your muffin tin) 

1/2 cup natural nut butter
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup whole nuts (choose your favorite - I used 50/50 organic raw peanuts and almonds)
1 ½ cup total of unsweetened dried fruits (cherries, cranberries, apricots, raisins, coconut, etc.)
1 cup rolled or steel cut oats
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
Pinch cinnamon (optional)
1/4 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a food processor, coarsely chop nuts and dried fruits. Mix nut butter and bananas until a paste forms. (This will make your arm tired.) Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. (This will also make your arm tired.) Spoon into lightly greased muffin cups (1/2 full) and bake for 15 minutes. Can be stored in refrigerator for 5 days.

For one granola bite (12 in recipe) = 190 calories, 8.4 g fat, 26.7 g carbohydrates, 5.4 g protein, 3.1 g fiber, 52 mg sodium

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