We had a great weekend with our cousin Heather, her husband Steve, and their beautiful daughter Frances. It was so nice to relax at our home, catch up over cocktails, and enjoy many delicious meals. There is something so rejuvenating about slowing down your normal pace, putting down phones, computers, and tablets, and being present in the moment. These little snippets of time really make life beautiful.
I wanted to share a recipe with you that I recently made. Even though I love bookmarking and pinning recipes there is something I just love about having a tangible recipe in my hand. I constantly tear out recipes from magazines or mark pages in my cookbooks. I tend to put the recipes I tear out into a folder on my desk and when I am feeling motivated will look through the folder and pull out one that inspires me. I recently found a recipe from a July/August 2012 Health Magazine issue called "Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bars". The recipe had me at chocolate! I made a few modification to the recipe that made the energy bar even healthier... I just can't help myself!
I made these last Sunday. I took half to work on Monday and I have had a few co-workers ask for the recipe! That must be a good sign, right?! I froze the other half over the week and took them out this past Friday to thaw. They were great to have on hand for a mid-day "dessert". They satisfy a sweet tooth but are filled with healthy yummies that include dark chocolate, dried cranberries, and peanuts!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bars
*Original recipe from Health Magazine July/August 2012 edition
Olive oil cooking spray
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (organic preferred)
2 large eggs
2 TBSP no-sugar-added applesauce
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup dried cranberries (dried cherries would work too)
1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts
1 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Whisk flour, baking soda, and cinnamon in small bowl. In large bowl, beat brown sugar and peanut butter until well combined. Beat in eggs, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture. Gently stir in rolled oats, cranberries, peanuts, and dark chocolate.
Spread evenly in prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and firm to the touch. Cool completely.
To me, this recipe is definitely a keeper! You can always experiment with substituting different chocolates, nuts, and dried fruits. Have a Happy Labor Day!