One of the upsides to being a work at home mom is that I’m here in the afternoons when my kids get home from school.
One of the downsides to being a work at home mom is that I’m here in the afternoons when my kids get home from school…
…and they’re starving, dying for a treat, and bouncing off the walls with the spill over energy that just seems to follow young children into every activity, and all the while there's still an Inbox full of work to be done.
The reality is that work does’t always shut down when backpacks are thrown through the threshold and shoes are strewn on the floor. Although the idea of a plate of oven-baked goodies sounds like an offering I wish my Mother of the Year status could conjure up, there’s often not time for that. Many times, my advice to hungry tummies is to grab some fruit — I’m lucky in that both of my boys view fruit as an always-welcome treat. But there are other times when WE all want a little something more.
That’s where the idea of these bars came from (well that, plus the fact that it’s Back to School season AND the fact we’re taking on Small Bites for this month’s Recipe ReDux).
A quick-and-easy, protein-packed bar cookie… these are short on prep work (they're made in the microwave!!), but long on healthy ingredients. I will confess that the texture is that of a protein cookie… meaning, they’re dense and fairly chewy… so don’t be surprised. I suspect even if you oven-bake them, you’ll still get hints of that texture. But if you try the microwave version and don’t like them, maybe give that a try. I personally think with a nice melty topping of chocolate, they’re a throwback to a Clif of Luna type bar… without the trip to the grocery store (another afternoon task I try to avoid having to do on a daily basis).
And if you're looking for a more traditional baked bar cookie, try my Caramel-Apple Pecan Bars:
(They're definitely worth heating up the oven... and letting a few more emails pile up in your Inbox).
For more great Back to School ReDux options for small bites and bars, check out yesterday’s posts HERE and today’s posts in the gallery below the recipe.
Gluten Free Chewy Chocolate-Pecan Apple Bars
Makes 9 Bars
- 1/2 cup vanilla whey protein powder
- 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup dried apples
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 3/4 cup pecan halves
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 3 Tablespoons chocolate chips, melted
- Combine whey and oats in a food processor and pulse until combined.
- Combine apples and juice in a small bowl; microwave on HIGH 30 seconds.
- Press apples down into juice to ensure they are covered; microwave an additional 30 seconds.
- Pour into food processor and add remaining ingredients; pulse until fairly smooth.
- Spoon mixture into an 8- x 8-inch microwave safe dish; cook on MEDIUM power (50%) in 2 minute intervals until set (at 1100 watts my bars took 10 minutes). Be careful, though, not to overcook or edges will be tough.
- Cut into bars and drizzle with chocolate. Store in refrigerator.