CRC breakfast bar…it sounds so official, doesn’t it?
It’s not really, it just stands for “Coconut, Raisin, Chocolate” breakfast bar. The chocolate is for my husband, the diehard chocoholic. The whole bar concept was really dreamed up for him. Some mornings, I just don’t feel like cooking breakfast, and I’ll admit, he’s very unexcited about a bowl of oatmeal, good for him or not. To make it worse, he needs to eat with his morning medications, like a lot of people.
He loves chocolate. Peanut butter too. He has no aversion to coconut. Raisins aren’t a bad thing either.
Me? I love convenience, especially in the morning. That’s when I’m “busy” doing whatever it is I’m going to get done for the day. I am also often tired and out of sorts then too, and that’s the last time I’m ready to deal with breakfast requests. At the same time, I’m concerned about nutrition. It’s my job even though he is the one with dietary restrictions.
The great thing is, CRC Breakfast Bars have got the oatmeal that’s good for him, along with some whole wheat. I used egg whites, eliminating the cholesterol of the egg yolks. I cut the vegetable oil down lower and used peanut butter to replace what was used in the original recipe I started from. I used low fat milk for calcium, (and because we had no fruit juice in the house.)
Then, to make the good-for-you ingredients taste good, it’s got cinnamon, which supposedly helps your body manage its blood sugar better, some molasses for flavor and its trace minerals, some sugar because…well, we have a sweet tooth in the mornings, coconut for texture, raisins for their chewy sweetness, and dark chocolate chips as the great temptation. There’s a small amount of salt to accent the flavors, but not a lot.
He’s getting the Big Taste Test in the morning, when I present him with a cup of coffee and a CRS Breakfast Bar. Will he be thrilled? Probably not. He’d much rather have a couple of scrambled eggs with cheese, hashbrowns, sausage, bacon, biscuits, and gravy, maybe with a side of grits. But, breakfast bar or not, he’s not getting THAT! (Not only am I not that excited about jumping up and proceeding to cook for an army of one in the morning, but that kind of breakfast is NOT what his nutritionist would approve of either.) So, we will see if the breakfast bar is a bust or a yes project.
The recipe makes 12 bars, which theoretically would last us 6 days, if we ate them every day, which probably won’t be the case. While commercial bakeries can crank out thousands of bars laced with preservatives, wrap them in plastic, and stick them on shelves where they stay “fresh” for months, home made goods don’t have that “luxury.” There are no preservatives in these bars. They won’t keep forever. They will, however, keep far longer if they are tightly wrapped and then put in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer, removing one the night before to thaw and come to room temperature before the grab ‘n go event we all call morning. If they are a hit or moderate success, I may explore other recipes and versions as well.
These are also a good item to consider making before camping or hunting trips. They are compact, delicious, nutritious, and pack well, especially when baked in the pre-portioned muffin cups. They require no refrigeration or cooking, and will remain fresh and delicious for at least a week, making them a good choice for long lasting energy for cyclists, hikers, and exuberant kids as well.
Another feature is their cost. Compared to the $4-$5 cost of a box of commercial bars, these cost a lot less per serving. I haven’t had the recipe analyzed for nutritional content, but they can’t be worse than what a lot of the so-called “healthy” versions on grocery shelves deliver, and it has a lot more good-for-you things in it than bad-for-you things, as well as avoiding preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and suspiciously hard to pronounce ingredients. Everything in these bars would be recognized as a food item by our great grand-parents!
CRC Breakfast Bars
- 3 c. oatmeal
- 1 c. whole wheat flour OR oat flour
- 1/4 c. sugar OR brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 c. milk OR fruit juice
- 1/4 c. honey or molasses
- 1/2 c. peanut butter
- 1/4 c. vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten OR 1/2 c. egg whites
- 1 c. shredded coconut
- 1 c. raisins
- 1 c. chocolate chips
Grease 12 muffin cups OR a 13×9″ pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine oatmeal, flour, sugar, cinnamon & salt in bowl. Stir with fork to combine. Add eggs, oil, peanut butter, honey, and milk. Stir to combine. Stir in coconut, raisins and chocolate chips.
In muffin tins, put about 1/2 c. batter into each greased muffin cup or pour mixture into greased pan and spread evenly before baking.
Bake for 30 minutes (in muffin tins) or 40 minutes in 13×9 pan. Cut large pan of baked mixture while still warm, but leave in pan until cool.
Note: don’t use extremely dry raisins in this recipe–they’ll stay rock hard. Rehydrate them in some hot water before mixing if very dry.
Makes 12 servings. Stores at least a week in cool, dry conditions in sealed plastic bag or cookie jar.