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Recipe: Peanut Butter Cranberry Zoom Zoom Bars



Seattle's Child asked Cynthia Lair, local author of Feeding the Young Athlete: Sports Nutrition Made Easy for Players, Parents and Coaches (Readers to Eaters, 2012), to write about a few of the many important topics covered in her informative book (Read more in this Seattle's Child story). Here is a healthy bar recipe she had to share:

Oooo you'll love having one of these for a snack. They're fabulous. Hip hip hooray to my colleagues at Bastyr University, Leika Suzumura and Steven Jamieson, for sharing this perfect pack-in-your-sports-bag recipe with me.

Dry Ingredients:

1 ½ cups rolled oats

½ cup sunflower seeds

½ cup pumpkin seeds

½ cup dried coconut flakes

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup crispy brown rice cereal*

½ teaspoon salt (optional)

Wet ingredients:

½ cup brown rice syrup

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons molasses

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup peanut butter or other nut butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread the oats, sunflower and pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes shaking every few minutes so that they toast evenly.
  3. Add the coconut to the pan and toast for another 2-3 minutes until the coconut just turns golden (watch closely!).
  4. Remove the baking sheet when the nuts and coconut are fragrant. Let cool slightly and place in a large bowl. Add cranberries and brown rice crispy cereal and toss all together.
  5. Taste the peanut butter you plan to use. Is it salty? If yes, don't add the extra salt. If not, add it now.
  6. Place all wet ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low simmer and stir constantly until an even consistency is achieved.
  7. Stir the thick wet ingredients into the dry and combine until evenly mixed.
  8. Plop onto a greased cookie sheet or one lined with parchment paper and press the mixture with moist hands into a ½" thick square about 12" x 12".
  9. Let cool completely. Pop into the refrigerator to hasten this.
  10. Cut into 2" x 3" squares and wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap to keep bars from drying out.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Makes 18- 24 bars (depending on the size you cut)

*any puffed or crispy whole grain cereal will work. Be sure to read labels and pick one where the sugar content is low or non-existent.

Recipes reprinted with permission from Feeding the Young Athlete by Cynthia Lair with Scott Murdoch, Ph.D., R.D. (Readers to Eaters, 2012).



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