Cookbook author Jennifer Tyler Lee and Anisha Patel, a professor of pediatrics at Stanford University, have teamed up to create a new family cookbook aimed at reducing the amount of added sugar in meals, snacks and desserts.
“Half the Sugar, All the Love” has 100 low-sugar recipes that were tested by kids. The foods are sweetened naturally with whole fruits and vegetables.
The authors say this no-bake energy bar is their riff on a popular brand’s bar, but with no added sugar; instead, dates and tangerine juice add sweetness and flavor.
No-Bake Peanut Butter Energy Bars
Because these bars aren’t baked, they are a little softer than a packaged energy bar. For a firmer texture, serve straight from the refrigerator. If packing in a lunch box, include an ice pack to maintain the bars’ texture.
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned (rolled) oats
14 ounces Medjool dates, pitted (16 to 20 dates)
1 cup unsweetened peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (optional)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed tangerine juice (from 1 small tangerine)
1. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches of overhang on each side.
2. Place 1/2 cup of the oats in a food processor and pulse until a coarse flour forms, about 1 minute.
3. Add the remaining 1 cup oats, the dates, peanut butter, flaxseed, if using, vanilla, and salt to the processor and process until the dates are finely chopped, scraping the side of the bowl if necessary. Process until the mixture starts to clump together, 2 to 3 minutes. Drizzle the juice into the mixture and pulse until incorporated.
4. Press the mixture into the baking pan, using an offset spatula to firmly press it down into an even layer. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes or overnight.
5. Cut into 12 bars, roughly 2 to 2 1/2 inches each.
Make ahead: The bars will keep, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Per serving (1 bar): 266 calories; 0 g added sugar; 37 g carbohydrates; 98 mg sodium; 2 g saturated fat; 5 g fiber; 7 g protein
Excerpted from “Half the Sugar, All the Love” by Jennifer Tyler Lee and Anisha Patel; published by Workman Publishing.