5 tasty snacks to go

Back to school isn’t the only reason things get hectic in the fall — it’s time to return to classes, clubs, sports, volunteer work, church and other activities that quickly fill our up schedules. Sometimes we need a little pick-me-up to get through those hectic days.

Here are some tasty ideas you can grab on the way out the door.

Brown Rice Power Bars (pictured above)

Healthy, homemade energy bars for people on the go! These brown rice bars are packed with dried fruits, nuts and seeds and bound together with wholesome brown rice and natural nut butter. They’re portable, convenient and best of all, provide the energy you need to keep up with your busy schedule.

1/4 cup (50 mL) butter, softened
1/2 cup (125 mL) pure nut butter (peanut, cashew, almond) with no additional ingredients
3/4 cup (175 mL) brown sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp (15 mL) vanilla
1 cup (250 mL) brown rice flour
1 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
2 cups cooked U.S. brown rice
1/2 cup (125 mL) coconut
2 cups (500 mL) favourite trail mix*

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In large bowl, beat butters and sugar until light and well combined. Beat in egg and vanilla.

In bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Stir into butter mixture until well combined. Fold in rice, coconut and trail mix.

Spread mixture into a parchment-lined 13-x9-inch (33 cm x 23 cm) baking dish. Bake in the centre of oven until golden and set, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool before slicing into bars with a serrated knife.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.

Makes about 24 bars.

Tip: These bars can also be prepared as cookies.

*To ensure the recipe is gluten-free, avoid trail mixes containing chocolate, Smarties or dates as these products may contain barley malt flavouring or wheat flour.

PER SERVING: about 180 cal, 8 g pro, 9 g total fat (3 g sat fat), 21 g carb, 2 g fibre, 15 mg chol, 40 mg sodium. %RDI: iron 8%, calcium 2%, vit A 4%, vit C 0%

Recipe courtesy of the USA Rice Federation. For more recipe ideas, visit www.riceinfo.com.

No-Bake Breakfast Cookies

A fun snack kids can help prepare. Featuring dried cherries, dark chocolate and toasted walnuts, these breakfast (or anytime) cookies won’t last long.

1 cup (250 mL) walnut butter (or other nut/seed butter)
1/2 cup (125 mL) honey
1/3 cup (75 mL) molasses
2-1/2 cups (625 mL) rolled oats
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) California walnut pieces, toasted
3/4 cup (175 mL) wheat germ
3/4 cup (175 mL) dried cherries, chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) skim milk powder
1/2 cup (125 mL) dark chocolate chips
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the walnut butter, honey and molasses. In a large bowl mix, combine the rolled oats, walnuts, wheat germ, dried cherries, skim milk powder, chocolate chops, cinnamon and sea salt. Add the molasses mixture to the dry ingredients working everything together until the mixture holds its shape when formed into a ball. Take 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the mixture, form into a ball and press onto the baking sheet to flatten into a cookie shape. Repeat the process until you have no remaining mixture.

Store cookies in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for optimal freshness.

Makes 16 to 20 cookies.

Chef’s Tip: For a more exotic flavour, replace dried cherries with dried blueberries, goji berries, mango or candied ginger.

PER SERVING (1 cookie): about 293 cal, 6 g pro, 16 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 34 g carb, 2 g fibre, 0 mg chol, 128 mg sodium. %RDI: 6% calcium, 12% iron, 1% vit A, 0% vit C.

Recipe courtesy of the California Walnut Commission. For more recipe ideas and information about the health benefits of walnuts, visit www.walnutinfo.com.

Saskatoon Berry Muffins

1/2 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1-1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. cooking oil
1 beaten egg
1 to 1-1/2 c. Saskatoon berries


2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Soak rolled oats in orange juice and yogurt. Stir the dry ingredients together. Stir in Saskatoon berries to coat.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Pour in the rolled oats mixture. Fold together being careful not to over mix.

Spoon mixture into 12 large muffin cups and top with the sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees F. for 18 to 20 minutes.

Submitted by 50PLUS.com reader Spiderweb.

Applesauce Bars

Here’s a fun snacking cake that was developed by Emily Richards, P.H. Ec., for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. It has lots of apple taste and is perfect to tuck into kids’ lunches, to tote along or when friends are coming over for a visit.


1 1/2 cups (375 mL) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (125 mL) wheat bran
1/4 cup (50 mL) ground flax
1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground nutmeg
Pinch cloves (optional)
Pinch salt
2 cups (500 mL) unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup (125 mL) packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup (75 mL) canola oil


In large bowl whisk together flour, bran, flax, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, if using and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together applesauce, brown sugar, eggs and oil. Pour over flour mixture and stir until moistened.

Scrape batter into greased and parchment paper lined 13 x 9–inch baking pan and spread evenly. Bake in 350 F oven for about 35 minutes or until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Let cool completely and cut into bars.

Tip: Use a cookie cutter to cut out your favourite shapes for the kids.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Makes: 24 bars

Nutrition Facts per serving: Calories: 96, Fat: 4 g, Saturated: 0 g, Cholesterol: 16 mg, Sodium: 46 mg, Potassium: 94 mg, Carbohydrates: 14 g, Fibre: 2 g, Protein: 2 g

Source: www.newscanada.com

No Bake Granola Balls

1 cup fat-free granola
1 cup crispy corn or rice puff cereal
1/4 cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, pineapple chunks, etc)
1 cup miniature marshmallows
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons reduced-fat peanut butter

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Mix granola, cereal and dried fruit in a medium bowl. Heat remaining ingredients in a small nonstick saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.

Immediately pour over cereal mixture and stir until evenly coated. Using wet hands, shape into 1 1/2 inch balls and then place on waxed paper.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set. Makes 24 servings.

Submitted by 50PLUS.com user JSC788

What snacks do you often pack? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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