I was raised by a mom (who was raised by her own sugar-wary mom) that ranked sugar in the same category as swearing or gossip. That is to say, once in a while, a pinch of it thrown into the mix might not hurt. Heck, it might even liven things up a little, but it was not something that you partook of on a regular basis. Certainly not!
While raising us my mom tried her best to impart these granules of dietary wisdom to me. Unfortunately, her distrust of sugar just didn’t rub off on me. The threats of “Do you want to get diabetes?!!!” just rolled off my back like a gumball rolls out of the machine after you slip your quarter in and give it a good crank.
Today, as a mama, I’m on the other end and am going to share with you a treaty. Treat-y or treaty, however you say it, it’s a delicious compromise in the battle of desserts between moms and children. Sweet enough to satisfy a craving but also packed with nuts, fruit and whole grains, these Autumn Energy Bars were a favorite treat from my childhood and today they’re a peace offering in my own battle over sugar with my little ones.
Autumn Energy Bars
Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Butter a 9×9 pan. Mix the following ingredients in a 9 x 13 pan and toast for 45 minutes.
2 c. oatmeal (old fashioned rolled oats, not quick oats)
2-1/2 c. crispy rice cereal
1 c. roasted, unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 c. dried cranberries
In the microwave or on the stove mix these ingredients until melted and smooth
10 oz. bag of marshmallows
1/2 c. smooth peanut butter
1/4 c. butter
¾ tsp. cinnamon
Then pour the toasted dry ingredients into the melted mixture and stir well. Transfer sticky mixture to the buttered 9 x 9 pan and place a piece of buttered wax paper on top. Press down evenly with your hands, or a flat object if you have one handy. (I use my metal 1 c. measuring cup.) Press hard. You want the mixture compact because it’s an energy bar, not a rice krispie treat!
Set aside to cool completely before cutting into bars and wrapping in wax paper. Now, eat one and then spend your energy however you see fit!
Kim Akari is a full-time mom and a part-time crafter. After (and sometimes before) the meals are made and the laundry is done, she enjoys sewing, baking and reading a good novel. Kim blogs about how she and her family spell “Life” with an alternative alphabet at a is for akari.