Real Food for Real People.

For those of you who know me on a more personal level, I am not a self-proclaimed “health nut”. I am an occasionally indulgent friend of food. I enjoy baking and cooking with real ingredients, eating spicy food, and never eating salad as a main course unless I am peer-pressured by my lovely (health conscious) co-workers.

Real food is local and global, it is not easily fit into a box or stereotype. Real food is meant to be enjoyed and respected. Real food for real people can still be a healthy addition to your diet or lifestyle.

Power Bars
Makes 32 bars

2 cups quick oats
1 cup natural peanut butter- creamy or chunky
(or PB2 for those conscious of total fat vs. amount of protein)
1 cup honey
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup ground flax seed
1 cup vanilla whey protein powder

Mix all ingredients together and stir until blended. Spread the mixture into a 13×10-inch pan and refrigerate until ready to serve. Store in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks or freeze for later use.

Nutrition information per serving: 170 calories, 8g fat, 2mg cholesterol, 22g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 5g protein, 35mg sodium

Visit Wellmark.com/Blue for healthy snack ideas and a comparison of the best protein bars and shakes.

Mini Muffins similar to Aussie Bites
Makes about 50 mini muffins

2 cups regular or toasted oats (old fashioned Quacker Oats, (not quick cooking))
2 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cups brown sugar
1-31/2 oz can of coconut (unsweetened) or 1-1/4 cup  flaked
1/2 cup flax seed
1 cup finely chopped dried fruit
1/4 cup honey
2 sticks unsalted butter or 1 stick unsalted butter and 1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbs hot water
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1 tsp vanilla (optional)

First, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Next, mix first six ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Then, melt honey and butter together in microwave. Mix baking soda with hot water and add to butter mixture. Pour butter mixture into dry ingredients, add eggs and mix well. Place tablespoons of mixture into non-stick mini muffin pans (lightly greased) and flatten mixture softly.

Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden. Cook longer if using the lower-fat version (with applesauce). Cool on wire racks and enjoy!

Nutritional information per serving: 73.1 calories, 4.3g fat, 8.1mg cholesterol, 37.7 mg sodium, 47.3mg potassium, 9.9g carbohydrates, 1.3g protein

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