Oatmeal-peanut butter trail bars

When you bake your own "energy" bars, you can be assured that they include whole grains like rolled oats and whole wheat flour and healthy fats like canola oil, peanut butter and walnuts. Peanut butter stands in for butter in these treats, reducing the saturated fat and boosting protein. These bars make ideal snacks — tuck one into your pocket when you head out the door.

Oatmeal-peanut butter trail bars

Let's get baking

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Baking time: 20 to 25 minutes

Makes 24 bars

  • 65 g (1/2 c) whole wheat flour
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) cinnamon
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) baking soda
  • 0.5 ml (1/8 tsp) salt
  • 125 ml (1/2 c) natural-style smooth peanut butter
  • 110 g (1/2 c) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 75 ml (1/3 c) honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) canola oil
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 170 g (2 c) old-fashioned rolled oats
  •  150 g (1 c) dried cranberries (or raisins)
  • 60 g (1/2 c/2 oz) coarsely chopped walnuts or almonds
  • 90 g (1/2 c) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Coat a 25 × 35-centimetre (nine × 13-inch) baking pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the peanut butter, sugar and honey in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until blended. Blend egg and egg whites with a fork in a small bowl. Add to the peanut butter mixture, along with oil and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add reserved flour mixture and mix with a rubber spatula. Mix in oats, dried cranberries (or raisins), walnuts (or almonds) and chocolate chips. Scrape batter into the prepared baking dish. Use a piece of plastic wrap to spread batter into an even layer.
  3. Bake the bars until lightly browned and firm to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack before cutting into 24 bars. One serving is one five-centimetre (two-inch) square.

Ingredient note: If you must avoid peanut butter because of an allergy, you can substitute soy nut butter or sunflower seed butter. You can replace the nuts with unsalted roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and/or sunflower seeds (look for unsalted seeds in the bulk bins of natural foods stores).

Per serving: 175 calories, 4 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, 2 g fibre, 8 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 9 mg cholesterol, 68 mg sodium.

Cook's tip

To avoid wasting the egg yolks, use reconstituted dried egg whites, which are available in the baking or natural foods sections of large supermarkets.

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