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Peanut Butter Cranberry Zoom Zoom Bars

Oooo you'll love having one of these for a snack.  They're fabulous.  Hip hip hooray to colleagues Leika Suzumura and Steven Jamieson for sharing this perfect pack-in-your sports-bag recipe with me.  Reprinted from Feeding the Young Athlete(Readers to Eaters 2012).

Dry Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup dried coconut flakes
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crispy brown rice cereal
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

Wet ingredients:
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup peanut butter or other nut butter

•    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
•    Spread the oats, sunflower and pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes shaking every few minutes so that they toast evenly. 
•    Add the coconut to the pan and toast for another 2-3 minutes until the coconut just turns golden (watch closely!).
•    Remove the baking sheet when the nuts and coconut are fragrant.  Let cool slightly and place in a large bowl.  Add cranberries and brown rice crispy cereal and toss all together.
•    Taste the peanut butter you plan to use.  Is it salty?  If yes, don't add the extra salt.  If not, add it now.
•    Place all wet ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a low simmer and stir constantly until an even consistency is achieved.
•    Stir the thick wet ingredients into the dry and combine until evenly mixed. 
•    Plop onto a greased cookie sheet or one lined with parchment paper and press the mixture with moist hands into a ½" thick square about 12" x 12".
•    Let cool completely.  Pop into the refrigerator to hasten this.
•    Cut into 2" x 3" squares and wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap to keep bars from drying out.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Makes 24 bars


Faith DeBolt
Hi Cynthia et al, I enjoy preparing meals for my family out of Feeding the Whole Family and look forward to Feeding the Young Athlete. Does the new book have many nut-free recipes? We don't have nut allergies in my family, but a classmate of my daughter does, so she can't bring lunches/snacks to school that have nuts. Since we don't eat meat (except fish) or dairy, that makes it tough to come up with filling, nutritious snacks/lunches. She's in Pre-K now, but I suspect we will continue to encounter this issue.
September 21, 2012, 2:20 pm

Cynthia Lair
Hi Faith! Yes there are many recipes in the book that are nut free. I'm aware of the prevalence of nut allergies among school age children. It is difficult to maneuver.
September 21, 2012, 2:54 pm

Sam Reber
How long can you store these? Would you keep them in the fridge? Can't wait to try them.
September 27, 2012, 7:28 am

Cynthia Lair
Hi Sam. Good question. They have never lasted long enough in my home to worry about storage! But they should keep nicely for a week in the refrigerator.
September 27, 2012, 10:09 am

jess inchq
I made these today and they are AWESOME! My hubby who usually doesn't like healthy stuff actually enjoyed them. thanks!!
September 29, 2012, 12:08 pm

Eileen R
Guess what everyone is getting for Christmas? 'Cause there's nothing like a little Zoom Zoom in your stocking.
December 18, 2012, 8:46 pm

Valerie Gardner
Hi Cynthia! Love love, love the zoom-zoom bars! Do you happen to know how many Weight Watchers 'points plus' points are in one bar? Many thanks!
January 18, 2013, 1:44 pm

Anne Monteagudo
Would maple syrup work as a substitute for brown rice syrup?
November 4, 2013, 5:42 pm

Cynthia Lair
Hi Anne, Maple syrup will work but will not harden when it cools like brown rice syrup and barley malt do, so the texture of the bar will be very soft.
November 4, 2013, 6:46 pm

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