Food Fridays: Raising The Muesli Bar

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A couple of weeks ago I was talking with Jonathan Andre, one of the primary music reviewers and founders of 365 Days Of Inspiring Media about food. Usually when we talk, it’s about Music, TV, Food, and/or Jesus. It always amazes me how God connects us with other people in the Body of Christ. I live close to Washington, DC… who knew that I’d be talking about culinary interests with a good friend on the other side of the planet… in Australia?

As we were talking, Muesli came up. He mentioned he was eating Muesli for breakfast, and that it was covered in chocolate. I mentioned, “I wonder how that would taste with some bacon combined with the chocolate…”, and Jon said, “Are you serious? Bacon & Chocolate?!”

I guess the whole bacon/chocolate combo hasn’t taken off as well in Australia as it has in the U.S.

I began to think about how bacon, chocolate, and a few other healthy items could all work together in a muesli bar, and still have it be relatively healthy. Bacon.. healthy? Well, truth be known, a ½ cup of cooked, blotted thick cut bacon bits doesn’t add a lot of fat and sodium, especially when it’s spread out over an entire recipe. It will add a smoky, salty taste to the flavor profile, complimenting the sweet, smokiness of the dark chocolate chips.

Before I steal my own thunder, here is the recipe for Chocolate Chip & Bacon Muesli Bars!

1 cup of rolled oats

1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut

1/3 cup of wheatgerm

1/4 cup of sesame seeds

1/2 cup of sunflower seeds

1/2 cup of raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup of dried, unsweetened cranberries

1/4 of flax seeds

1/4 cup of Chia Seeds

1/2 cup of prepared thick cut bacon bits

1 cup of dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup of Smart Balance

1/2 cup of honey

1/8 cup of brown sugar

Wax Paper

Cooking Instructions:

Apply cooking spray to a baking pan. Set aside.

Cook the oats, coconut, wheat germ, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in a non-stick pan over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until golden. Be careful not to burn the mixture.

Pour the mixture to a metal bowl. Set aside to cool.

Stir in the cranberries, Bacon, Chocolate chips, chia seeds and flax seeds.

Cook the Smart Balance, honey and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly for for 3 to 4 minutes or until sugar has fully dissolved.

Health Tip: Substitute the brown sugar with a little extra honey and molasses. Both are low glycemic, slow digesting sugars!

Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, without stirring, for 5 minutes. Add Smart Balance mixture to dry ingredients. Stir well until combined.

Spoon the mixture into the baking sheet. Use a large metal spoon to press the mixture down firmly and evenly.

Allow the Muesli to cool and then cut into squares or rectangles.

The bars can be stored in a plastic container for up to a week.

There are several health pluses to these Muesli bars, including:

–          High in Fiber

–          High in Protein

–          High in Anti-Oxidants

–          High in Omega 3 Fatty Acids

–          Low in fast digesting sugars, the honey is a low-glycemic index sweetener (especially if you opt with the Health Tip!)

Enjoy!

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