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Simple Chocolate Pretzel Bars
When I was expecting my last child, I promised myself that I would invest the time to take care of my body and mind after she was born. There is always so much mommy guilt when I try to do anything that takes me away from the kids. But, I wholeheartedly believe that I am a better mom when I take care of myself. I also believe that being physically active has a major impact on my emotional wellbeing. Once she made her arrival and we got into a good schedule, I started trying to keep that promise. I started out by eating better and eventually worked up the nerve to start going to the gym.
Part of my weight loss plan was to find alternatives for the unhealthy things in my diet, instead of trying to remove everything that I enjoyed. I found some cereal bars that were quick to grab, low in calories, and delicious. They became a part of my daily diet. As time went on, I realized there is more to eating healthy than looking at calories and I started trying to eat foods that were less processed. A big part of that included me learning to make some of my favorite snacks at home. I literally pulled my favorite cereal bar apart and tried to get an idea of the main ingredients. Then, I looked for the healthiest version of each ingredient and came up with a simple chocolate pretzel bar recipe.
This recipe has four ingredients-cereal, pretzels, chocolate, and honey-that’s it!
- The prepackaged bar has cereal flakes as the base so I looked through all the options available and found sprouted grains cereal. When grains get to the point of sprouting, they release more nutrients. So, eating products that are made with sprouted grains is supposed to provide a higher concentration of nutrients. In addition, the sprouted grains cereal that I found is low in sugar and high in fiber.
- There is nothing special about the pretzels I chose, they’re in the recipe to provide some salty flavor and a little extra crunch.
- I used dark chocolate in this recipe instead of the milk chocolate that comes on the prepackaged bars. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and there is a lot of research available about other possible health benefits such as lower blood pressure and increased brain function.
- I chose raw, local honey as the sweetener and binder for my homemade bars. Raw honey is less processed than the white sugar you find at the store. In addition, there are some claims that using honey from local sources can provide some relief from pollen allergies. I do not struggle with pollen allergies so I cannot give a personal opinion about that claim. But, I love buying local ingredients whenever possible because it is beneficial to the local economy and I have an idea of where the food came from.
Combine the cereal, pretzels, and honey in a bowl. As you mix, you can break up the cereal and pretzels into smaller bits. If the mixture does not seem to be sticking together enough, you can add more honey.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or double boiler. While it is melting, prepare your casserole dish by lining it with wax paper so it will be easier to remove and cut the bars when they’ve set. Once the chocolate is melted, pour it in the bottom of your prepared dish. Then, pour the cereal mixture on top of the chocolate and pack it down. Put it in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour to let the chocolate harden.
Once the chocolate has had time to harden, remove the dish from the freezer, pull the entire piece out of the dish, and cut it into individual bars. They get crumbly if you let them sit out too long so I suggest wrapping the bars individually in wax paper and returning to the freezer until you’re ready to eat them. These can be eaten straight from the freezer and are easy to grab for a snack as you’re walking out the door.
In addition to learning to make my own snacks, I decided to add multivitamins to my daily regimen. I’ve always thought multivitamins were important, but I hate taking pills! I know it’s not that difficult to grab a pill and a glass of water, but I never did it because of my general aversion to taking pills. But, I made a promise to myself so I started looking at all the multivitamin options.
I was excited to find that there are a ton of adult multivitamin options that do not include swallowing a pill! I found two chewable options from Centrum that are available at my local Walgreens, Vitamints and Multigummies. There are more than one flavor of Vitamints, but when I saw the raspberry I knew it was the one for me-I love the combo of mint+berry! The Vitamints are crunchy and minty while the Multigummies are chewy and tasty. It is simple for me to grab these vitamins, along with a bottle of water and midmorning snack (such as my simple chocolate pretzel bars), as I head out the door.
Ease of use and great taste are not the only benefits to Centrum Vitamints and Multigummies. If you decide buy either type of vitamins at your local Walgreens, like I did, you will have the added benefit of giving back to people in need. Walgreens is partnering with Vitamin Angels which is an organization that provides vitamins to children and mothers in places where vitamin deficiencies are common. Every time you make a vitamin purchase at Walgreens, they will make a donation to Vitamin Angels. You get to do something good for yourself and good for others at the same time!
As you get started on your journey to a healthier lifestyle, focus first on good things that you can add-like homemade snacks and multivitamins-so you do not feel like you are being deprived.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
- 2 1/2 Cups Sprouted Grains Cereal
- 1 Cup Pretzel Bits
- 2 Tablespoons Raw Local Honey
- 4 OZ Dark Chocolate
- Combine the cereal, pretzel bits, and honey in a large bowl
- Line a medium casserole dish, such as 8×8, with wax paper
- Melt the chocolate using a double boiler or microwave
- Pour the melted chocolate in the casserole dish, on top of the wax paper
- Pour the cereal mixture on top of the melted chocolate and press down firmly
- Cover the dish and put it in the freezer to set for 30-60 minutes
- Once set, remove the entire cereal mixture and cut into six to eight bars
- Wrap the bars individually in wax paper and return to freezer until you’re ready to enjoy