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Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bars

Reviewed: Jan. 10, 2013
What a great homemade energy bar! So tasty for a snack! I buy energy bars like crazy because I'm very active and get low blood sugar easily, and these seem much healthier with no weird "fillers" or odd oils. Plus, hopefully more economical. I made the recipe basically the way it is, with substitutions for what I had on hand, plus added 1T ground flax to the dry ingredients and 3T apple juice to the wet ingredients to help it hold together (it's an egg equivalent and has lots of omega3). Here are my reasonable substitutions which don't deviate much from the original in taste or texture: I used honey for corn syrup, coconut sugar for brown sugar, instant steel cut oats for rolled oats, half organic earth balance buttery spread and half coconut oil for butter, and roughly chopped walnuts for sunflower seeds. (For variety in your bars, I think you could substitute just about any dried fruit and any nut/seed for sunflower seeds.) I gently heated the butter/oil in a sauce pan, then added honey, sugar, peanut butter, vanilla, and juice, stirring with each addition. I baked it in two round tart dishes so the corners wouldn't be too brown, as I noticed that problem in some of the pictures. It was on the sweet side for my taste, but that's probably my fault, as corn syrup is less sweet than honey. Maybe brown rice syrup might be a better sub. Corn syrup also doesn't burn as easily, but honey helps preserve food. I'll also probably use rolled oats next time instead of instant steel cut.
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