Last week I was scrolling through the recipes on my blog looking for this particular recipe and realized that over the past 3 years of making these I never posted the recipe!
These squares are one of my favorites for breakfast or snack or paired with lunch or dinner. I love them when I need a quick bite after a morning workout and, when time allows, I also love to sit and savor them with a cup of hot coffee, or currently, a glass of cold iced coffee.
They are also no-bake, which means no ovens, stoves or other heat-producing appliance needed! This is double perfect for my current situation, a resident of Dallas, Texas, where temps continue to hang out over 100 degrees (hence my suggestion of ice coffee).
So, this weekend in attempts of staying out of the Texas heat as much as possible, I spent (a very short amount of) time throwing together a batch or two of these scrumptious squares. They are so simple and their flavors are a mix of savory, sweet and a touch of tart (I buy organic SunButter or the Sunflower Seed spread from Trader Joe's that I just recently discovered. Both have no sugar added). I can't wait to enjoy these this week and I hope you love them too!
FOR THE YOUNG ATHLETE
These squares can also make a great addition to the young athlete's sports nutrition plan. They are simple to make and easy to eat. They pack a good amount of nutrition into one little square, which means that they can help fuel the busy athlete having trouble getting enough nutrition due to his/her jam-packed schedule and increased nutrition needs. From my visits with high school sports teams and one-on-one sessions with teen athletes I also know that it is quite common for the young athlete to skip breakfast entirely, choosing more sleep over morning nutrition, which can set them up for sluggish practices and games later in the day. The great news here is that these bars are BEST when right out of the freezer, which makes them perfect to grab and eat while running out the door, on the bus, in the car, etc.
These squares provide energy, protein, healthy fats, zinc, magnesium, fiber, and iron in just a few small squares. And, it's easy to change up the mix-ins to match taste preferences. I use Sun Butter and cherries and make them nut-free; however, you can use any nut or seed butter you prefer and change the mix-ins up each time you make them.
So, here you go - the recipe for my No Bake Cherry Sun Butter Bars.
NO BAKE CHERRY SUN BUTTER SQUARES
Makes 9 squares
1 cups rolled oats (quick cooking)
1/2 cup Sun Butter
2 Tbsp dry milk powder
1/2 cup dried tart cherries, chopped
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp honey
1. Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
2. Mix ingredients together with a rubber spatula until well-incorporated (can also use a fork).
3. Line a 9x9 inch baking dish with parchment paper.
4. Spread oat - Sun Butter mix out evenly along bottom of dish, making sure to get to all sides and corners.
5. Cover dish and place in the freezer. Allow to rest in the freezer for at least 3 hours. I leave mine in the freezer overnight.
6. When ready, bring dish out of the freezer and lift up the bars with the parchment paper, placing parchment paper and bars on a flat surface.
7. Run a sharp knife through hot water and then blot carefully to remove excess water. Making the knife really hot will make it easier to slice through the cold bars.
8. Slice evenly into 8 individual bars.
9. Serve bars immediately or wrap, individually in plastic wrap and store in the freezer so that squares are ready to go as you need them!
NOTE: I'm also experimenting with doubling this recipe but placing in the same 9x13 baking dish to make bigger bars. I think they will be just as good. Will keep you posted!
Sun Butter: protein, fat, iron
Dried Cherries: iron, fiber
Dry Milk Powder: protein, calcium
Rolled Oats: protein, fiber, zinc, magnesium, iron