Recipe: No-bake butter and nut bars

A sweet and warm energy boost


A sweet and warm energy boost. PHOTO: HUBA AKBAR



Method

•  Place the digestive biscuits into the bowl of the food processor and blend until they crumble completely.

•  Add the melted butter, chocolate, sugar and peanut butter to the bowl and combine.

•  Line a square baking pan with parchment paper and spread the biscuit mixture onto it, creating a smooth surface on top.

•  Sprinkle the roasted nuts over the top.

•  Pour the condensed milk over the nut and spread until it is absorbed.

•  Refrigerate the pan for about two to three hours.

•  Once the mix has settled, allow it to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before cutting. Serve warm!

Energy bars —  Hyped or healthy?

If you’re wondering why one can’t eat a whole banana instead of energy bars, you are probably right. Packaged energy bars are all the rage nowadays, especially with youngsters who are much too busy studying or working to prepare a proper meal for themselves. And why wouldn’t they be? They are mobile and can easily be stored in your briefcase, purse and even pockets. Not to mention they are fortified with a variety of vitamins, minerals, carbs and proteins sans the high cholesterol and saturated fats in other foods. In a nutshell, consuming an energy bar is better than rushing to your nearest fast food restaurant or convenience store on any given day.

However, having said that, one must remember that energy bars are no substitute for fresh fruits and vegetables. Despite popular belief, they don’t make for a very well-balanced diet as they lack the phytochemicals, bioflavonoids and fibre, fruits and vegetables contain. Also, most of the energy bars available in the market contain hydrogenated palm oil which implies that their saturated fat content may be as high as 50% of the fat content!

So if you are fond of the taste, why not supplement your energy bars with a piece of fresh fruit? It is equally important to choose the right bars for yourself, especially if you are hoping to lose weight. Many brands pack a large amount of calories which will render your efforts futile. Also, remember that energy bars are snacks to keep you going through the day and should never be considered as entire meals.

Serving ideas for energy bars

Got guests coming over? Why not serve them a healthy treat instead of the oily samosas and egg rolls you normally give? We’ve got a great idea for how you can present your homemade energy bars. Not only will the bars taste amazing, they will also look great if you follow the instructions to the tee.



What you will need

•  Some parchment paper

•  Colourful ribbons or strings 

•  Scissors

•  Glue

What you will do

•  Simply cut the parchment paper into rectangular strips, depending on the size of the bars you have prepared. Make sure the each strips is no wider than 2 inches lest the entire energy bar is covered.

•  Once the strip is ready, wrap it around the centre of the bar and glue the sides to hold it in place. The surface of the strip should lie smooth against the top of the energy bars and no glue should fall onto the food. Repeat the process for each of the bars.

•  Take to the scissors once again and cut tiny pieces of the ribbons/strings and tie them around the strips, making sure the knot (bow) falls on the top and centre of the energy bar. Your little bundle of treats is now ready!

Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, October 4th, 2015.

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