Oatmeal is good for you, whole-grain goodness in a bowl. But hot cereal isn't all that appealing until the temperatures go down. In the meantime, you can get the same benefit from energy bars that list oats as their primary ingredient, but at a dollar or more per bar, the costs can add up. And even if oats is listed first, are you really getting a full serving of the grain, or are the other ingredients cutting into that?
You can make your own at home, using the microwave. To form them, use a sheet of aluminum foil sprayed or brushed with olive oil, or if you have a silicon cookie sheet liner, use that to be even more green.
Lori K's energy bar
1/3 cup of oats (5-minute rolled oats work best)
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts, pecans or walnuts, or raisins or chopped dried fruits, or a combination of these
2 tablespoons honey
Salt to taste (optional)
1 tablespoon of powdered sugar
Put the oats, nuts and/or fruit in a microwave-safe bowl. Drizzle with honey. Put in the microwave and cook for 1 minute. Take out and stir with a metal spoon (plastic will melt). Put back in the microwave for 20 seconds. (If you see smoke, remove immediately.) Turn out on a sheet of aluminum foil coated with olive oil, or a silicone cookie sheet liner; do not touch the mixture as it will burn your fingers. Let cool for a minute or two, then fold the sheet over the mixture, and compress it into a roll. Pretend like the mixture is tobacco and the sheet is rolling papers; you want the mixture to be nice and tight. Unroll, push in the ends, then fold the sheet over again and compress as tightly as possible. Cool, then unwrap. Sprinkle on the powdered sugar and roll to coat.
Makes one bar.
This bar is low fat and high in whole grains. If you want more of a protein bar, try this one.