“A new ingredient for the new year” is the theme of this month’s Recipe Redux. It is always fun to play with new ingredients in the kitchen and certainly one of the fun things about each month’s redux challenge to break out of a rut and try something new! What a great way to start off 2016.
So this month, there are actually 2 new ingredients we’ve been wanting to try for a while: hemp hearts and peanut powder. So we decided to experiment with both in a new breakfast bar to help shake up our breakfast routine as well. Our Power Blueberry Breakfast Bars are made with usual ingredients you find in your home, plus hemp hearts and peanut powder for a boost of protein and healthy fats.
We had received some free samples of hemp hearts from Manitoba Harvest a while back. Hemp hearts, which are de-hulled hemp seeds, are a great source of plant-based omega-3 fats, protein and fiber. It is a great alternative to ground flaxseed or chia seeds. They are very versatile and can be snacked on straight out of the bag, sprinkled on oatmeal or anything you want and even included in baked goods. While we’ve snacked on them before and tried the oatmeal thing, we had never used them in baking in place of our beloved ground flaxseed until now.
Peanut powder is another ingredient we’ve seen and been curious about. While it’s been out in the market for a few years, it is now more widely available in most supermarkets. It is a convenient alternative to peanut butter and more versatile application as you get the same benefits of the protein in the peanut butter, but with a great deal less fat (85% less in fact).
So we set out to create a new breakfast bar that we knew would appeal to our sometimes picky children (yes, we have that issue too!) that would make a great grab and go choice. We wanted it to be a well-rounded option providing protein, a moderate amount of healthy fats, fiber, some fruit and of course whole grain but without a lot of added sugar. Well, we did just that and it so happens to be a great after school snack too.
You could use any berry in place of the blueberries in this recipe, or even a combination of several berries. Mashed banana adds extra sweetness so that we can use less added sugar. We love how it turned out which isn’t too sweet, more relying on the natural sweetness of the blueberries with a slight undertone of peanutty goodness. If you want a sweeter bar, you can certainly add more sugar to the bar part or the topping but we hope you’ll try it our way first and see if it passes the taste test of your family. Pair it with a glass of milk and a piece of fruit for a complete breakfast.