Friday, January 13, 2012

Pumpkin Luna Bars

I loved the idea of making my own Luna bars and it seemed like a perfect addition to this month of healthy recipes. According to the package a Luna bar is whole nutrition for women including calcium, folic acid, vitamin D and iron with 9 gms of protein and 3 gms of fiber. I've never eaten one, but did try it for a comparison to mine. This recipe from the blog V.K. Photography makes a tasty candy bar/cookie bar, but is missing most of the nutritional items that draw people to this type of bar. My Luna bar's ingredients start with soy rice krispies and oats, this recipe contains just regular brown rice krispies so I'm sure we're losing some protein and fiber here. The recipe also contains nut butter, coconut oil, canned pumpkin, agave nectar, stevia and spices - this hardly seems like whole nutrition.

Stephanie of Steph Chows also tried making this recipe and had many of the same issues with it that I found. The author recommends putting the mixture into a square or rectangular pan, but exact dimensions would be helpful. I thought mine were a little flat. The recipe also has structural issues in that it won't hold together unless covered with 1/4 inch layer of chocolate and frozen. Stephanie felt that baking them might hold them together. I think the krispies (and some oats) should be whirled in the food processor to make the mixture more crumbly and therefore hold together better. The author wants you to break the krispies with the back of a spoon while you're mixing them, but mine were too soggy to break. The fact that these bars need to be frozen until used kind of discourages portability too. After 30 minutes in the freezer there was no cutting mine into nice bars, so I broke them. Everyone, including the guys, liked the taste of these, but they're hardly a substitute for one of these nutritionally balanced commercially prepared bars.

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