Fit Recipe: Crispy Peanut Butter Swirl Bars!

From the Kitchen of Robyn Maher

I know they look sinful, but these Peanut Butter Swirl Bars are actually very healthful. Unlike traditional recipes for crispy rice bars, mine gets its fats from beneficial sources, such as natural peanut butter and coconut oil. Peanut butter is made up of mostly monounsaturated fat, and coconut oil is a medium-chain triglyceride, or MCT, a type of fat that has gained attention in recent years for its positive effects on health. In addition, the sugars in this recipe are very minimal—just two tablespoons of honey—while the rest of the sweetness comes from zero-calorie baking stevia. To top it all off, adding Quest’s Peanut Butter flavored protein makes these bars a great treat or snack anytime—letting you enjoy your sweets without ruining your fitness goals. That’s what I call a win-win!

Peanut Butter Swirl Bars

2 cups smooth natural peanut butter

3/4 cup coconut oil, softened

2 tablespoons honey

1 1/2 cups gluten-free crisped-rice cereal

1 1/2 cups Peanut Butter Bumpers cereal

1 cup baking stevia (or alternative sweetener of choice)

1 cup Quest Peanut Butter Protein powder

1 cup Quest Multi-Purpose Protein Baking mix

1/2 cup oat flour (or alternative flour of choice)

For topping

1 tablespoon coconut oil

4 ounces dark chocolate

Robyn - PBCrunchBars

In a large mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, softened coconut oil, and honey. Stir until blended well. Place the rice cereal in a ziplock bag, and crush it until it’s almost, but not quite, all crumbs. Add the rice cereal along with the Peanut Butter Bumpers to the mixture. In a separate bowl, combine the stevia, protein powder, baking mix, and oat flour. Mix well, and add to the peanut butter mixture, once again, mixing it all together. Set the bowl aside. Line a 10-x-15-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Pour the mixture into the pan, and press evenly until flat. Microwave the dark chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe-glass measuring cup for 30 seconds, and stir until smooth. Repeat if necessary. Drizzle the chocolate topping over the bars in a swirled design. Chill in freezer until set and ready to serve. Slice evenly into bars, and keep in fridge or freezer until they’re ready to eat.

Tip: Wrap the bars individually to store in fridge or freezer for a convenient, portable snack.

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