Popcorn Granola Snack Bars

Take Along Snacks That Pack a Wallop

Between today’s tightly wound work and personal schedules, our lives are more hectic than ever. With busy families on the go, sitting down to get your “three squares” a day seems downright impossible. But bodies still need vitamins and minerals everyday for good health. So how do we get enough of the foods we need to keep our bodies strong? Snacking!

Mothers of yesteryear used to warn that snacking would ruin the appetite. Today’s mother knows that snacks quite often replace an entire meal. Snacking has become a way of life for many Americans and by making healthful choices, snacks can provide the body with needed nutrients and the fuel necessary to keep us moving. Smart snacking actually plays a critical role in meeting daily nutritional needs.

Of course, choosing the wrong snacks—those filled with fat and sugar and refined grains—can only lead to weight gain and health problems. But eating good-for-you foods throughout the day can keep metabolism burning bright and actually aid a weight loss plan.

When you’re crunched for time, take along snacks that pack a wallop, nutritionally speaking. By keeping nutritionally dense snacks on hand, you’ll make healthy eating a snap. Healthy snacks don’t have to be boring. Popcorn is a whole grain snack that goes anywhere you do. Because of popcorn’s versatility, you can add other ingredients for even greater nutritive value. And popcorn is an economical, great tasting snack the whole family will enjoy.

The following recipe for Popcorn Granola Snack Bars combines popcorn, peanut butter and granola cereal (raisins included) giving you a carbohydrate rich snack that’s filled with fiber, protein, potassium, iron and a host of other vitamins and minerals. And they’re delicious too!

Popcorn Granola Snack Bars - 16 servings

1/2 cup honey

2/3 cup peanut butter

1 cup granola cereal

1 cup roasted and salted peanuts

3 cups popped popcorn

* Line an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with foil. Spray foil lightly with cooking spray; set aside.

* Heat honey in a large saucepan until boiling. Stir in peanut butter until well blended. Remove pan from heat and stir in granola, peanuts and popcorn until coated. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Refrigerate until cool; cut into bars to serve.

Nutritional Information (based on 1 serving)

Total Calories: 190; Total Fat 12g; Saturated Fat 2g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 110mg; Carbohydrate 8g; Fiber 2g; Sugars 11g; Protein 6g

The Author:

For great popcorn recipes, visit www.popcorn.org.

Did You Know? Three cups of popped popcorn is equal to one serving of whole grains.

Photo Credit: The Popcorn Board - www.popcorn.org

Article Posted: October 16, 2006

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