Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sweet Potato Oat Bars!

Cut bars
I was in the mood for a sweet filling treat on this cold afternoon! I've been on a major sweet potato kick so I decided to make one of my favorite Tosca Reno recipes from her Eat Clean Recharged book.  My girls love the chewy, delicous, and sweet flavors and I love the nutritional value, wholesomness, and how filling the bars are!  They are great as a breakfast on the go with egg whites and veggies or even as a snack before bed with a glass of milk.  Portion size is 2 x 2 so keep that in mind as you snack away! 
If you don't have fresh sweet potatoes on hand, a can and a half of organic pureed sweet potoato is a great substituion!  The other half a can I add to meats, sauces, and soups for additional nutritional value and nothing is wasted! 

I have made these bars with organic pumpkin puree with or instead of the sweet potato and I've also added 1/4 cup of unsweetened dark chocolate with or instead of the dried fruit before and that is delicious as well!  Calories are adjusted if you add/take away ingredients so be aware of that if you are counting calories.

1 TBSP Organic Olive Oil (for greasing the pan)
5 sweet potatoes
4 cups of oats (The 3 - 5 minute kind)
3/4 cup organic skim milk soured with
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 cup flaxseed
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
2 TBSP coconut butter
1/2 cup dried fruit (raisins, dates, cherries, blueberries), chopped
1/2 cup raw unsalted nuts (walnuts, almonds, and/or pecans) chopped
pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish by spraying it or line it with the olive oil
Prick sweet potatoes all over and bake until tender (about an hour).
When cold enough to handle, remove peels and place flesh in a large mixing bowl.
Set oven to 400 degrees now.
Add all remaining ingredients to sweet potato mix and mix well
Press into prepared baking pan.
Bake 30 - 35 minutes or until golden on top.
Remove from heat and let cool.
Cut into 2 x 2 squares.
Just before going into the oven

I have always said that portion size and food combinations are more important than counting calories when you are eating clean, but keeping track, especially when you get started is very helpful in keeping portions right and knowing where you are at for the day.  One 2 x 2 bar is all you need to get your complex carbs and healthy fats.  With a great protein like yogurt or milk you are all set and your sweet tooth is satisfied!
Nutrional Value per serving (one bar):
Calories: 189 Calories from fat: 43
Fat: 5.5 Saturated Fat: 1 Trans Fat: 0
Sodium: 20 mg
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Protein: 6 g
Carbs: 31 g
Fiber 4 g
Sugars: 8 g