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Last February my family began a journey with food.  Our goal was to remove processed foods from our diet, along with any other foods not meeting some simple standards.  (You can read that post here.)  In the end we have cut out everything without an organic label, including items labeled “natural” and we purchase all of our produce from our local farmer’s market.  We feel great physically.  We feel great about our contribution to living healthier for the environment.

Recently an article was published by The Cornucopia Institute revealing how the makers of some of the most popular protein bars are using hexane in their processing of soy.  Hexane is a chemical made from crude oil.  It’s considered toxic and can lead to impaired fertility, central nervous system depression and prolonged exposure can lead to serious health damage.  The Occupational Safety and Healthy Administration’s report on hexane states in humans, “hexane is a narcotic agent, an irritant to the eyes, upper respiratory tract and skin; and a neurotoxin.”  Why do makers of protein bars use this chemical?  Hexane is a cheap method of separating the soybean oil from the protein.

Once again “cheap” prevails and chemicals seep into our food supply.  The most frustrating part of this is that these foods can be labeled “natural.”  When will our food companies stop this nonsense?  When will the government actually do it’s job of protecting people instead of protecting the almighty dollar?  I don’t have an answer, but I do have a solution…  I can make my food with wholesome ingredients in my kitchen.  Right now I think this might be one of the only solutions to the problem!  Make your voice heard, let your food purchases, or lack of,  be a vote in eliminating chemicals in food.

Here’s my version of a great little protein bar…  Peanut Butter Crunch Protein Bar

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Categories : Real Food!, Snacks
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Mar
03

Peanut Butter Crunch Protein Bar

Posted by: Kristina Evans | Comments (0)

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2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
½ cup Raw Sunflower Seeds
½ cup Sliced Almonds
¼ cup Oat Bran
1 cup Puffed Rice Cereal (optional)
¼ cup Unsweetened Coconut
2 Tbls Ground Flaxseed
2 Tbls Unsalted Butter
½ cup Creamy Peanut Butter
½ cup Honey
2 medium Eggs
1 cup Chocolate Chips

*Canola Oil, for pan

*Canola Oil, for pan

Line the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper and lightly oil.  Set aside.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and oat bran onto a half-sheet pan.  Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring once.

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Meanwhile, combine the butter, peanut butter and honey in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat.  Cook until the butter is melted and the ingredients are smooth.  Set aside to cool slightly.

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Once the oat mixture is done, remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F.  Place the oat mixture in a large bowl and add puffed rice cereal (if using) and flaxseed.  Stir to combine.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs.  Using the cooled peanut butter mixture temper the eggs by adding several spoonfuls of the peanut butter mix to the eggs, stirring constantly. Then whisk together the eggs with the remaining peanut butter.

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Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir to combine.  Gently fold in chocolate chips.

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Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 35 minutes.

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Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.  Cut into 18 squares and store in and airtight container or individual snack bags in the freezer.

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Categories : Real Food!, Snacks
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