The Good News These gingery, nutrient-packed bars use only natural sweeteners like brown rice syrup and natural cane sugar. "Brown rice syrup has a nice, round flavor that doesn't give you the jolt of sweetness that processed sugars do," Swanson says. The recipe itself is very versatile: "Once you get the hang of the technique, you can swap in all kinds of other nuts, spices and dried fruit."
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1 1/4 cups walnut halves (5 ounces)
1 1/2 cups puffed brown rice cereal
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup oat bran
3 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 cup brown rice syrup (see Note)
1/4 cup natural cane sugar (see Note)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly spray an 8-by-11-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant and golden, about 9 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop. Transfer the walnuts to a large bowl. Add the puffed rice, rolled oats, cranberries, oat bran and ginger and toss well.
In a small saucepan, combine the brown rice syrup, cane sugar and salt and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the syrup into the rice-oat mixture and toss to coat thoroughly. Transfer the warm mixture to the prepared baking dish and pack lightly with a spatula greased with cooking spray. Let cool for at least 45 minutes before cutting into 16 bars.
Natural sweeteners, such as brown rice syrup and natural cane sugar, are available at specialty- and health-food shops. One Serving 192 cal, 6 gm fat, 0.6 gm sat fat, 32 gm carb, 3 gm fiber.
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