Monday, April 7, 2014

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Pregnancy creates a special kind of eating dilemma. Yes, you're supposed to gain weight but no, probably not as much as you're actually gaining. And yes, you're supposed to gain it from wholesome proteins and vegetables but no, it's not easy to quench your hunger with vegetables. And yes, cooked vegetables make you nauseated, and no, you never feel like cooking or baking anyways.

All you really want to eat is a bag of Cadbury mini eggs or 7 bowls of cereal.

At least, that's my experience. Therefore imagine my delight when I found this unassuming recipe on Pinterest. The peanut butter fulfilled my doctor's order for more protein, while oats and honey fulfilled my craving for carbs and sugar (but in a fairly wholesome, non-processed way.) Plus, it is maybe the shortest and easiest recipe in the history of ever, and it requires no baking. It's a pregnant woman's dream:

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup honey (or up to 1 cup, if you'd like it a touch sweeter)
3 cups old fashioned oats

Melt peanut butter and honey in a medium bowl in the microwave (approximately 1 minute) and stir in oats until well combined. Press into a 9"x9" pan. Cover and leave in the fridge until set (a couple of hours.) Cut into bars and enjoy.

That's it. Easy-peasy. And one of these bars will fill me up for a while. I was feeling all warm and fuzzy about this solution to my insatiable hunger until I shared it with my mother. See, she and daddy are on this hard-core healthy eating kick, so instead of congratulating me on my happy internet find, she said, "Oh, don't those sound kind of bad for you?"

What??? Man, mom is always one-upping me with the high standards of her internal healthometer (which seems to cut out all foods but cheese, fruit, and cobb salad, by the way.) Still, I thought she'd find this recipe relatively benign. I mean lets break it down: oats. Oats are good for you. They are full of protein and fibery goodness. Peanut butter. Ok, all things in moderation, but George Washington Carver gave this great nation a precious gift with the invention of peanut butter. It is un-American to condemn it. Honey. Yes, honey is sugar (mmm...) but it's also kind of a nice, natural sugar, right? Look, Elder Ballard calls honey "one of nature's most beneficial foods" in this talk; he clearly backs me up...

I don't know why I felt the need to stick up for my bars. I mean, obviously they were already a step up from the girl scout thin mints or the frozen cookie dough which were also competing for my attention. However, I decided to do a lil math figure to approximate the nutrition facts. Here, good people, are the results:

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 bar
Servings per recipe: 12


% Daily value
(based on a 2000 calorie diet)
Saturated Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Vitamin E

As far as snacks go, it's a pretty natural, non-processed, low-sodium one that also has a significant amount of fiber, protein, iron, vitamin E, and niacin. Plus, a quick Google search suggests that it has significantly fewer calories than an average peanut butter and honey sandwich, and mom sent me off to school many-a-time with one of those tucked into my brown paper lunch bag. I rest my case.

I'm sure my cravings will continue to change as I recover from pregnantdom (at least I hope so!) Yet I'm happy to have this recipe logged away as a quick, easy, fairly-guiltless snack.


  1. I bet almond butter would up the nutritional value and decrease the fat content. Almonds are very good for you and almond butter is delicious. I understand peanuts are not very good for you.

  2. I've never tried almond butter, but I do love almonds! I'll have to give it a go.