Hello there! You’ve just landed yourself square in Lunch Lady Land! Welcome!
In case you are new to YinMom YangMom, we are doing a multi-part series on healthy treats for kids that are perfect for a packed lunch. Sneak in some extra nutrition with this recipe that’s not nearly as naughty as it tastes!
When I came across Baker Lady’s Reese’s Bars on Pinterest, I just knew I had to give it a twirl. My five-year-old has just recently discovered the joy of peanut butter cups and he is so excited about them! We made them and he LOVED! They were gone within a few days and he didn’t waste any time asking for more. Sneaky devil that I am, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to bait and switch his new favorite for another version that bumps up the whole grain, protein, and omega-3’s, makes it school cafeteria friendly by using a nut-free substition, and has just enough chocolatey sweetness to satisfy his sweet tooth.
I nixed the two sticks of butter to lower the fat. I replaced the powdered sugar with agave nectar, which is just as sweet but has a lower glycemic index, so it’s less likely to cause blood sugar spikes, ie: hyperactivity/crash and burn. I’ve also subbed in whole wheat bread crumbs for half the graham cracker crumbs, which lowers the sugar and increases the protein and whole grain content. Finally, a bit of vanilla protein powder and ground flax seeds bump up the nutritional value even more, to make this treat something you can really be happy to give your little ones.
This is sunflower seed butter:
You can find it at the regular supermarket, right next to the peanut butter. You could also try using soy nut butter, but some feel that soy is a bit questionable health-wise, and sunflower seed butter is soooo yummy! It’s so much like peanut butter you almost can’t tell the difference! And it is nut-free so it’s perfect for school and especially for kids with tree-nut allergies.
Sneakily Nutritious Nut-Free Reese’s Cups
makes about 18 min-cups
(adapted from BakerLady.wordpress.com)
3/4 cup sunflower seed butter
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tablespoons protein powder
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
Throw all of the ingredients, except for the chocolate, into a bowl…
…stir until it’s all combined.
Drop by the tablespoonful into a mini-muffin tin with paper liners.
Squoosh it all down flat.
Melt the chocolate. In my microwave, it takes a minute and a half on 70% power. They come out looking like this:
which is deceiving because they look like they aren’t melted. But when you stir them around a little…
…surprise! They’re perfect. Dollop about a half-teaspoon of chocolate onto each cup and smooth it over with a little spatula or a butter knife.
Chill in the fridge for half an hour or until the chocolate is set.
We like ours in mini-muffin cups. This makes it really easy to pop a perfect portion into your little one’s lunch box, but if you don’t have a mini muffin tin, you can use a glass baking dish and just cut it into squares.
The little fella had no idea that these were anything but the real deal. MWOO-Hoo-Hoo-Ha!
If you liked this post, be sure to check out my recipes for Homemade Gummy Fruit Snacks and Juicy Jiggles! And, stay tuned for lots more kid-friendly brown-bag ideas from Lunch Lady Land!