Gluten-free oats, nuts, and seeds make the base for these lightly – sweetened Kitchen Sink Bars healthy – currents, puffed rice & gogi berries make them fun.
School has started again and every year I find myself unprepared. I’m not sure why – everything just seems to sneak-up on me. This year I found myself without snacks for my children’s lunches. I also was behind in back to school shopping. Luckily, I have a drawer I keep stocked with new crayons, pencils, pens, notebooks and glue sticks. But when my daughter asked if she could borrow some tape to make herself a pocket folder for class, I knew I had neglected my parental duties and took the kids out shopping. Then, I made them some snack bars for their lunches.
A few weeks ago the nice folks at Sukrin USA sent me their product line to try. I developed this Kitchen Sink Bar recipe with Sukrin Fiber Syrup Clear in mind. The syrup is made of isomaltooligosaccharides , a prebiotic fiber, and is totally sugar free. Developed by Sukrin specifically for use in low carb snack bars and energy bites, it acts very much like honey in that it binds the ingredients together nicely.
My kids flipped for these bars and when they asked what was in them, I told them “everything but the kitchen sink”. I went on to explain what that phrase meant and was mostly done before I realized that they had both tuned me out completely. Sigh.
The first time I made these gluten-free kitchen sink bars, I used a small 9 x 13 inch sheet pan. The snack bars were the same thickness as a traditional granola bar, they held together well, and were crunchy. The second time around I used an 8×8 inch glass pyrex baking dish and that batch was not only thicker but also more chewy and did not hold together as well. By the end of the week, the Kitchen Sink snack bars that I made in the 9 x 13 sheet pan still looked great and the thicker bars made in the 8×8 pan needed to be used as “granola cereal” — which my kids were thrilled about. So, it was still a win-win.
Here are my thoughts on the sukrin fiber syrup clear. I like that it binds the ingredients together like honey but with-out the sugar and carb count, I like that it is completely sugar-free, I like that it is lightly sweetened at about 60% the sweetness of sugar, I like that it helps give low carb baked goods a soft and chewy texture, and I like that it actually browns. I give it two-thumbs-up for this snack bar application.
Because the fiber syrup is pretty pricey, I would rather save the Sukrin Fiber Syrup Clear for myself as I am low carb and my kids don’t need to be. Do I think it’s worth the money? Yes, I do, but until I discover what it can do, I plan to use it sparingly and only in recipes in which I would want a honey type effect. At this time, I only have good things to say about it and you can find me in the kitchen making my own low carb snack bars.
I look forward to experimenting more with this great sugar-free fiber syrup and sharing the recipes.
Kitchen Sink Bars are 8 net carbs each
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- 1/4 cup dried currants
- 1/4 cup gogi berries
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup grams flaked almonds
- 1 cup puffed rice cereal
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, roasted
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup Sukrin Syrup - clear, , or honey
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons Sukrin Melis or powdered erythritol
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and move the oven rack to the middle position. Line a 9 x 13 inch sheet pan with parchment paper.
Measure all of the dry ingredients, powdered sweetener, and spice into a medium bowl. Melt the coconut oil and add the Sukrin syrup or honey to it, stirring well. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well making sure that all of the dry ingredients are coated.
Pour the snack bar ingredients into the parchment lined 9 x 13" baking sheet. Lay a piece of waxed paper over the mixture and press firmly into the pan with a flat bottomed glass. Discard the waxed paper and bake the snack bar mixture for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
Pull the sides of the parchment paper up and lift the cooked snack bar mixture out of the pan to a cooling rack to cool completely. When cool, transfer to a cutting board and cut into 16 bars.
Keep in an air tight container in the fridge.