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No Need to Stop for Breakfast Bars- The Recipe ReDux

I’m so excited to be a new member of the Recipe ReDux network –a monthly recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians.  I always get such great ides and recipes from this group of bloggers, so no pressure here, but I hope my recipes will be as good!  This month’s theme is:  Have Snacks. Will Travel.  So appropriate for summer vacation, and a perfect topic for me, because I plan every detail of our trips, including the travel snacks. 

Two things you should know about travelling and me:

  1. I LOVE to plan vacations, almost as much as I love to talk about food.  I read travel magazines and books like it’s my job (I have at least 25 different Frommer’s guides on my shelf).  I study maps, travel websites and all associated forums.  I read train schedules, weather maps, and I have files on the best restaurants in most countries and major cities in the world…because you never know when I might need to hop on a plane to somewhere.  Which brings me to number 2.
  2. We take far more flying vacations than driving vacations, and I am TERRIFIED to fly.  I know I’m not alone on this one, but I literally have to medicate myself to get on a plane, and then I won’t eat or drink anything because I refuse to unbuckle to get up and use the restroom (I know -tmi).  I am a little bit better since getting hypnotized a few years back.  Seriously.  Better, but not great.  After we land, I am usually fairly unconscious for the rest of the first day, and then I start worrying about the flight home by the halfway point.

So for me, sometimes the best part of my trip is the planning part.  I can read and plan and dream without ever having to get on the plane.  Part of the planning always includes food, and when we travel we I prefer to not have to waste time (and money) going out to breakfast.  That way, we I have no guilt about splurging a little bit more on a really memorable dinner.  OK, sometimes my husband, and if we’re traveling as a family, my son, will sneak off to a buffet breakfast, but my daughter and I prefer something small and fairly healthy, and as long as there’s lots of coffee, we’re good.  Who wants to sit by the pool or tour around a city with a big, heavy stomach?

Enter, my chewy, chocolate, oat, quinoa, nut, fruit bars – AKA No Need To Stop For Breakfast Bars.  Easy to make ahead, keep in the freezer, and stuff into the suitcase and/or carry on.  Each bar is like a mini meal – full of whole grains from the oats and quinoa, protein from the nuts and peanut butter, fruit and of course a good dose of antioxidants from the dark chocolate!  I like to make these with PB2 Powdered peanut butter, which has less calories than regular peanut butter, but either works – and if you don’t like peanut butter, feel free to leave it out all together.

No Need To Stop For Breakfast Bars|Craving Something Healthy

We love them for a snack after a day of sight seeing, or (this is the best part) crumbled into a bowl or cup, and topped with milk for breakfast.  Easy, healthy, portable, and much healthier than the buffet breakfast.


No Need To Stop For Breakfast Bars | Craving Something Healthy


No Need to Stop for Breakfast Bars

Yield: 16 bars

Adapted from America's Test Kitchen


  • 2 Tbs canola oil
  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups Old Fashioned oats
  • 1 cup roasted, salted cashews, chopped
  • 1/3 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup dried fruit, chopped (cranberries, raisins, apricots, etc)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups Multigrain Cheerios
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter OR PB2 Peanut Butter Powder


Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil, so that it hangs over the sides. Spray with cooking spray and set the pan aside.

Heat canola oil in a large saute pan. Add quinoa and oats, toss to coat with oil, and toast lightly. Remove from heat and let cool.

Put oat mixture into a large mixing bowl, and add cashews, sunflower seeds, fruit, chocolate chips, and Cheerios. Stir well to combine.

Pour sugar and water into a medium saucepan, stir lightly to combine, and bring to a boil. Cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, until sugar turns a light golden color - about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue to boil, until sugar is a dark amber color (another 1-3 minutes). Stir only as needed.

Immediately remove from heat, and whisk half and half, vanilla, and peanut butter or PB2 powder into the sugar. Mixture will bubble vigorously, so be careful! Work quickly because caramel will start to thicken.

Pour caramel over the oat mixture and stir well to combine. Immediately transfer the granola mixture into the prepared pan and press and pack well into a flat layer. Be sure to press tightly or the bars will break apart.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Remove from pan by lifting foil, and cut into 16 bars. Wrap bars in wax or parchment paper as shown.

Refrigerate bars in an airtight container, or freeze.


Nutrition analysis is for 1 bar made with reduced fat PB2 Powder.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Servings Per Container 16

Amount Per Serving
Calories 243 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 2mg 1%
Sodium 56mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 20g
Protein 5g 10%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Hope you enjoy these as much as we do, and don’t forget to check out the other fabulous travel snacks from my fellow Recipe ReDuxers!  Do you have a favorite tried and true travel snack?

Eat well!



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10 Responses to “No Need to Stop for Breakfast Bars- The Recipe ReDux”

  1. First off, welcome aboard to ReDux! You certainly fit right in with this yummy look recipe (I like how you mentioned you can also crumble up the bar and eat like cereal with milk.) And I must say, good for you for not letting your fear of flying keep you from traveling – you go, girl 🙂

  2. Serena says:

    Love the addition of quinoa to bump up the protein. We’re going tent camping next week with no refrigerator, etc! I’ll be making these for our grab-and-go breakfasts!

    • Anne Danahy says:

      Have a great time! If you make these, maybe leave out the chocolate if they’ll get warm -unless you don’t mind a bit messy 🙂

  3. Serena says:

    You say in the recipe, “Immediately transfer the granola mixture into the prepared pan”
    But you don’t mention how to prepare the pan…is it greased, lined with parchment paper? How big is the pan?

    • Anne Danahy says:

      OOPS! Thanks so much for noticing that 🙂 I had a problem with my cut and paste on that recipe and that part got cut. It’s a 9X13 lined with foil to hang over the sides, and sprayed with cooking spray. I’ll fix it in the recipe!

  4. I love planning (and daydreaming about) trips too. 🙂 It almost feels anticlimactic to get there! These bars look delicious!

  5. Christy says:

    Thanks for the great recipe. I’ve made it three times now and have varied it just a bit by swamping out some of the bits for pumpkin seeds, adding chia and flax seeds, using a 5-grain cereal blend instead of just oats (rye flakes, oats, etc), and making a honey based caramel sauce. My 4-year old daughter loves it and considers it a treat and I like knowing she’s eating something good for her 🙂

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