A Good-for-you Snack To Bring Along

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - October 12, 2011
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Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters across the globe have not only caused devastation and heartbreak for humans, but for animals as well.

As a pet owner I am relieved to know that, in the event of a natural disaster, pet-friendly shelters now exist on Oahu. It is good to be prepared to bring your “best friend” with you, and you must have a carrier or crate for your pets to bring them into one of these emergency shelters. The carrier or crate must have enough room for your pet to stand, turn around and sit comfortably. Cat carriers have to contain a litter pan. A list of emergency shelters is on the Honolulu City and County’s Department of Emergency Management’s website: honolulu.gov/ocda/shelter.htm.

It’s also a good idea to bring along some healthy snacks. There are a lot of energy bars on the market, and they can be quite expensive to buy regularly. They are really easy to make, and you can vary the ingredients and experiment until you have your perfect snack bar. The recipe below can be different every time with some creative additions of nuts, fruits and chips. Get the keiki involved and have them create their own bars.


These are great for snacks and packing into school lunches. They also freeze well.

The average American household consumes about 6 pounds of peanut butter a year, totaling about 570 million pounds. Peanut butter contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fat as well as protein, fiber, vitamin E, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B1, riboflavin, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc, calcium and potassium.

PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA BARS

* 3 cups granola (look for granola without oil)
* 3 cups crispy rice cereal
* 1 cup dried cranberries
* 1 cup raisins
* 1/2 cup hulled sunflower seeds
* 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
* 3/4 cup cane sugar
* 1 1/4 cups honey
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1 (16 ounce) jar smooth peanut butter


Combine cereals, cranberries, raisins, sunflower seeds and chocolate chips in a large bowl. Combine sugar and honey in a medium-size pan on medium heat 3-5 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Add vanilla and peanut butter; stir until peanut butter melts.

NOTE: It is very important that the peanut butter melts into a liquid consistency or bars will not form properly.

Pour liquid ingredients over cereal mixture and mix well. Press mixture into a greased baking pan (about 15-by-10-by-1).

Cool completely and cut.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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