Dr. Oz Energy Bars with Dried Tart Cherries

You know I love to try the items offered up on Dr. Oz, right? Recently he did a show focusing on ideas to help our afternoon – or all day – energy slumps. Several women (who looked wide awake to me) told him about their energy crisis. As usual, Dr. Oz suggested supplements no one has ever heard of. (Oat straw? seriously?) But the final idea made his last not-so-sleepy guest sit up and take notice. A treat! Something made from food we know about, not another capsule or esoteric tea.

energy bars


Naturally, I went to his website for further instructions, but all I found was the ingredient list. Nothing about the number of servings, or the pan size to put the bars into. But I forged ahead.

There was one tricky ingredient – dried tart cherries. Not something hanging around my pantry waiting to come to the party. So I trudged to my grocery store which also has a large “health food section” of items sold in bulk.

dried tart cherries


Among the regular dried fruits, I found cherries, so I tossed a small bag into my cart. ($3.59 for 5 oz – not cheap.) Next I checked the health food section and found tart dried cherries in bulk….for $15.99 per pound. That’s $1.00 per ounce…more expensive than regular dried cherries. I bought just enough to try the recipe which was still more than $2.00 for 1/3 cup of this magic fruit.

press into a bread pan

treats

When I got home, I opened both the regular dried cherries and the dried tart cherries and the tart babies had more flavor, for sure. Then I made the recipe (below) and put them in the fridge for several hours. I don’t know if they help with an afternoon slump, because while waiting for these goodies to firm up, I took a little nap. Sorry. Not very scientific.

If you follow my blog, you will notice that the ingredients for these are very similar to about half a dozen other recipes for energy balls…except for the dried tart cherries. Personally, I think dark chocolate chips are a better fit, but see what you think.

Ingredients for Dr. Oz Energy Bars with Dried Tart Cherries
3 TBS honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup dried tart cherries
1 cup quick oats
1 tsp vanilla

Directions
Stir in a bowl until blended. (No mixer needed.)
Grease a bread pan (approximately 4″ x 8″ pan) or line with wax paper.
Spread the batter into the pan and press down until even.
Refrigerate for two hours.
Cut into about 8 bars.

As always, the oats give fiber and keep you full for longer. The peanut butter provides great protein, so it’s a great choice. And it’s easy enough for kids over ten to make themselves.
Consider this for breakfast, an after school snack or as a dessert for dinner. I liked the tart cherries, but I suspect the recipe would also work with dried cranberries, blueberries or, my favorite, dark chocolate chips.
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