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Fruity bars easy to bake and make good snacking

Associated Press

If you’re looking for a wholesome, homemade snack that has more nutritious value than many “junk” food items, you may wish to try this recipe with its blend of grain ingredients.

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage consumers to eat whole grains, and also suggest eating foods rich in fiber to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

These crunchy, fruity bars could fill a corner in a lunch bag, make an after-school snack for youngsters, or offer a satisfying bite for any of the family. They could provide fuel for soccer games, bike rides and the other physical activities children need to stay healthy, and are a simple way to add whole grains and fiber to their diets.

Energy Fruit Bars

Recipe developed for the Associated Press by the Wheat Foods Council

1 cup bran flakes cereal

1/4 cup wheat bran

1/4 cup wheat germ

1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel

1/4 cup orange juice

1 cup mixed dried fruit, chopped

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup applesauce

1/2 cup honey

1/3 cup dry milk powder

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13-by-9-by-2-inch pan.

In a medium bowl, combine cereal, bran, wheat germ, orange peel, orange juice, dried fruit, egg, oil, applesauce, honey and dry milk powder; blend well. Let set 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, stir together whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour and soda. Stir in the first mixture and blend until all ingredients are combined. Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until golden. Cool.

Yield: 20 bars.

Approximate nutrition per serving: 117 calories, 3 grams fat (1 grams saturated, 23 percent fat calories) 2 grams protein, 21 grams carbohydrate, 11 milligrams cholesterol, 2 grams dietary fiber, 32 milligrams sodium.

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