A recent trip to the supermarket revealed how often “fake” strawberries are used in breakfast and snack bars. Cereals have even added “strawberries” to many favorite choices. These products are NOT made from dried strawberries. The ingredient label reads: “strawberry flavored fruit pieces (sugar, cranberries, citric acid, natural and other flavors…”. The fruit pieces are sugar flavored cranberry skins that previously was sold as pig food and offers no nutritional benefit except calories. This fruit fraud is not unique to strawberries. Blueberries in a national brand bar are described as “blueberry flavored fruit pieces (sugar, cranberries, blueberry juice from concentrate, grape juice for color…”. The same brand cereal lists blueberry flavored bits (sugar, corn syrup, corn cereal, modified wheat starch, modified corn starch…cellulose gum, red #40,blue #2, green #3, blue #1). No blueberries are listed as an ingredient!
Snack and breakfast bars are convenient and can be made with healthy ingredients like spelt, hemp and coconut flours. A quick visit to the health section of the supermarket or local health food store can yield the ingredients in this quick and easy bar recipe. For those wanting enough bars to last the week, double the recipe and store them in the refrigerator.
Strawberries are a popular fruit to include in bars and cereal because calorie for calorie they have 2 times more potassium than a 7-inch banana and twice the iron as raisins. When it comes to selecting strawberries, raw ones have twice the Vitamin C and folate as frozen ones. So when they are abundant during strawberry season, enjoy them raw or in this bar recipe.
Strawberry Breakfast Bars
3 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot
1/2 cup spelt or whole wheat flour
1/2 cup hemp hearts or powdered hemp
1/4 cup coconut flour