It all started with a Luna Bar.

Hello! So school is over.. like actually over, not just “starting a new degree in the Fall” over. And I have been busy studying to take my upcoming board exam – after which I will (hopefully) finally be an RD! I have been working as a waitress in the meantime at a local Lebanese restaurant, which has become the only time I am able to force myself to stop overthinking the Nutrition Care Process. And my daily handwritten, highlighted to-do lists include a collective 30 minutes a day to “eat”. So lets see, a 23 year old purse strings conscious, time-crunched dietitian to be. What do I turn to? Granola Bars.

My roommate Kelsey has recently turned me on to Luna Bars! I. am. addicted. They are “Nutrition for Women” bars, and include iron, calcium, folic acid, and Vitamin D – which are all nutrients that women typically need more of than men. They are one of the few granola bars I have found that truly satisfy your hunger (and sweet tooth) without contributing a large amount of calories to your diet. Some protein bars can add an extra 300 calories a day! As I always say, check your labels 🙂

Unfortunately I came to find out that Luna Bars are also expensive (Womp, Womp). So I started to hunt for a cheaper alternative. I came across a box of “Clif Kid Z Bars” while I was rummaging through Big Lots one day and figured I would give them a try. Success! Besides the fact that they were cheap (.70 cents a bar!), they are also certified organic – which means more than 95% of the ingredients in the food have to be organic. And if you love clif bars, you will love these. The Z bars have more limited flavors than the Clif bars, but are around 100 calories less – all of the Z bars I have had are 130 calories.

Also – here is an easy method to baking your own delicious granola bars!

– Grains, 2.5 C (ex. oats, barley, rye)
– Nuts/seeds/spices, 1 C (sliced almonds, flax seed, and cinnamon are my favorite)
– Sweetener, 1/3 + 1/4 C (you can substitute agave as a healthier alternative to refined sugar)
– Dried fruit, 1 C (I LOVE CHOPPED DRIED FIGS)
– Binder, 1C (apple sauce, peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower butter, pecan butter, brazil nut butter (I’m not even joking))

– Set oven at 325 degrees
– Whisk together dry ingredients
– Combine your “wet ingredients” (honey, apple sauce, any extracts)
– Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in increments, stirring in between.
– Pack into an 8×8 pan and bake for 25 minutes and enjoy!