Need New Healthy Snacks? Try These Unexpected Ways to Enjoy Your Favorite Bars
New Ways to Eat Your Favorite Healthy Snacks
When it comes to healthy snacks on the go, bars are the ultimate convenience. But eating the same bar, in the same way, can get a little boring. Next time you have a few minutes to experiment, try one of these smart tricks for taking your favorite bar to a whole new level.
Regular snack? Delicious. Warm gooey version of your favorite bar? Um yeah, that's even better. This is probably the simplest bar hack out there, and yet it's a total game-changer.
Depending on your bar of choice, all you'll need to do is stick it in the microwave for between 10 and 30 seconds, and voila! You're done. Denser bars will need longer, while bars that are already semi-soft just need a quick zap. This technique works especially well with chocolate-flavored bars (like Luna's Chocolate Peppermint Stick bar) for a brownie-like effect, but you can try it with any bar for a dose of melt-in-your-mouth tastiness.
Turn It Into a Topping
Whether you add it to a protein-packed Greek yogurt, oatmeal, or a smoothie bowl, snack bars are an awesome substitute for granola and other toppings. Try adding fresh fruit to the mix for an extra hit of healthfulness. For dessert, crumble your bar over ice cream and top with your nut butter of choice. (BTW, these are the best healthy ice cream brands you can buy.)
Make It Into Bark
Got a candy craving? Try this super simple technique to turn your bar into candy-like bark. First, chop up your bar, then melt half a cup of coconut butter on the stove or in the microwave. Pour the melted butter onto a piece of parchment paper, then sprinkle the chopped-up bar on top and gently combine the mixture. Add fruit, nuts, or any other desired toppings, then freeze until firm. Lastly break into bite-sized pieces!
Whip Them Into Cookie Bars
If you're willing to get a little creative, you can take your favorite bar and create cookie bars. You'll need four bars in any flavor (Luna's got over 15 of 'em!). Break up the bars in a food processor, and following this recipe, add the necessary ingredients and assemble. Pop your creation in the freezer, and you're done!
Craft a Coffee Dipper
Not in the mood for a cooking project? Next time you have your afternoon cappuccino or latte, simply dunk your bar in the foam for a mind-blowingly easy way to change things up. The coffee flavor will enhance whatever your bar already has going on, and the temperature will create an effect similar to microwaving. (And if you're wondering how much coffee is too much, we've got answers.)
If you've never had one of these, you're missing out. Grab a ripe banana and slice it down the middle without cutting it completely in half. Load it up with whatever toppings you want—peanut butter, chocolate chips, cereal, you name it—and then add a chopped-up snack bar. Put it in the oven at 300 degrees Farenheit for a few minutes, and you've got yourself an indulgent (but healthy) dessert.
Top Your Pancakes
Brunch like a pro! Who needs chocolate chips when you could have snack-bar chunks on your stack? Simply use your favorite pancake recipe (try these protein pancake recipes if you're not sure where to start), and add your crumbled snack bar to the mix. Top with syrup, jam, chocolate sauce, or whatever your heart desires.
Try it on toast.
Have a big day ahead of you? Make your go-to toast extra filling by adding a crumbled bar! Slice it and add it to your favorite sweet toast combo, whether that involves nut butters, fruit, jelly, or hazelnut spread. (Scope these non-avocado twists on toast for a little inspo.)
This article originally appeared on Shape.