Oatmeal Coconut Energy Bars

Great way to get kids and adults to eat some extra nutrition. Easy to make and full of healthy ingredients. These bars a more like a dessert than they are an energy bar, moist and chewy. They also, pack well for lunches and hiking snacks.

1-cup quick cooking oats
1-1/2-cups unsweetened apple juice
1-1/2-cups all-purpose white flour
1/2-cup toasted wheat germ
3/4-cup shredded sweetened coconut, divided
2-teaspoons baking powder
1/2-teaspoon baking soda
1-teaspoon salt
1-cup packed light brown sugar
1/2-cup unsweetened applesauce
2-cups grated carrots (grated zucchini works well too)
2-eggs, lightly beaten

Step 1...Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 13 by 9 inch baking pan. (cooking spray works too).

Step 2...In a microwave safe bowl, combine the oatmeal and apple juice. Cover and cook on high heat for 2 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Step 3...Combine flour, wheat germ, 1/2 cup of the coconut, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Blend well. In another bowl, combine the brown sugar, applesauce, carrots and eggs.. Fold into the flour mixture, add the oatmeal mixture and stir until just blended.

Step 4...Spoon into the baking pan and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of coconut. Bake in the 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely and cut evenly into 18 bars.

Tip. the wheat germ adds a nice nutty flavor as well as fiber.
Store in covered container.

150 calories, 2g fat, 3g protein, 29g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 250mg sodium per serving