Ben and I have several nature trails nearby that we like to take our nightly strolls on. One has a short detour to a grocery store where we often stop to get mid-walk treats at.
My treat choices range from the good (a fresh peach) to the bad (split a small pack of Nibs) to the ugly (pouch of sour gummy worms – usually occasionally forking over the green & orange worms to Ben.)
Sometimes, like last night, I’m so satisfied from dinner that I get nothing at all. Not Ben though, oh no. Last night he got home from work late and missed dinner, but since we were going to lose the light if we waited much longer to take our walk, he took one for the team and decided to eat afterwards.
Naturally he was starving by the time we hit the grocery store detour, and grabbed the first thing he saw after walking through the double doors – Little Debbie Nutty Bars.
The BIG PACK (which I didn’t even notice that until I took this picture!) What does one man (I can’t eat Little Debbie – OD’d on ’em in grade school) need 24 Nutty Bars for?! You know what, nevermind. He got the big pack.
He proceeded to rip open the package like a ravenous beast when we got home, while I curiously glanced at the nutritionals.
330 calories, 20 grams of fat and 8 grams of saturated fat in one, tiny little 2-bite (Ben shoves each stick in his mouth at once) package!
With partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil with TBHG to preserve flavor in the ingredient list? What the heck is TBHG!?
I’ll tell you what it is – it’s something I don’t want my husband eating. I’ll need him around for least 70 more years to finally get one by him. ;)
Knowing he loves his Nutty Bars oh-so-much though, I decided to try and create a healthier, homemade version for him to enjoy WITHOUT funky ingredients!
The peanut butter and chocolate parts of the Nutty Bar are totally clutch, but the most unique and charming thing about ’em is their crispy texture. To replicate, I picked out 3 potential replacements for the sugar-laden wafers used in the Nutty Bar, then had Ben pick out his favorite.
I started with Kavli Crispy Thins (similar to Wasa Crackers.)
These babies have 50 calories in 3 sheets,
and only contain whole rye flour, water, sugar and salt. Cool.
The crispy thins are just like the name implies – crispy and THIN – but not crumbly.
I spread a very thin layer of peanut butter on one cracker and repeated two more times, ending with a fourth cracker on top.
Then I did the same with my next crispy subject.
I made sure to only apply a thin layer of peanut butter, otherwise I’d pretty much have a Tagalong. Which, don’t get me wrong, is not the worst thing in the world, but that’s a different blog post. :)
My third and final crunchy item was a Graham Cracker.
I knew these probably wouldn’t replicate the taste or texture of a Nutty Bar – I just thought they’d be super delicious smeared with peanut butter and wrapped in chocolate. ;)
time to coat in some chocolate, yo!
I learned from my past mistakes and used Almond Bark to coat these puppies with.
I melted a couple cubes in a long loaf pan for 2 minutes in the microwave, stirring every 20-30 seconds, then laid out a wax-paper lined baking sheet to place the Nutty Bars on after they were coated in chocolate.
Dip and roll, then wipe off the excess with your finger. Super easy, actually!
Lay on the baking sheet,
then pop into the fridge for 15 minutes to set.
If you have too much time on your hands you can cough, score the classic Nutty Bar lines on top, cough with a knife. ;)
Ben’s home from work and ready for his taste test!
After a quick change,
and a cold glass of milk,
he dug in.
First up: Saltines.
Con: “Not enough chocolate flavor.”
I think the thickness of the crackers detracted from the peanut and chocolate flavor. NEXT!
Pro: “Tasty.” (…)
Con: “Not chocolaty enough.”
Similar to the saltines, I think the flavor of the graham cracker overpowered the chocolate and peanut butter flavors. NEXT!
“Oh yeah, I’d eat these…”
Ding ding ding ding!!! We have a winner!!!!
Homemade Nutty Bars with Crispy Thins, peanut butter and almond bark coating, kicks Little Debbie’s (sorry Dad) ass!
Aaaand, he’s over it. Texting with his friends. HAHAHAHA.
Closing remarks: “Yeah, I’d eat all those f*%&ers again.”
Now if I can only get him to eat anything but Skippy. Baby steps… ;)
What’s one junk-type food you can’t give up even though you know how bad it is for you?
Ben says “Chips. Of all forms.” I say doughnuts. GAHHHHHHHH I LOVE DOUGHNUTS. And candy.