Friday, June 7, 2013

Healthier Magic Bars

One of our main goals here at 360FamilyNutrition is to example how someone can eat healthier without sacrificing flavor and even some of your favorite foods.    We frequently try to make some our favorite unhealthy traditional family recipes a bit healthier.

We took on a challenge to create a "healthier" Magic Bar recipe, a recipe my mom would make when I was a child. The traditional recipe includes graham crackers crumbs, a large amount of chocolate chips & butterscotch chips, one stick of butter, a can of sweetened condensed milk, coconut, and nuts.  Lots of delicious ingredients, but when compiled together create one high calorie sweet treat!

When trying to make this recipe healthier there are a few ingredients that must stay - graham crackers, chocolate chips, coconut, and butterscotch chips. The other ingredients can be altered a bit.  For example we used a "lighter" butter spread instead of butter to save approximately 320 calories in the entire recipe.  Another huge calorie contributor to the original recipe is the sweetened condensed milk.  To reduce  the calories provided from the sweetened condensed milk we created our own recipe with non-fat powdered milk and liquid stevia drops (see recipe). The milk substitution saves about 700 calories in the entire recipe.  Lastly we decreased the chocolate and butterscotch chips just a tad.

Although our recipe may not be as gooey and buttery as the original recipe, these sweet treats will leave you wanting more!  Please note this recipe is not "low fat", however our new creation has a significantly less amount of calories and sugar than previous recipes.  According to one recipe we found each serving had twice the amount of calories compared to our healthier version.

Your family's dietitian,
Kristen Smith

Healthier Magic Bars

by Kristen Smith
Prep Time: 15 mintues
Cook Time: 25 mintues
Keywords: dessert
Ingredients (serves 12)
  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons light buttery spread (ie. Smart Balance light)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup coconut, shredded
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup butterscotch chips
  • non-stick cooking spray
Sweetened condensed milk ingredients:
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • ½ cup non-fat powdered milk
  • 1 teaspoon light buttery spread
  • 4 teaspoons natural stevia OR ¾ clear stevia drops OR sweetener of choice
13” x 9” glass pan
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit; spray glass pan with non-stick cooking spray
    2. To make sweetened condensed milk mix all ingredients together and set aside
    3. Melt butter and buttery spread and pour in glass pan and spread evenly; add graham cracker crumbs and pat down to make crust; top with chocolate chips and butterscotch chips; top with coconut; drizzle condensed milk on top
    4. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes or until coconut is browned
    5. Let cool for 30 minutes
    • Servings: 12 • Serving size: 1/12 of pan • Calories: 230.0 kcal • Protein: 2.4 g • Sodium: 113.4 • Carbs: 26.5 g • Fat: 13.3 g • Fiber: 1.6 • Sugars: 8.6 g
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