Monday, February 11, 2013

Havana Brain Builder Bar delivers Omega-3 Fats and Protein to my students (and me)

The goal is to change people's minds -- We want to raise expectations for teachers.  Students will ask, "What do you recommend for me to I do during my break?"  "You should feed your brain with water, omega-3 fats and protein."

My inner attorney recommends that I place this notice in a prominent place in this blog post:
 WARNING:  the information here is not advice and you should consult with a physician before trying any of the ideas presented in this blog post or in anything presented by S. McCrea.

I spend hours creating an effective course, with lesson plans, activities, videos, resources... and then I let my students eat whatever they want.   How can I be sure that they are getting the brain food that they need?

a)  I ask them to drink water (I usually drink 500 ml in front of them at least once an hour).
b)  I give them nuts in class:  pistachios, walnuts, peanuts... (yes, there is a concern about the peanut allergy)
c)  I tell them about protein bars....

...and then they go to a vending machine (because I didn't bring with me the brain-building bar that I want them to consume).

So here is a formula for the Havana Brain Builder Bar

Version 1

Eggless Fruit Bar
1/2 tin Condensed Milk
1 tbsp Sugar
1/3 cup Milk
1/3 cup White Butter
125 Gm Maida (all purpose flour)
1/2 tsp. Lemon Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1/3 cup Fruits
Method :
  1. Beat milk, sugar, butter and condensed milk.
  2. Sift maida (all purpose) and baking powder and soda.
  3. Add this mixture gradually to the milk mixture. Beat after each addition.
  4. Mix small pieces of fruits to the mixture.
  5. Transfer to a greased and dusted baking tray and bake in the oven at 180 degree for 45 minutes.   

Version 2

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped prunes
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    1. In a small saucepan, combine water, dates, prunes and raisins. Cook over medium heat until fruit is softened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; add margarine and stir until melted. Cool. Stir in egg substitute and vanilla; mix well.
    2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl; stir in fruit mixture. Spread into an 11-in. x 7-in. x 2-in. baking pan that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

The actual bars that I plan to hand out might have other procedures or contents, but this is one possible arrangement of ingredients.  We teachers need to promote healthy snacks and that means perhaps learning how to make a tasty "brain building" bar.

Some of the proposed ingredients:

Jay Robb's Whey Protein is made from the finest natural ingredients available and delivers 25 grams of first class protein, 0-fat, 0-cholesterol, 0-sugars, and only 1 gram of carbohydrate per 30 gram serving. Only cold-processed cross-flow microfiltered whey protein isolate is used as the protein source and this material comes from farm-raised, pasture-grazed, grass-fed cows not treated with the synthetic bovine growth hormone rBGH.
Whey protein isolate, which is used exclusively in Jay Robb's Whey Protein, is created by microfiltering liquid whey through a special ceramic membrane to create the highest grade of whey protein possible. This unique process also yields a whey protein isolate that is much higher in protein than a whey protein concentrate and is also rich in immunoglobulins, alpha-lactalbumin, and beta-lactoalbumin and other immune boosting factors. Unique natural flavors and the herb stevia are used to create a flavoring system that is palate pleasing and has made Jay Robb's Whey Protein famous across the nation. Their tagline "The Best-Tasting Protein on the Planet" says it all. is the idea...

This is public domain, so don't steal this idea by copyrighting it.  This formula cannot be protected or hijacked... only copied.   Yes, teachers, make this bar and sell it or give it to your students.   

My sense of "let's be smart" dictates that I prominently place this warning:   The information here is not advice and you should consult with a physician before trying any of the ideas presented in this blog post or in anything presented by S. McCrea.

Supplement May 2013
Here for the formula that was presented to participants at the Havana C.A.I.T. workshop
Here's a competing idea (without the dried milk):

2 cups quick cook oats
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
4 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/2 cup water
  1. Put waxed paper inside a bread loaf container.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large prep bowl.
  3. Press the resulting "dough" in a pan and flatten it.  Make the surface smooth using the back side of a spoon or the flat side of a knife blade. Put the loaf container in the freezer for 0.5 hours. Cut into large bars. Consume within two days (refrigerate after removing the bars from the freezer).

  • dried fruit
  • raw maple syrup or honey (drizzle on top of pressed dough you put it in the freezer)

Source:  Helen Vong - Nutrition Editor  << click here and give her post some extra views.


  • peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
  • oats or whole grain hot cereal (uncooked)
  • oat flour * (double the oats if you do not have oat flour)
  • low-carb chocolate whey protein (or about ~132 grams protein)
  • vanilla
  • flax seeds (optional)
  • non-fat dry milk
  • water (depending on what type of protein you use, you may need more)
  • Source:


  • 5 tablespoons natural peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
  • 1/2 cup dry oats or whole grain hot cereal (uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup oat flour * (double the oats if you do not have oat flour)
  • 6 scoops low-carb chocolate whey protein (or about ~132 grams protein)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds (optional)
  • 1 cup non-fat dry milk
  • 1/2 cup water (depending on what type of protein you use, you may need more)

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