Monthly Archives: December 2012

Crunchy Granola Bars

Granola is a food (or food category) that is an acquired taste. I also believe that there is some stigma which goes along with granola. When you talk about granola to some people you get looks that infer “go back to the 60’s, Hippie”. That could just be me, but I don’t think so.
I love granola as part of my breakfast. I got very cozy with it a few years ago on a trip to Canada with a friend. We found a little bakery that we went to for breakfast, and I had the granola bowl; a homemade granola with triple berry compote. When I got back from the trip I started making my own granola. I have tweaked it probably a dozen times, to create something that I enjoy , my children enjoy, and I feel good feeding it to them.
Recently, The Hubs has been buying granola bars. Not the “chewy” type of granola bars, but the crispy, crunchy Natural type of granola bar. He also bought some granola nut squares (I’m not really sure what they were called, but that is a good description) I discovered that I like both of these quite a bit. Maybe even a little bit too much. So, I set out to create my own. I read the back of the packages to discover the ingredients and looked online for recipes that were similar to what I was looking for. I found two recipes that were close and went from there. What I made is nothing short of amazing. These granola bars are wonderful. Daughters 3 and 4 both really, really liked them. I had a hard time keeping them out of them! The Hubs was ok with them. D2 thought they were too hard. She prefers the chewy ones. My decision to make granola bars was two-fold. I wanted to save some money and to know what is in them. My plan: to make them healthy and delicious.

Crunchy Granola Bars• 3 cups rolled oats

• ¼ cup slivered almonds
• ¼ cup chopped walnuts
• 1/3 cup shredded coconut (I used sweetened)
• 1/3 cup Turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
• 1/3 cup light brown sugar
• ¾ cup brown rice flour
• ¼ cup all-purpose flour
• ¼ cup honey
• ¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
• ½ cup canola oil
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ½ teaspoon sea salt
• 1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet or jelly roll pan with cooking spray. In a food processor pulse the oats for a few seconds until they are ground slightly, but not powdery. They should vary in size. In a large bowl mix together oats, nuts, coconut, sugars, flours, and salt. In a microwave safe measuring cup or small bowl melt peanut butter and honey. Add the honey, oil, vanilla, and beaten egg into the peanut butter mixture. Mix well. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl with the oat mixture and mix thoroughly. You may want to use your hands to ensure thorough coating and mixing. Press the mixture firmly into the baking pan, making sure it is spread to the edges and into the corners. Pat the granola until it is very firmly in place. I use my hands and a rubber spatula. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Cut into 24 even bars when cooled. Store in a tightly covered container or storage bag.
Serving Size 1 bar
Calories 160;Total Fat 7.0g;Saturated Fat 1.1g
Cholesterol 8mg;Sodium 64mg
Total Carbohydrates 21.7g;Dietary Fiber 1.9g
Sugars 8.5g;Protein 3.5g

I am quite pleased with the nutritional values, too. They are very similar than the ones I purchased, taste great, and I know that they are made with quality ingredients. They aren’t gluten free, but I did sub much of the flour with rice flour, which I am quite pleased with!
These are something that we will all be enjoying for quite some time. I will be sure to keep you informed of changes I make, that improve on this recipe.
I hope you can enjoy these without feeling like you have to jump back into the ‘60’s!

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 12, 2012 in Uncategorized



Churros Puppy Chow

Since getting over my own little bout with the flu Daughter Number 4 came down with it. Poor thing ended up with a high fever and all of the malaise that goes along with it. Fortunately she didn’t have any other symptoms, but it lasted four days.

During that period of time no one in the house was doing much cooking. UNfortunatley, that meant there was too much take-out and pre-prepared foods.

Fast forward to today! The Hubs had told the girls that they were going to have movie night this evening, but they had to provide the snacks. To be more exact, he told Daughter 2 to make snacks. The snack making queen of her high school has been promoted to the snack making queen of the house…

I had seen a recipe on Pinterest a week or so ago that she has been waiting to try. She actually tried a variant of that recipe and make Churros Puppy Chow. It was a big hit with The Hubs and the little girls for their movie night treat! I think the less cinnamon-y version would have been more to my liking. I’ll try it the next time.

Churros Puppy Chow
9 cups Rice Chex Cereal
3 cups cinnamon chips
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

Measure the cereal into a large glass bowl or gallon storage bag. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine sugars and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a glass bowl melt the cinnamon chips, stirring frequently, until completely melted. Pour the melted chips over the cereal and stir (or shake) until the cereal squares are completely covered. If using the bowl method, once the cereal is coated, I recommend transferring it into a large zippered bag for the last steps. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugars mixture over the coated cereal, shaking to coat. Repeat with the remaining cinnamon sugars mixture, shaking until all of the cereal is coated.

D2 got her recipe from Another Day in Paradise Blog.

I hope you enjoy this as much as the family did! It seems a perfect holiday season snack, with the cinnamon flavor! So, if you’re looking for a quick snack for a get together this season, try this one.

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 9, 2012 in Uncategorized