Browsing the archives for the granola bars tag.

Coconut Banana Granola Bars


Early in 2011 my husband and I watched way too many documentaries on food and health in general. The three that affected us the most were Food Matters, then Food Inc, and then Forks Over Knives a few months later. Ouch. It was hard to watch as a meat / dairy / processed foods eating couple. Since then we eat a lot less meat and dairy, and the meat and dairy we do eat now is organic. I have always been really big on making as much as possible from scratch, but my concept of ‘as much as possible’ is a lot different now – even though with homeschooling and adventuring around LA we have less spare time than ever, it’s totally worth it to find the time. (it’s a good busy)!

Last year, I posted a recipe for homemade granola bars that I still use on the regular for the kids. They’re pretty good and only have one questionable ingredient – marshmallows and as I said in the original post, if you make them yourself they’re not all that questionable anymore! These granola bars are for anyone who likes banana and coconut. None of my littles like coconut – crazy right?! My husband and I looooove coconut so these babies are the grown up granola bar around here now. 😉

Coconut Banana Granola Bars with Chocolate Chips via Undressed Skeleton

1 cup organic flaked coconut
1 large (extra ripe) banana
1 cup whole grain oats
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup ground flax
1/4 cup almond milk
1 packet truvia (or whatever you use for sweetening)
*the original recipe used 2 tbsp vegan chocolate chips but I skipped them

Super simple and so good aaaaand no flour, no eggs, no dairy, no added sugar, no butter, no oils!

Mash the banana and add to a bowl with the coconut, flax, vanilla, oats and truvia. Slowly add the almond milk until it holds it’s shape and then just pat into a pan. If you’re using chocolate chips, now is the time to add them. It’s not runny so you can get away with using the middle of a pan (like I did) or you can use an 8 x 8 pan. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes and let cool before cutting.

Homemade Granola Bars

Healthy, Kids

I’m linking up with Flock Together Blog Hop and Inspiration Linky Party.

I mentioned a few months ago about my ever mounting paranoia general concern thoughts on how processed some most all of the garbage touted as ‘healthy’ and marketed to kids has become. Though to be fair, I don’t know if it’s right to say ‘has become’, it’s probably always been pretty negative and unhealthy but I didn’t know better as a kid and my hippie father did a pretty good job of sheltering me from stuff like that. I however? Do not do such a great job with the sheltering of my wee ones. They can ask for store those chewy granola bars all they want, I’m not caving, and this is why.

The granola bars I make have 14 ingredients, including the granola. They could only be healthier if I made the marshmallows myself and now that I type that, I will totally make the marshmallows myself next time!

The granola bars with the shiny commercials have 31 ingredients and while most of them are not so bad, too many of them are totally unnecessary. I know they need to be shelf stable, and that’s what they are loaded with preservatives, but man. Like, if I can make and eat them within a few days I don’t need to add any preservatives so while the additives are justifiable for shelf stable, pre packaged crap snacks, I don’t have any use for them – and if you have half an hour or so once a week, neither do you.

Homemade Granola Bars

Granola via Amateur Gourmet (modified)
2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Bars via Back to the Cutting Board
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 cups plain granola
1 cup rice cereal (Rice Krispies, etc.)
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Homemade Granola Bars
Homemade Granola Bars
First, preheat the oven to 325F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Mix the oats, cinnamon, and salt on a small bowl. Then in a separate bowl, mix the vegetable oil, honey, brown sugar and vanilla.
Homemade Granola Bars
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and make sure all of the oats are coated.
Homemade Granola Bars
Homemade Granola Bars
Bake for about 10 minutes, take out and mix it up, then another 10 minutes, take it out and mix it up again and then bake for another 5 minutes.
Homemade Granola Bars
Homemade Granola Bars
Now on to the actual granola bars! Melt the butter in a saucepan.
Homemade Granola Bars
Homemade Granola Bars
Add the brown sugar and the honey. Stir and heat till it’s melted.
Homemade Granola Bars
Homemade Granola Bars
Now add the rice cereal and the granola.
Homemade Granola Bars
Homemade Granola Bars
When the marshmallows are partially melted, spread the mixture into a parchment lined brownie pan.
Homemade Granola Bars
Then cover with chocolate chips!
Homemade Granola Bars
Cut them into bars and voila!

Zee Bars from Peas and Thank You!

Domestic, Healthy, Kids

So I know this will sound like gushing, and we have only ‘bumped into each other online’ a couple of times, but I’m a little in love with Mama Pea of Peas and Thank You. If you read her blog with any regularity at all I have no doubt you are a little in love with her too. Last week, for example, ‘Tonight we all needed a little comic relief (or a horse tranquilizer)…‘, I read that and thought, HOLY CRAP!! THAT’S MY HOUSE! Also? One of her blog tags is ‘pissing and moaning’. Love!!

I know, I’m such a creeper but really I love her extra for these bars, she concocted a recipe for gluten-free vegan chocolate chip granola bars that Wee Ones #1 & #3 love. They’re called Zee Bars because she was lamenting in her post on these little babies about the food marketed specifically to kids and how it’s exactly the same as the food marketed to adults, except they’ve slapped a little chocolate on it and spelled kids with a z. Right?! Dammit, my kids can spell! Anyhoo, I am still cooking and baking my way through her cookbook (I made the Fabulous French Toast today for brunch actually….), and I’m still not going to post any recipes from her book. However, this recipe was posted on her website so it’s fair game.

They’re way easy to make and even easier to eat! All you need is:

1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup oat flour (just run 1/2 cup of oats through your food processor)
1/2 cup vanilla protein powder (or another 1/2 cup oat flour)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp non-dairy milk (I used almond)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
stevia to taste (or be a cheater like me and use 1/4 cup brown sugar) I have stevia, but no one likes it!
1/4 cup chocolate chips (I also cheat with this and use 1/2 cup)

If you throw on a little drizzle after the bars are cool you’ll also need:

3 tbsp chocolate chips
1 tsp coconut oil

So first, preheat your oven to 350F and spray your 8×8-ish pan. Theeeeeen, mix the oats, oat flour, protein powder, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and your brown sugar if you’re using it.

Mix up the applesauce, vanilla and almond (or whatever) milk.

Now mix your wet into your dry.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Mama Pea describes it as ‘pulling away from the pan’, when you know it’s done.

So so so good. I could knock back a tray of these in an evening – no problem!

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Spooky Shepherd’s Pie, Zombie Fingers and Granola Bars

Domestic, Healthy, Kids

In this post, I’m participating in Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tuesday Night Supper Club, Hearth ‘n Soul, Tuesdays at the Table and Delicious Dishes at It’s a Blog Party

We were really feeling the Halloweeny vibe this year, but wee one #2 marches to the beat of her own drummer. So in the midst of the black and orange explosion of last week, she chose to go off the rails and bake something not even remotely seasonal. That’s ok, she’s 4 – as long as she’s actually creating edible food in the kitchen who cares if it’s on theme or not right? Right!

The Halloweeny food does not need recipes, as I am sure you make these on your own already and if you don’t there are about eleventy billion recipes online. I did my best to make Halloween week as silly and as fun as possible for the kids – of course it got me in the spirit too. Every day, we had at least one themed treat or meal, and towards the end of the week the whole day was themed! Not that I have ever been known to get carried away. Ahem.

The spooky shepherd’s pie was just sherpherd’s pie with spooky dudes on top. I put the mashed potatoes into cake decorating bags and piped little creatures on top, one for each of us – with little pea eyes of course!

I sprinkled Parmesan cheese on top – liberally – so it’d brown nicely and look less pasty than when it went in!

I think it turned out pretty good and the kids all loved it so that works for me.

The night before Halloween, my husband and I found a recipe for a meat hand! A meat hand!! I didn’t want to be a total copy cat, so we made meat fingers and with the cheese on top and the onion fingernail it looked so gross and zombie-like so we called them zombie fingers.

I used the exact recipe for my hamburgers, which is just 2lbs of ground beef, an onion, way too much garlic

(mmmm garlic), oregano, a little thyme and a teeny bit of Miss Diana sauce for chicken. I know that doesn’t sound amazing, but trust me, it is.

We were having a really laid back day and I asked wee one #2 if she felt like baking something on her own (under supervision, natch) and without even thinking about it she announced she wanted to make granola bars!

They are painfully easy. All I did was turn the oven on, measure the ingredients into bowls, put the dish into the oven and then later take it out. She did the rest.


Painfully Easy Granola Bars

3 cups quick cook oats
1 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla
14 oz condensed milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter


First she piled her dry ingredients into the Kitchen Aid and gave it a whirl. My mother didn’t get a Kitchen Aid till I was 14, so it’s hilarious to see my not quite 5 year old daughter working the kitchen power tools!

Then she literally dumped all the wet ingredients on top and gave it another whirl. It worked. If I had made them, I likely would have mixed all the wet ingredients together first and then added that to the dry, but what do I know?! 😉

She then greased a brownie pan with Becel and a pastry brush before unhooking the bowl from the stand and dumping the entire contents into the pan. She smoothed it out and instructed me to pop it in the oven. And so I did – then 20 minutes later I took it out again.

It was hard to hold everyone back while the pan cooled enough for me to cut them into bars. Mmmm. The kids brought them to school the next day! Yes, I know there are peanuts in them and I said they took them to school. Believe it or not, their school only has 41 kids in it and no peanut allergies so they are a peanut friendly school.