It was a granola bar kind of day around here – cloudy and kinda slow. I do a different variation of this recipe almost every time, but today I wanted to keep it simple and classic with the flavors of oatmeal raisin cookies. I have brought these bars to plenty of parks, picnics and play dates and I have never met a kid (or husband) that didn’t like them. They whip up super quick, make a ton and last for at least a week or more. A pretty perfect snack if you ask me.
Feel free to add in, swap or exchange ingredients. I substitute some of the oats for rice crispies, use coconut flour, add flax, hemp or chia seeds at times too (I did throw in a little hemp seeds in this batch!!). Dried cranberries, dates, apricots or cherries are also yummy alternatives. The one thing I don’t alter is the coconut oil. I tried several batches with butter and/or oil and they both fell apart or were too greasy. The coconut oil is perfect for melting and then solidifies when it’s cooled – plus it’s a healthy alternative and adds flavor. Have fun experimenting!
- 4 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup coconut oil melted
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup (or honey)
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease one 9×13 inch pan or line it with parchment paper.
- In a large metal mixing bowl melt the coconut oil over the stove top (very important it’s metal! Otherwise melt it in the microwave). Add brown sugar, brown rice syrup and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Add in the oats, flour, baking soda, and cinnamon and mix until combined. Stir in raisins.
- Press mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes then press down again with a flat surface (a measuring cup works great). Cut into bars. Let bars cool completely in pan before removing or serving.
What kid doesn’t want strawberry or chocolate milk? And what Mom doesn’t dread saying “no” to yet another treat? I had a lightbulb go off recently and thought, why not just blend strawberries with milk to make actual, real, authentic strawberry milk?! Seems so obvious, but a foreign concept at the same time. So I got out my try trusty blender, added some strawberries aaaaaaand…sort of bland 🙁 But I’m not one to get discouraged and waste perfectly good strawberries so easily. I ran my thinking hamster around in my head and decided a dash of (real) maple syrup might do the trick, but also keep the healthy factor in tact. And wouldn’t ya know?! It’s delicious and my daughter loves it. Store any extra in the fridge for a few days and pull it out for an extra special treat you can feel good about.
No recipe is needed really. Just add a container of strawberries to about 16-24 ounces of milk with a tablespoon or two of syrup, blend, and you are good to go! Enjoy being a cool mom once again!
Usually when the weekend comes, I am ready for a smoothie and this one is by far my favorite (after much trial and error), not only for the flavor, but also for the loads of good healthy stuff in there. And the best part? You can’t even tell all the good stuff is in there! Yahoo!
My kids know what goes in these since they are used to me piling in all sorts of healthy things in their foods, but if they can taste it, they won’t eat it. This power house is a sure way to get some healthy spinach (or kale), vitamin packed berries, ground flax, chia seeds, hemp seeds and protein packed greek yogurt in to their diet. Did I say flax, hemp, chia and spinach?! Oh yes. I. Did. Here is the secret to any smoothie tasting good (if you haven’t figured this one out already). Bananas. I’ve tried leaving them out, but they just don’t taste as good…a little bland. There is no science to the exact measurements so feel free to adjust to your taste buds 🙂
So here is the recipe…easy as…a smoothie…
2 cups frozen mixed berry blend (or any frozen berry you prefer)
2 very ripe bananas
2 cups fresh spinach or kale (not packed)
1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
1-2 tbsp ground flax
1-2 tbsp chia seeds
1-2 tbsp hemp seeds
add water to desired consistency (start with one cup and add more if needed)
*If your berries are on the tart side, add a hint-o maple syrup or honey to doctor it up
Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth – voila!