Homemade Chocolate Chip Granola Bars – I saw it on Pinterest

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I’ve been wanting to make these for a while now and finally mustered up the courage to try it.  I got this idea from Pinterest.  If you haven’t tried Pinterest, please do-it’s brilliant!  I have my own personal pile of recipes I want to try.  You can find me on Pinterest here.  I got this recipe from Fifteen Spatulas via her You tube video.  Of course I didn’t have all of the same ingredients she used, so I think mine turned out a little different (different isn’t bad).  Here is what I used:

4 Cups of Old Fashioned Oats

1/4 Cup of Whole Wheat Flour

1/2 Cup of Toasted, Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut

1/3 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips

1/2 tsp Salt (she added Kosher salt – I didn’t have any)

1/2 Cup Sunflower Seed Oil (she used grape seed oil – I didn’t have any)

1/2 Cup Honey

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

Toss all the dry ingredients around until mixed.

Mix Oil, Honey and Vanilla to combine.

Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix together until combined.

Put onto pan with parchment paper (I had to use tin foil) and press with a flat spatula until it is about an inch thick.  Use the back of the spatula to square off the edges to make a rectangle (or something close).

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

Let cool completely before you cut them into bars with a sharp knife.

I put them in little snack bags for the kids to take to school.  One of the reasons I made these granola bars is because my kids go to a nut free school. I had to find a recipe without peanut butter in it.  I’m petrified of sending my kids to school with anything that might have peanut butter in it, so I will make my own peanut butter bars soon, but they will have to be out of reach so that the kids don’t end up sneaking one to school without my knowing.

This is the dry mixture.

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And the wet and dry mixed together.

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The finished product!

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And you might think they turned out perfect without this last picture (but then I’d be lying).  They were delicious, but we had a problem!  I may have cut them before they fully cooled (because I was way too excited), and I may have left them in a few minutes longer than I should have.  They were more crunchy than they should have been and they got stuck to the tin foil a bit.  I had to use tin foil because I didn’t have any parchment paper (no, I was not formerly a baker).  I am so proud of myself for trying this, even though they weren’t perfect.  My kids LOVED them and I didn’t waste a bit.  I actually saved all of the loose pieces and put them in some french vanilla yogurt – delicous!

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So there you have it….my very first attempt at granola bars.  Stayed tuned.  I AM going to be trying this until it works!

Green Smoothie Ice Pops

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This is my little guy.  He’s a month away from being two.  In this picture he is eating a Green Smoothie Ice Pop!  For the last few months I have been making myself a green smoothie most mornings.  They are typically the same most mornings (yep once I find one I like I stick to it).  Here is my typical morning smoothie:

  1. A handful of greens (Kale, Spinach, and most recently Collard Greens).  Usually I buy them fresh and they go right into the blender from the fridge.  Occasionally I will use frozen if I don’t happen to have anything fresh.
  2. Almond Milk, plain and unsweetened to cut down on calories (the one I have now is Almond Breeze).
  3. Frozen fruit (usually a handful of pineapple.  Sometimes BJ’s Wholesale has a nice mix of pineapple, peaches, and grapes)
  4. A ripe banana (frozen or right from the fruit basket.
  5. Chia Protein Powder (approximately a tsp. or two), or Ground Flax Seed.
  6. Honey to sweeten

Green smoothies are so good for you and really don’t take long to make once you get used to the ingredients and what kinds you really like.  I often have a bit left in my blender that I hate to waste, so I started pouring the rest into Silicone Ice Pop Makers.  They look like this: J14A7615 blog

Drew had two for lunch today.  Who knew he’d pick the green smoothie over the peanut butter and jelly I also gave him.   I was so proud and felt so good he was having greens.  I will now be giving him these daily until he gets tired of them and then I’ll make him a new flavor.  These ice pop makers are great.  I’ve heard that you can also send a smoothie to school with your kids in these handy containers and by lunch the smoothie will be partially defrosted and ready to eat.  The only problem we ran into was that the pop would slip back down inside the silicone so that my son was unable to figure out how to keep it sticking out long enough to eat.  I solved the problem by bending the bottom of the pop and wrapping a produce elastic (the kind that comes wrapped around your asparagus) around the bottom.  This worked like a charm and he was happy with my solution.

How do you get your kids/babies to eat their greens?  I love hearing other parent’s ideas!