This is my journey in keeping my family happy and healthy.
In this day and age, what parent knows best what to do and how to care for their family?
There are so many conflicting ideas, so much wisdom, and so many paths.
It is here that I will compile information on what I have learned and the choices I am making.
Maybe my path will help others.... or not. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

HEALTHFUL RECIPES: Breakfast Bar Experiment 1

I am on a quest to make healthy meals / foods for my family. My little girl is in the "super picky" toddler stage, and getting her to eat a healthy balanced meal can be a chore. If instead, I can get a few power packed items in everyone each day, I will be happy. The trick to this, is to make them incredibly tasty, as well as healthy & nourishing. I've been working on my "Super Smoothie Recipe," which I will post soon. But I also wanted to get the rest of the nutritional powerhouses into other foods throughout the day. So began my quest for the perfect, soft granola bar.... a healthy addition to breakfast or lunch. Packed full of nutritional goodness!

This is by no means close to the perfect bar (by my perfection-ish standards)... it is the first try in experimentation. However, I thought it might be interesting to keep track of my process. So here goes....


Dry Ingredients:

2 cups oats
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
1/2 cup oat flour
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cardamom

Wet Ingredients:

1/4 - 1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 diced banana
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tbsp vanilla
Melted chocolate


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well. In a small (microwave-safe) bowl add honey, peanut butter, and coconut oil and heat on high for 1 minute. Then mix well. In a medium bowl add all wet ingredients plus your peanut butter / honey mixture, and mix well. Then add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Grease an 8 x 8 glass pan (I used coconut oil). Pour in mixture and spread and flatten. Bake about 30 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Cool and cut into squares. I melted chocolate and drizzled it over the top, but you don't have to do that.

So after trying this Experiment #1, I definitely feel they need more sweetness, and I'd nix the cardamom next time. But that's just me. I'm generally iffy on cardamom, and this was no exception. I just thought I'd try it because it sounded exotic. If you like cardamom, you might really enjoy the flavor it adds to this. I think I would also add coconut flakes (maybe sweetened). Oh and it was a bit overly chewy / gummy. So I would use a bigger pan and spread them out more. I might even try a tad more peanut butter, or less yogurt and add some applesauce instead. My mind is pondering it all.....

These ones are fairly edible to my standards. My daughter ate one fairly happily, only looking questioningly at me once or twice and shoving it all in her mouth at once. I take that as a good sign. However, she didn't want another piece. So I think she got wise to me. Ergo more sweetness. I think the coconut flakes would bring in more sweetness too, and a better mouth-feel.

So I will try that next...... :)

If you're wanting to experiment yourself, try adding different nuts or dried fruit, or other sweeteners. Really, you're only limited by your imagination!

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