Today, I decided to catch up on some baking. The kids were happily eating lunch, so it was my quick 5 minute “window of opportunity.” (If your a mom of young kids, you know exactly what I’m talking about!)
I had checked out from the library “Happy Herbivore” by Lindsay Nixon. I found several recipes in the book that were easy to whip up and were quite tasty. However, sadly, the book had to be returned after 3 weeks.
A few months later, Amazon came up with a suggestion for me to buy (isn’t that convenient for them?) “Everyday Happy Herbivore: On the table in 30 minutes or less!” by Lindsay Nixon. Well, Amazon won that day, and I purchased the book.
I’ve tried several things from her book so far. Tonight I’m making the Veggie Lo Mein. But by far, my most favorite thing from her book has been the granola bars. I cannot say enough of how EASY these were to put together, stay together, healthy, tasty, yummy, fast…..should I go on? I would really have to challenge these bars against Chewy brand on taste. (They are similar in texture and taste to the brand.)
Today, I made three different flavors in about 15 minutes (plus, baking time). I’m not about spending all day on recipes unless it’s in a crock pot. 😉
The recipe calls for “instant oats.” If you don’t have instant oats or want to use rolled-oats, the chefs notes on the page say “you can send rolled oats through your food processor [or blender] to grind them down into instant-oat consistency.”
Another item I used in my granola bars was the Enjoy Life chocolate chips. They are soy, nut and dairy free. (If you go to their website you can download a coupon for $0.55 off one of their products.) I like using the chocolate chips for a number of reasons, but one is that they don’t melt as much when baking as regular chocolate chips. The taste pretty much the same, but I think because they are lacking dairy, they don’t melt like regular ones. Anyways, they hold up really well in the granola bars so they don’t make a gooey mess.
Anyways, long intro, but here is the recipe! Enjoy. 🙂
Granola Bars (taken from “Everyday Happy Herbivore” by Lindsay Nixon p. 23)
- 1 c. instant oats
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 3 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
- 3 Tbsp agave nectar
- 2 Tbsp chocolate chips
- 1 to 2 Tbsp raw sugar (optional: I didn’t use it…it was plenty sweet enough)
1. Stir all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. They will appear too dry at first, by they’re not—keep stroking
2. Once combined, let the batter rest while the oven preheats to 325F
3. Grease a bread pan [or use parchment paper] and pack mixture down firmly and tightly
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden, firm, and light brown around the edges
5. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before cutting
1. Peanut Butter Granola Bars: substitute 1 tablespoon of peanut butter for 1 tablespoon of applesauce. Combine peanut butter with applesauce and heat in microwave for 10 seconds so peanut butter softens. Whisk together and use as directed.
2. Use dried fruit instead of chocolate chips. Today I used dried cranberries.