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No-Bake No-Problem

So, we’re about to open another post talking about the weather.  We hate to be repetitive or predictable, but really, the weather has so much of an effect on what we eat that it really must be mentioned!  At least in this post, anyways.

Because today we’re talking about these:

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No-bake peanut butter banana granola bars!

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You see, we try to always have quick snacks in the house that we can toss into our lunch bags when we go to work.  Lately, though, we’ve been on a huge muffin-kick.  Remember these?  So what do muffins have to do with the weather?  Nothing.  Except that they require an oven…

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And you might recall us mentioning a couple times the heat-wave we experienced a few weeks ago.  Definitely not muffin-baking weather.  Which is where these granola bars come in.

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Our first attempt at these granola bars was made during said heat-wave.  Unfortunately, while they tasted really good, they fell apart very easily and so we knew we needed to give them another try before we gave the recipe to you guys.

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But then the heat wave came to a very abrupt end (as in the temperature literally dropped by about 20 degrees Celsius overnight), and suddenly not using the oven wasn’t such a priority.  But we had already made one attempt, and we knew we couldn’t back down from the challenge!

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On the second attempt, the stars aligned and they turned out just the way we wanted!  Don’t you love it when that happens?

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Confession:  The first time we made these they had chocolate chips in them.  The second time around we went to put chocolate in them again and realized we were all out- yes, it was a shock to us too- so these ones are chocolate-free.  But adding chocolate chips is highly recommended.

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So we’ve put muffin-mania on hold for a few days, because right now we’re all about the no-bake granola bars!  Our oven could use a little vacation, anyways 😉

No-Bake Peanut Butter Banana Granola Bars

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Makes: 12 bars

Ingredients:

3 cups rolled oats, divided
2 tbsp chia seeds (or ground flax seed*)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. chopped peanuts
1 ripe banana, mashed
1.2 c. peanut butter (we used all-natural)
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 c. chocolate chips, optional

Directions:

Grind one cup of the oats in a blender or food processor until it is a fine flour.  In a large bowl, combine the ground oats with the remaining 2 cups of whole oats, chia seeds, salt and chopped peanuts.

In a separate bowl combine the mashed banana, peanut butter, honey and vanilla and stir until it is smooth and fully mixed.  Pour the peanut butter banana mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until no dry spots remain.  You may add the chocolate chips at this point if you are using them.

Line a 9×9 inch square glass dish with wax paper.  Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the dish and set in the refrigerator for about 2 hours to firm up.  When they are ready, use the edge of the wax paper to gently lift the un-cut bars out of the dish.  Cut into 12 bars and store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

*You can use ground flax seed in place of chia seeds, however we have not personally tried this and cannot guarantee the bars will stay together as well.  If you decide to give this a try, please let us know how they turn out!

~twosaucysisters

What are your favourite no-bake treats?  Have you ever tried making no-bake granola bars?

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Snack Attack

Several years ago, we saw a McDonalds billboard that said “Dinner is a long way from lunch”. We heartily agree! It was an advertisement for their snack wraps.

Different ad, but we still agree!

We’ve never actually had a McDonalds snack wrap, seeing as we don’t go there often ever.  But we do enjoy snacking, and believe that healthy snacks are an important part of the diet.  It is a long way from lunch to dinner, and who doesn’t love snacks? Having a healthy snack in the afternoon can help to prevent you from over eating in the evening, as well as provide you with some good nutrition.

The easiest way to have healthy snacks is to prepare in advance.  We like to make a bunch of healthy snacks that we keep in the fridge that we can throw in a lunch bag/pop into our mouths as we head out the door!  They’re also great if you’re having a “hungry day” and need an extra little boost.

So we bring to you: Mini Muffins. Easy to throw into a bag and bring along, easy to toss in your mouth snack hole while you’re out and about, and a great little whole grain treat to tie you over until dinner!

Cute little muffins!!

We’re calling these “everything” muffins, because they have a little bit of a lot of stuff in them.  With the chai spices and whole wheat flour, these little guys are big on flavour and fiber, and are pretty cute to boot!

Chai Spiced Everything Mini Muffins

Makes: 24

Prep: 10-15min

Bake time: 14min

Ingredients:

1 c. whole wheat flour

1/2 c. bran

1/2 c. oat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp each ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves

1/4 apple, diced

1/3 c. diced pineapple, no juice

1/2 peach, diced

1/3 c. grated carrot

1/3 c. raisins

1 tbsp oil

2 tbsp plain yogurt

3/4 c. milk

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp honey

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350C.

Mix all dry ingredients.

In  separate bowl, combine wet ingredients.  Add to dry.

Stir in raisins.

Spoon batter into 24 prepared min muffin tins.

Bake for 14-15 min.

~twosaucysisters

What do you like to have for snacks during the day?