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Tag Archives: granola bars

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?

An Accomplishment

You know how there are certain things that in theory shouldn’t be that hard, but you seem to have a particular problem with? Like finding two matching socks in the laundry, keeping your room clean, consistantly breaking your spice grinder (or is that just us?), and so on!  We have things like that, but more kitchen related. For the longest time we struggled with omelettes and crepe making, getting clusters in our granola, and our arch nemesis is still poached eggs (we will conquer you!).   Another long-time struggle we had in the kitchen was granola bars. They’d either be crumbly and falling apart, or they’d turn out more like a muffin bar than a granola bar. Frustrating, right? There are literally thousands of granola bar recipes out there, how could everyone else find it so easy yet we produced failed attempt after failed attempt?

Well, after finally having success with our Lentil Granola Bars and our Pumpkin Spice ones, our confidence in this area was sitting pretty high. So, we made these ones:

Apple and Spice Granola Bars!
We think it’s safe to say that we no longer find granola bars a challenge. 🙂

So. Good. These granola bars are packed with spices, loaded with plump, juicy raisins, and completed with crunchy walnuts. With the grated apple, they could almost taste like a granola-bar version of apple pie!

In fact, we think the next time we make them we’ll put apple chunks and grated apple in! That way it would be even more like apple pie, so we’d be crushing two cravings in one (apple pie+granola bar).

Not to mention apples are a classic fall flavour. They tend to get out-shone by pumpkin, but they shouldn’t be forgotten about! After all, this is when the apples are at their best!

We’re certainly glad we have these, because ready-to-go snacks will be a necessity this weekend! We have national championships (CIS for those who may follow the sport) tomorrow, right here in London! So if you’re in the London area this weekend, where some purple to Thames Valley Golf Course and see some top-quality cross country (and don’t forget to cheer really loudly for your Mustangs. Go Western!).

Apple and Spice Granola Bars

Prep time: 10min
Bake time: 25-30min
Makes: 8 bars

Ingredients:

1.5 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. ground flax seeds
2 tbsp whole flax seeds
1/2 c. apple butter
1 full grated apple (not peeled)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. raisins
1/4 c. walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp EACH of ginger and nutmeg

Optional “Frosting”

2 tbsp coconut butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tsp maple syrup

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
Combine wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls, then mix them together. Place in a lined, greased 8X8 inch baking pan and press down firmly.
Bake for 20-30 min, until slightly browned and firm to the touch.

For the frosting, melt coconut butter down and combine with the rest of the ingredients. Once granola bars are slightly cooled, spread over the top.

-twosaucysisters

Are there any “easy for everyone else” things that you struggle with?

What I Ate Wednesday: Easy as Pie!

So here we are, another What I Ate Wednesday!

And we have a delicious snack for you…

Pumpkin Pie-Chocolate Granola Bars!

To us, Fall = pumpkin, and Halloween = Chocolate.

Need we say more?

For this recipe, we basically took our favourite lentil granola bar recipe and substituted pumpkin puree for the lentils, added a bunch of spices and bad-boom bada-bing we have a winner!

Easy as [pumpkin] pie!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday, everybody!

Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Granola Bars

Prep time: 5 min
Bake time: 30 min
Makes: 8 bars

Ingredients:

1 c. pumpkin puree
1.5 cups rolled oats
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. ground flax seed
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. honey
1 tbsp coconut oil (or other oil)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. walnut pieces

1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 tbsp coconut oil

Directions:

In a medium-sized bowl, mix all dry ingredients.  Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the chocolate and 1/2 tbsp coconut oil) and stir well.

Spoon batter into a lined 8×8 inch pan and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

To make the chocolate drizzle, place chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for about 40-50 seconds, stirring every 20 seconds, or until melted.

Once the granola bars have cooled, drizzle the chocolate mixture over the top and allow to cool.

Cut into eight bars and place in the refrigerator if not being used right away.

~twosaucysisters

Grab-and-Go

It has been a busy week for us.

Between moving in to our London house, cross country try-outs, and school preparations, our days have been filled up!

And by school prep we don’t mean buying school supplies and filling up binders with paper.  No, we spent all of 10 minutes doing that!  Nope, school prep for us means making meals to put in the freezer, and more importantly, making snacks!

Busy schedules require quick and easy snacks that can be thrown in lunches on the fly, so that’s what we’ve been working on this week.

And what a successful week it has been!

Friends, we have made some of the yummiest (and probably healthiest!) granola bars ever. Yup, ever.

The secret ingredient?  Lentils!

Yes, lentils!  They make these granola bars extra-chewy and very hearty!  Not to mention give them a boost in protein and fibre 🙂

And you know what else is so great about these granola bars?  They don’t fall apart!  It doesn’t matter how delicious a granola bar is, if it crumbles apart in your hands, then it’s not gonna work packed in lunches.  Crumbled on top of yogurt? Yes. But not for a grab-and-go snack.

Full of chopped almonds, oats, and just a hint of sweetness from chocolate chips, these are incredible.  As a matter of fact, we may just have to make another batch of them, because the first ones may be gone by the weekend 😉

Chocolate Chip Lentil Granola Bars

Prep: 30 min

Bake Time: 30 min

Makes: 8 bars

Ingredients:

1/2 c. dry red lentils
1 c. water

1.5 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. whole wheat flour (or any flour!)
1/4 c. ground flax seeds
1/2 c. honey (or other liquid sweetener)
2 tbsp whole flax seeds
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp coconut oil (or other oil)
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 c. roughly chopped almonds
1/4 c. chocolate chips
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Bring lentils and water to a boil in a small pot.  Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 25 minutes.  Drain of any excess liquid.

Preheat the oven to 350C

Mix all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until everything is evenly combined.  Dump mixture into a lined and greased 8×8 inch pan, and bake for 30 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned and the bars feel firm to the touch.  Allow to cool slightly before cutting them into bars.

~twosaucysisters

What are some grab-and-go snacks that you like to have on hand?