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Homemade Granola Bars Recipe – chocolate & peanut butter

01/25/2013

chocolate peanut butter granola bar

Around here, grab-n-go foods are important. They provide us with options when we are out and about – because they feed our hunger and keep us from stopping for fast food. Grab-n-go foods are also important when we get up late and don’t want to skip breakfast, and (often more importantly), my kids like them.

In today’s food culture, organic options are available for many of our favorite convenience foods. But despite them being organic they still have ingredients in them that you just don’t need. Soy fillers and other texture related additives that you don’t need when you make them from scratch. Making them myself I know exactly what is in them. Exactly where the ingredients come from and without and machinery needed to get it into our hands.

I have been *talking* about making a homemade granola bars recipe for months now and after finally doing it – what the heck was I waiting for? They were so easy and taste so good. I will never, ever, ever buy store-bought bars again.

granola bar recipe

Homemade Chocolate & Peanut Butter Granola Bars
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats (organic and gluten-free are ideal)
  • 1 cup of local raw honey
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup organic peanut butter
  • ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tsp 100% pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips or even better - cocao nibs
Instructions
  1. Set oven to preheat at 350 degrees
  2. Toast the oats by placing them on a baking sheet (ungreased) or in a large glass baking dish in the oven for 10 minutes and stir every 3 minutes.
  3. While the oats are toasting, put the honey, peanut butter and the coconut oil in a large saucepan and blend/melt together over medium heat (don't burn it). Remove from heat and stir in salt, cinnamon and vanilla until dissolved.
  4. Leave oven set at 350 degrees when oats are finished toasting.
  5. Pour toasted oats into honey mixture. Once fully blended, add in chips or cocao nibs and sunflower seeds. Chocolate will melt.
  6. Prepare a second baking pan (this is not absolutely necessary but the first pan will be hot) by lining it with parchment paper.
  7. Pour mixture onto parchment paper, spread, and press down into the pan. It will spread pretty easily with a spatula.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until slightly brown on the edges.
  9. Remove from oven, and lift the parchment paper with the bars off the pan and place onto a cutting board.
  10. Let cool for at least an hour and a half.
  11. Bars will be chewy and very slightly sticky.

 

You can tinker with the ingredients, adding and replacing anything you want. Almonds. Raisins. Dried cranberries. Coconut. Almond butter. Chia seeds. Flax. Etc. Whatever you can come up with that you love in a granola bar.

homemade granola bar

Brand Campaigns

4 Ingredients cookbook by Kim McCosker & Rachael Bermingham

04/10/2011

4 Ingredients: More Than 400 Quick, Easy, and Delicious Recipes Using 4 or Fewer Ingredients

The book 4 Ingredients by Kim McCosker & Rachael Bermingham is a cookbook designed for busy moms.

Product Details

  • Atria, March 2011
  • Paper Over Board, 288 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1451635141
  • ISBN-13: 9781451635140
  • Retail price: $18.00

4 Ingredients cookbook by Kim McCosker & Rachael Bermingham

From the publisher:

It’s as easy as 1-2-3 . . . 4 Ingredients!

Imagine succulent Chicken, Butternut, and Chickpea Curry with brown rice, a light, palette-cleansing Orange, and Almond Salad, and a decadent serving of warm Flourless Chocolate Cake. If this sounds like the menu for an elaborate dinner party that requires hard-to-find ingredients and endless hours in the kitchen, think again!

Internationally bestselling authors Kim McCosker and Rachael Bermingham have created more than 400 quick, easy, and delicious recipes that only require four ingredients. Included are fantastic dishes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and entertaining, as well as meals specially designed for children, including lunchbox menus.

With 4 Ingredients, home chefs will learn how to:

* Make weeknight family dinners simple and special.

* Provide delicious, home-cooked meals and spend less money.

* Cook with fewer utensils—1 teaspoon, 1 tablespoon, and 1 measuring cup!

* Spend less time at the sink. Four ingredients for each dish means less cleanup!

Find out what home chefs all over the world have already discovered. 4 Ingredients is perfect for the busy, budget-conscious cook!

My thoughts:

It’s hard for me not to review this book from the perspective of someone who prefers healthier food choices and is looking for creative and easy, yet healthy recipes for my family.  From the perspective,  this book is not a healthy cookbook.  It doesn’t specify lowfat ingredients over full fat and it does not have nutrition information.

But.

From the perspective of a busy mom who is looking for an alternative over frozen and fast foods, 4 Ingredients has got it going on!

This book has over 400 recipes for every type of meal from breakfast all the way to dessert and includes a section for kids recipes with lunchbox ideas.

Each recipes has no more than 4 ingredients (salt, pepper and water are not counted as an ingredient), and they are all fairly easy to make, and many of the ingredients are ones that you already have anyway or are easy to get.

And while this book is not meant to be a healthy cookbook, cooking from scratch with only 4 ingredients turns out to lend itself to being far more healthier than eating processed and fast food.

I like that this book takes average, everyday kitchen staples and makes a yummy meal out of it.  I also like that some of the recipes, while simple, would make a great dish to bring to a pot luck or a party.

Some of the recipes I plan on making first:

  • Hummus (I just bought Hummus for the first time, who knew it was so easy to make at home!)
  • Oranges & Cinnamon (with coconut – healthy and yummy)
  • Tomato & Feta Salad
  • Vegetable Lasagna (uses sweet potatoes)
  • Flourless Chocolate Cake
  • Homemade Peanut butter
  • Melon Delight (a drink with melon, pineapple juice, honey & mint)

I’m very excited about this cookbook and am using it for menu planning this week.

If 4 Ingredients had nutrition information and a few pictures it would be practically perfect!

You can learn more on their Facebook page.

About the authors:

Kim McCosker is a formal financial advisor and the mother of three boys: Morgan (8), Hamilton (5), and Flynn (2), and the wife of one: Glen.   Kim designed the 4 INGREDIENTS concept, and with her childhood friend, Rachael Bermingham, she is now the author of four bestselling 4 INGREDIENTS books.  She lives in Queensland, Australia with her family.

Rachael Bermingham is one of the #1 self-published female authors in Australia.  A spirited, energetic and enthusiastic mother of Jaxson (5) and twins Bowie and Casey (8 months), she self-published her first book Read My Lips (a motivational book for women on how to achieve their goals), while breastfeeding Jaxson.  She co-wrote her second book, 4 INGREDIENTS, with her friend Kim McCosker, during his naptimes, and co-wrote her third book, 4 INGREDIENTS 2 at night. In addition, Rachael still successfully manages 4 INGREDIENTS and her book distribution company Bermingham Books from her home office and was shortlisted last year to become a Queensland finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards.  She lives with her family on the Sunshine Coast of Australia.

You can purchase the 4 Ingredients cookbook at Amazon.com for $11.98.

I received a copy of the book mentioned from the publisher for review.