I do it every time : I go to a “Whole” or “Natural” Food market and buy yet another type of “healthy” snack bar in search of one that son and daughter might like. Easy-eater-Son at least tries most of them with me and we then quickly agree that they taste somewhere between sweet sawdust and dried seaweed ( the one at the beach, not the Asian edible style). Lovely Daughter takes a sniff and only screams in disgust.
Amazingly enough she likes oatmeal for breakfast and as long as she does not see nuts and seeds will eat them happily. Husband is a purist and liked plain roasted nuts and seeds.
I do like the bars where you can see the ingredients through the plastic wrapper. But the few flavors Son and I like, get old fast. So, Mother with good intentions to keep bad junk foods away as much as possible tries her hand at granola bars. They turned out to be quite nice little bites.
Looking at many recipes I went for a mashup, using the ingredients I had at hand in 2 variations :
The Princess has decided that she definitely does not want any honey in her granola bar. So here comes variation 1 :
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup fine ground sunflower seeds and almonds ( a few quick spins in the food processor)
3/4 cup of coconut milk the thick one in the can, not the white stuff for cereal
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
I found a few left over pieces of dark chocolate that wanted to be melted
- Heat the coconut, sugar, chocolate and let it bubble for a few minutes
- Mix in nuts and cinnamon, stir
- Mix in oats and stir well.
- If it is too wet, keep stirring and let some water evaporate
- Scoop the goo on parchment paper and press it flat with another sheet of parchment ( i just fold a large sheet)
Sweet Son wants honey, so here is variation 2 :
Same dry ingredients, but no cinnamon, no chocolate
- Heat coconut milk
- Add 1/8 cup sugar and 1/4 cup honey and let it bubble quickly
- Add nuts and oats
- Press between parchment sheets
- I let the two different mixes cool down defending them against being eaten while still warm
- This seemed to a good time to cut the pieces. I might try cute cutouts next time. This time it was squares ( just in case it turns out to be very expensive bird food).
After a few hours it was clear that they are still to gooey, so we popped them in the oven with 375F for 10 minutes and the result is quite respectable.
Yeah ! They both like them.
Princess told her friends at school proudly that these “mini granola bars” are home made. Apparently that caused a lot of positive surprise with the first graders. She is quite vocal about being vegetarian and her particular food choices, but sometimes comes home complaining that “all kids think her food is weird”. We talk about how to react in a positive way to such remarks and I am very proud how she handles herself.