granola bars.

GRANOLABARS

I started packing milo’s lunch for school – so I’ve been trying to find healthy snacks (and main courses) for him to bring. I had everything on hand to make these granola bars. They are pretty healthy – not having any added processed sugars and are pretty easy to make your own combinations of flavors. I stuck with dried berries and chocolate chips, but I think next time I will add almonds as well! They can be nut-free if you aren’t able to bring nuts to school – just substitute sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter.

1 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup oat flour
3/4 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup  chopped dried fruit
3/4 cup choc chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed until liquefied
1/4 cup maple syrup

Heat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-by-8 inch square pan with two sheets of parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine oats, oat flour, coconut, quinoa, salt, dried fruit and chocolate. In a separate, small bowl, whisk together sunflower seed butter, oil and sweetener of choice until smooth. Pour wet mixture into dry and stir until combined. Transfer to prepared pan, spreading until flat, then use an addition square of parchment paper to protect your hand as you press, press, press the ingredients tightly into all corners of the pan. Press hard to make sure they are in there good!

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops are golden and the edges are light brown. Let cool completely before cutting; they’ll be even easier to cut without crumbling if you chill them in the fridge first, so feel free to cool them there. Once cool, use the parchment “sling” to lift bars from pan and transfer to cutting board. Use a sharp, serrated knife in a very gentle sawing motion to cut bars into desired sizes (I usually go for 16 2×2-inch squares).

banana bread bites.

bananaWe were having a little sweets craving the other day, and these seemed to do the trick. Not quite a cookie, not quite banana bread – but definitely a combination of them both!  Good stuff!

Found the recipe over here.

2 very ripe medium bananas
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch sea salt
2 Tbsp flax seed
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp peanut butter
2 Tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup  flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup semisweet dairy-free chocolate chips

  1. Preaheat the oven to 375. In a large bowl, mash the banana then add baking soda, baking powder, salt, flax seed, vanilla extract, peanut butter, agave nectar, olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  2. Add in the flour and rolled oats and stir.
  3. Add  the semisweet chocolate chips and stir until just combined.
  4. Scoop slightly rounded 1 Tbsp measurements of the batter and drop onto a prepared baking sheet  Space about 1 inch apart, then slightly press down with back of spoon.
  5. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until they appear set. You aren’t going for brown edges – you want them moist and just cooked. Let cool slightly on cooling rack and serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

sweet potato dog treats.

dogtreats_makegreat

So since we have a new puppy, I’ve been looking for ways to keep her busy. I was at Krisers this weekend, talking to the girls there getting advice on things for our dogs to chew on, keep busy, etc. She showed me these dehydrated sweet potato treats. They wanted $20 for about 12 of them. They were thicker and denser than the ones pictured here, but it made me thinking that I could probably make something simliar on my own, for a fraction of that price!

So i went home and sliced up 2 sweet potatoes. I rubbed them with olive oil and baked them at 175 for a total of about 8 hours. I did it for four hours, went to bed, and left them in the oven (with the oven turned off) and then woke up and baked them for about 4 hours more. You definitely want to keep your eye on these. It all depends on how thick you cut your sweet potato. Mine were a little on the thicker side (maybe about 1/4 inch) but i bet if you used a mandolin slicer you would not have to bake so long.

These were a hit with both our dogs. And its an all natural-treat, so they are guilt free!

350. chex mix.

CHEX

In preperation for my crafternoon (post coming!) I made some chex mix for my friends to nibble on while we made christmas ornaments. I have never made chex mix before – mostly because I’m afraid I’ll eat it ALL in one sitting. I LOVE chex mix. LOVE.

6 cups crispix cereal
3 T earth balance
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ teaspoons seasoning salt
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup pretzels

Heat oven to 250 degrees. Melt earth balance in large roasting pan in oven. Stir in seasonings and make sure the butter mixture is spread evenly over the bottom of the pan. Gradually stir in remaining ingredients until evenly coated. Bake 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. Store in an airtight container.

248. zuchinni brownies.

My neighbor brought me over a zuchinni about twice the size of my head – so I took a stab at making some zuchinni brownies. I still have half the zuchinni left!

3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup or so of chocolate chips

For the Frosting:
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray or line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix together the coconut oil, applesauce, honey, and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture in batches to the wet mixture, stirring after each addition. Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips

The batter will be dry and crumbly, but don’t worry! Spread the mixture evenly into your prepared pan.

Place in the oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the brownies spring back when gently touched. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

To make frosting:
In a medium bowl, add the cocoa powder to the melted coconut oil. Add in icing sugar, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Stir until combined. Spread over cooled brownies and cut into squares.