Archives for May 2013

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

In general, I try to cook and eat healthy.  Over the past couple of years I have been slowly switching over to more homemade things (more recipes to come) in order to reduce the amount of processed food we are eating.  My family has not always appreciated my efforts to change up their snacks!  I have experiemented with several granola bar recipes and this is a family favorite.  The kids love them and I feel like they are getting a healthy serving of whole grains with the oatmeal.  You can change up the recipe by adding your favorite nuts, raisins or dried fruit.  I found it was easier to remove them from the pan if you cut them in square pieces.  There will be loose granola pieces left on the bottom, I scoop it out and put it in a separate covered bowl and use as toppers for yogurt or it can be eaten as cereal.

The other day teen daughter said she had a store bought granola bar that was served as a snack at her tennis match and she said it tasted artificial!  So I am making progress on my quest to get my girls to buy into these healthy foods!

~Jen

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Here is the link if you want a printable copy.  Below I shared some pictures of how my granola bars turned out.

http://weelicious.com/2011/09/06/chocolate-chip-granola-bars/

Ingredients

  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate chips*
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey

Preparation

         1. Preheat oven to 325 F.

         2. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl. (If you look closely you can see me in the bowl! 🙂 I guess I need to get a new bowl for my food photo shoots!)

IMG_27473. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.

IMG_27464. Pour the wet ingredients over the oat mixture and stir to combine.

5. Place granola mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet and shape into a rectangle, about 13 x 9 x 1 inch thick. (I forgot to use the parchment on this batch and they stuck to the bottom more than usual, so I would definitely use the parchment paper.)

IMG_27486. Bake for 40 minutes.

 7. Allow to cool completely then cut into 3 x 1 inch bars.**

IMG_2754* You can substitute raisins or other dried fruit for the chocolate chips.

** Individually wrapped, the bars will remain fresh for several weeks.

Looking to Create a great Playlist?

 

I am a music junkie, I will admit it. I like just about anything excluding Rap, Heavy Metal, etc.! I really love creating my own  playlists to listen to when I walk. Spark People has a lot of great ideas for helping to create a play list you will love. I happened across this one tonight and wanted to share it with you. Unfortunately a lot of music with really good walking beats have words in them that I would just as soon not hear, so I am anxious to try this list out. I hope you find it inspirational too.

http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=christian_workout_music_100_uplifting_songs

Regrets You’ll Never Have

A friend posted this on Facebook today. Thought I would share it with you all. As a parent of 4 grown children I would like to inspire you to spend all the time with your kids that you can! It is precious, precious time and it flies by too fast!!

Praying…

Praying today for Oklahoma and all those affected by the storms.

Self Esteem! We all need it!!

Every day I work with women who struggle with low self esteem. We are all overloaded with the day to day responsibilities of parenting, working and household responsibilities. Many women seem to put themselves at the bottom of their “to do” list. None of this helps with us feeling good about ourselves. There is an old expression that says “if momma ain’t happy, nobody is happy,” and that is so true. I encourage you to move yourself to the top of your list. Good self care is so important. FUN is important. Fun is an important component to every day.I wanted to share this song I stumbled upon! Great message! Don’t be afraid! Show who you really are!!! Please share with us the ways you help yourself feel better about yourself, what you do for fun and what you do to put yourself up towards the top of your “to do” list!!

Julie

 

Low Calorie Vanilla-Orange Freezer Pops

Now that the weather has finally turned warmer in Michigan, I have been on the search for some healthy frozen treats.  Here is a recipe for one of my favorites.  They have an fresh, orange, creamy flavor and are super easy to make.  Enjoy!’

Jen

Frozen Treat

 

Vanilla-Orange Freezer Pops

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/vanilla_orange_freezer_pops.html

 

From EatingWell:  July/August 2009

These creamy vanilla-flavored orange juice pops will transport you back to the days of standing in line at the ice cream truck. Add a couple drops each of yellow and red natural food dye to give them a more vivid orange color.

            About 10 (3-ounce) freezer pops                 |             Active Time: 10 minutes           |             Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

  1. Whisk orange juice, yogurt, sugar to taste and vanilla in a medium bowl.
  2. Divide the mixture among freezer-pop molds. Insert the sticks and freeze until completely firm, about 6 hours. Dip the molds briefly in hot water before unmolding.

Nutrition

Per serving :53 Calories;  1 g Fat;  0 g Sat;  0 g Mono;  2 mg Cholesterol;  10 g Carbohydrates;  2 g Protein;  0 g Fiber;  25 mg Sodium;  155 mg Potassium

1 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1/2 carbohydrate (other)

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Freeze for up to 3 weeks. | Equipment: Ten 3-ounce (or similar-size) freezer-pop molds