Thursday, March 13, 2014

Choose Your Own Granola Bars

Hi, my name is Rainbow, the eldest daughter of the mamma of this blog. 

I am fourteen years old and working through my freshman year of high school. I’ve been homeschooled from the very beginning, and I am so glad my Mamma and Daddy decided to keep their children at home. 

Mamma started teaching me to cook a couple of years ago, and now I am in charge of all our breakfasts and most of the baked goods our family of eight eats. 

Describing me would be pretty hard because I take pleasure in a lot of different things. First of all, I love dresses, heels, jewelry, and shopping (the girly kind, for clothes and accessories)… 

Secondly, I love the outdoors: gardening, hiking, boating, camping, doing farmwork, and just exploring on our property with a brother who was born for it… 

Thirdly, I love anything creative: knitting, sewing, cooking, designing outfits, making beaded jewelry, etc… 

Fourthly, I love school (currently my favorite subjects are Cultural Geography and Algebra 2)… 

And fifthly, I love Jesus. He’s my role model, my comforter, my strength, the one I can tell secrets to. He’s always there helping me along my walk with Him, catching me when I stumble, and whispering encouragement in my ear when I am discouraged.

Since we moved to a farm with nearly 40 acres last summer, Spiderman has taken on a lot of responsibility outside with our animals. He comes in extra hungry most afternoons, so for Christmas I made him a batch of granola bars crammed full of nuts, seeds and dried fruit. He loved them. But what’s funny is that he can’t decide whether to eat the last one or to leave it in the freezer for a while.

Anyway… the thing I love about this recipe is that you can tweak it to your heart's content (a thing I LOVE doing). We’ve made this recipe nearly a dozen times and I doubt we’ve done it the same way twice. I think my favorite was when we made cherry chocolate bars. I think that was Mamma’s favorite too. In case you haven’t noticed, her absolute favorite food is chocolate and her favorite fruit is a cherry. 

Spiderman’s bars had dried apricots (from Costco), dates (from Costco), cashews (from Costco), slivered almonds (from Costco), and dried, shredded, unsweetened coconut (from Frontier). Here's the recipe:

Choose Your Own Granola Bars
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 ½ cups sucanat, or other unrefined sweetener
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 ½ cups nuts and/or seeds
  • 1 ½ cups dried fruit
  • 1 cup melted butter, coconut oil, or combination
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Orange juice (if needed)

First mix together whole wheat flour, whole rolled oats, sucanat, baking soda, and salt. Here’s where the fun comes in! Coarsely chop 1 ½ cups nuts of your choice, and 1 ½ cups dried fruit of your choice. Feel free to mix and match. You could put in a half cup of six different things! You could put seeds in with the nuts. You could put dried blueberries, cherries, apricots, anything really … just be sure not to exceed 3 cups total. Mix that with the coconut into the other dry ingredients.

Add melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Finally, mix it all together. You may need to use your hands to get it fully mixed. If it is too dry you can add a bit (maybe 2 tablespoons to a ¼ cup) of orange juice.

Press into a 9x13 pan. Put it in a 350 degree oven for around 30 minutes. It should be lightly browned. Let it cool completely before cutting. If not, it may crumble up or stick to the knife.

I love making these because they are so simple and easy… Well, unless you’re trying to make them as a surprise for a brother who’s always curious to know what food you will be setting on the table later. That was an adventure!

Sorry there are no pictures with this recipe,  but in my next post I will include a few to show you the yumminess.



charity said...

Hey Hanna, I tried to comment yesterday, but for some reason it didn't post. I just want to tell you that I am very proud of you! The post is great, and very well written!! Keep up the great work. I can't wait to try the recipe, I know it will be great. :-)

Kristi said...

How fun!! Neat to see you writing on this lonely blog! I'm happy to hear that you guys moved out to the country...we have too, except now we are a few states away! You were 9 the last time I saw you, so you won't remember me, but it's neat to see you growing up and finding your own love of healthy cooking!!