Granola Bars – Take 1

granola bars finishedIngredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup  unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cup fruit and nut trail mix
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 pound butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.
  2. In one bowl bowl, combine the oats, coconut, pecans, raisins, and trail mix.
  3. In another bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a third bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and honey until light and fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla and beat until well incorporated.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture just until combined. Stir in the oat mixture.bar mix
  6. Press the mix firmly and evenly into the prepared pan. Bake about 35 minutes until the top is golden. The bars will be very soft straight at first, but will firm as they cool.
  7. Cool completely on a wire rack and cut into bars.cooked bars

Optional:  sprinkle a little coconut mana onto the top of the bars before baking.

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Having Fun with a 25¢ Coconut

I found a cracked coconut this afternoon at the Grocery Outlet marked down to 25¢.  After looking around on Google for a little while I decided to try making coconut milk with it.  It was fairly easy and really quite fun.

  1. Crack open coconut.
  2. Use a table knife to separate the flesh from the shell.
  3. Peel off the dark skin using a knife or veg peeler (mine was too dull)
  4. Cut into small slices or pieces and place half in the blender with 1 cup water from the tea kettle.  Blend until no chunks show in the blender container (This took a couple of minutes with my Kitchenaid blender).
  5. Pour into a fine sieve and repeat with the rest of the coconut.
  6. Take small handfuls of the coconut from the sieve and squeeze to release more milk.  Place the coconut meat onto a sheet pan to dry for a couple of days.

I ended up with a sheet pan full of unsweetened, shredded coconut and a pint of coconut milk.  All of this for only a quarter.

Click here for great ideas from across the web at the Barn Hop

Citrus-Coconut Granola

4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups walnut pieces
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of two oranges
1/3 cup butter
1/6 cup agave maple syrup
1/6 cup tangarine honey
1/3 cup of orange juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Combine the oats, walnuts, coconut, salt, and orange zest in a large bowl. Heat the butter in a saucepan over and stir in the syrup, honey and juice. Pour the mixture over the oat mixture and stir until everything is well coated. Divide the mixture equally between the two silpat-lined baking sheets and spread into a thin layer.

Bake, stirring occasionally, for 35 to 45  minutes, until the granola is toasty and golden.

Let the granola cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Fantastic Oatmeal – What?

I’ve always been okay with eating oatmeal, but I’ve never loved it.  Today, I fell in love.  I followed the recipe at Kath Eats Real Food.  This is the creamiest, most flavorful and delicious oatmeal I have ever had.

1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oats
3/4 banana – sliced

Combine the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 4-5 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.  During the cooking, stir like crazy to break up the bananas and make everything creamy.

Remove from the heat and add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Divide into two bowls and, to each, add 1 teaspoon light brown sugar and a tablespoon of peanut butter.

 

Eating Healthy – Smoothies

I think I’m going to try to add more fresh fruits and vegetables to my diet next year.  These smoothies that I read about at Marcus Samuelsson’s website look like a great way to start.

• 1-2 bananas
• frozen peaches
• frozen mango
• a couple handfuls of spinach
• water
• ice (if desired)

Add enough water to blend and enjoy, that’s it