Dried Fruit and Nut Granola Bars + Back to School Pantry Must-Have

granola 4It is hard to believe that summer break is coming to an end. With so many obligations to worry about as we approach the start of a new school year, it’s important to focus on our home and pantry. Stocking up on simple pantry staples will keep your meals healthy, balanced and quick.

Oats
Homemade granola bars are one of the many recipes for which oats will come in handy. Mixed with assorted dried fruit, coconut and chocolate chips you will have a quick on-the-go breakfast or snack.

Whole grain pasta
One of the most versatile dry ingredients is great for busy day dinners and left over lunches. Garnish with fresh pesto, cheese, homemade tomato sauce or fresh veggies.

Nut butters and spreads
Easy to spread on pancakes, tortillas, or apple and banana slices for a satisfying snack or the perfect addition to any smoothie.

Honey
A great substitute for sugar and sweeteners, honey is also the perfect ingredient to start your morning routine. Squeeze half a lemon and 1 tbsp honey into hot water, for a caffeine-free boost. It might even kick your coffee cravings.

Dried fruit and nut granola bars are one of my favorites and can be made with a variety of ingredients that you have in your pantry!  granola6granola 3

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Dried Fruit and Nut Granola Bars
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. 2-1/2 cups old fashion rolled oats
  2. 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  3. 1/3 cup honey
  4. 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  5. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  8. 1/4 cup dried pineapple, chopped
  9. 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine oats and slivered almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly toasted.
  2. Combine butter, honey, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until butter and sugar are melted.
  3. Pour butter mixture over the toasted almonds and oats; add all the dried fruit.
  4. Spread mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread evenly.
  5. Refrigerate until firm and ready to be cut.
  6. Cut granola into 12 bars and store in airtight container or wrap individually.
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

 Recipe featured in Advocate Magazine
Photography by Megan Weaver 

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Almond Butter & Jelly Bars

SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCFeeling very excited over here…I have come up with a recipe that I love as much as my kids do and it can be eaten at breakfast or dessert and I don’t feel bad about it!  

If you are like our family, we have a serious love for “PEANUT BUTTER AND  jelly” (we like to sing it around here:) and sometimes it is a battle to get Sophie to want anything else for lunch.  So I have been working on a recipe that she will love just as much, but could be a healthy addition to her breakfast routine…and I did it! Yay!  Although, for this recipe I have removed the peanut butter and replaced it with almond butter for so many more wonderful benefits.  

After teaming up with Nuts.com and learning all the  health benefits that go along with almonds (and they taste amazing as well), these bars got even better.

The addition of almond butter, to replace peanut butter and almond flour, to replace all purpose flour,  you are treating yourself to a high protein and gluten free treat…and your kids will love it as well!!

Check out Nuts.com for over 2,000 items that can be shipped straight to you.

Almond Butter & Jelly Bars
Yields 15
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Bar Recipe
  1. 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
  2. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 1 large eggs
  5. 1 cup almond butter
  6. 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  7. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  8. 1/2 tsp salt
  9. 1 cup strawberry jam (or flavor of your choice)
Crumble Recipe
  1. 1 cup almond flour
  2. 2 tbsp sugar
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 4 tbsp butter, melted
  5. 1/3 cup almonds, slivered
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper
  3. In a large bowl with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy
  4. Add vanilla extract, eggs and almond butter and mix until combined
  5. Slowly add almond flour, baking powder and salt to almond butter mixture and mix just until combined
  6. Spread the 3/4 of the batter evenly into prepared pan with a spatula
  7. Spread the strawberry jam over batter
  8. Drop small globs of the remaining dough over the strawberry jam
  9. Make the crumble topping and sprinkle to cover top of jam
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden
  11. Cool in pan before cutting into squares or hearts
Crumble Topping
  1. In a small bowl combine the almond flour, sugar, salt and melted butter and stir until it comes together
  2. Stir in the slivered almonds
  3. Sprinkle over jam
  4. Make crumble topping and sprinkle to cover the top
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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