After a lengthy search, the winning recipe is 'Blueberry Oatmeal Bars' from Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get your Kids Eating Good Food. This recipe sneaks in some spinach puree and you would never know it! It also calls for blueberry preserve, but I prefer to buy frozen blueberries and thaw and puree them. If you stick them in the fridge for a few minutes after they're pureed, they will naturally thicken up a bit.
Ella loves these because they are cut a little differently than the store bought granola bars - she calls them her big 'anola' bars. Adam says he prefers these to the store bought ones and Harry hasn't tried them yet, but he sure likes food so I think he'll be okay. The only problem I have is finding the time to make them regularly, so we have a supply for the week. The best solution to this problem is to have Ella help! She loves to help me in the kitchen especially when it involves adding ingredients into a bowl and stirring.
Our most recent batch turned out great. The recipe says you will get about 12 bars from an 8 x 8 inch pan, however, I use a 9 x 13 pan with no problem. I think my bars end up a bit thinner than they're supposed to, but they are perfect for Ella. I cut some larger bars for Adam and I and some smaller bars for the kids. I may try the same recipe using different fruit purees (I'm thinking raspberry!), so I'll post on how they turn out.
Here's a peek into our baking session:
|Ella is adamant about having the recipe book out beside us. I read each ingredient and the amount as we added them and now she knows that we need flour and sugar to bake things! |
|Taking break number 1 to eat some apple...actually she just reached over to the fruit bowl, grabbed this apple and took a big bite.|
|She did the same to this pear.|
|Stirring up the dry ingredients and she only spilled a little bit.|
|Yay! I got her to look at the camera...right after she sneezed into the bowl. We won't be sharing these with anyone else.|
|The recipe says to push down the dry ingredients into the pan. Ella was excited to use her hands.|
|Then she decided to use her hands to put the mixture back into the mixing bowl.|
After we finally got the granola bars baked and cooled, we ended up with this:
After they are cut, I usually keep them in the fridge because of the fruit/veggie purees. They usually get gobbled up in no time, anyway.