Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Delicious and Nutritious Granola Bars - made by Ella

I thought I would do another post about delicious snacks we eat at our house.  We are granola bar enthusiasts here, especially when it comes to home made granola bars.  I've been trying out various recipes and have had a difficult time finding one that is soft enough for Ella to chew, safe enough for Harry to eat, delicious enough for Adam's lunches and nutritious enough for me to serve.  That's a pretty mighty list o of criteria, let me tell you!

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.


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