National Granola Bar Day

Granola Bars with oats and nuts on the tableThe United States is a country that is obsessed with food. Now that can be a good thing or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. Today is another day of observing a food item. Yes today is – National Granola Bar Day.

A granola bar includes whole grains, like oats, and quinoa and barley are also used. There are also dried fruits and nuts. To sweeten the bar either honey, molasses, agave nectar or sugar syrup is used. There are a variety of combinations that can add flavor and nutrition.

Making granola bars is a simple task. You mix the ingredients which are then pressed into a baking pan, and later cut into bars.

Granola bars are a go to food, because of seen as a energy bar. The are conveniently carried on hiking trips or biking trails. The bars can be high, but despite that, they are a healthy alternative to a candy bar. Eating a granola bar as a snack is okay, as long as you are active so as to burn the calories.

Outside of the United States granola bars are known by several names, including flapjack, meusli bars and cereal bars.

Here’s our rendition of a all organic, gluten free, paleo approved Granola Bar, and the following is what you will need.

mixed oats, nuts, seeds, raisins, honey and coconut oil, black background, selective focus

2 1/2 cups rolled oats

1cup wheat germ

1cup flax seed, slightly ground

14  cup sunflower seeds, optional to use sesame seeds, or pumpkin seeds

1 cup almonds, sliced, these nuts can also be used cashews, walnuts, peanuts, macadamias or pecans

1cup dry shredded coconut

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla

1cup honey, optional to use raw honey

4 tablespoons butter

1cup brown sugar

1 cup dried fruit, including cranberries, golden raisins, pineapple, apricots, cherries, papaya, and prunes (optional to use fresh fruit)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.

Combine the oats, wheat germ, flax seeds, sesame seeds and almonds.

NOTE: If you chose to mix in another nut with the almonds, divide the nuts up into 1/2 cup servings, such as 1/2 cup of sliced almonds and 1/2 cup of the nut of your choice.

Spread mixture out evenly over the baking sheet and toast for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden. Stir mixture once or twice, to evenly toast the grains.

NOTE: We slightly ground our flax seeds, as whole flax seeds can not be digested whole, therefore not receiving the benefits of the seed.

In a large bowl combine salt, coconut, cinnamon and dried fruits, and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add the vanilla, honey, butter and brown sugar. Stir continuously, bring mixture to a soft boil.

NOTE: You can use raw honey because of it dense nutritional content, but after baking the bars much of the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes will be destroyed from the high heat, therefore processed organic honey would be okay to use.

When oat mixture is done toasting, transfer to the same bowl with coconut mixture and stir to evenly combine, then add the honey mixture and stir to incorporate.

Line a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish with waxed paper. Spread the mixture, using the back of a wooden spoon, pressing the mixture out over the waxed  paper evenly to create a smooth, even surface.

Place another piece of waxed paper over the top, pressing down to evenly compact the mixture.

NOTE: Compacting is important so the bars won’t fall apart when cut. You can place a smaller pan within the 9 X 13 inch baking pan to press the mixture out evenly. You can also use a large drinking glass, by rolling it over the wax paper.

Homemade Granola Bars on the tea cup backgroundCool, than refrigerate about 2 hours. Doing so ensures a clean cut. After cutting the baked granola into bars, wrap them in waxed paper and store in a covered container and store in the refrigerator.Ty can even be store in the freezer for up to between 6 to 8 months.

What Others Are Reading:

Carrot Cake Pancakes with Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Pancakes with Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Pancakes with Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce

You may have heard of mascarpone as an Italian style cream cheese, but a softer texture, than the regular cream cheese, such as the brand name Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Mascarpone can be used in cheesecakes, and is also used to make Tiramisu. Because of its creamy texture, it makes a grand accompaniment with berries, like strawberries. The Italian style cream cheese is described in flavor as sweet, rich, and creamy-like with a mild buttery flavor.

Mascarpone was invented in southern Italy around the 16th century. It is made using the cream of cow’s milk. The name Mascarpone, pronounced  Mahs-kahr-po-nay, is thought to be related to the root word mascherare, an Italian verb meaning to “dress up” or “camouflage.”

This dressing up of the cow’s cream, relates to the way the cream cheese is made. It begins from mascarpa, which is a by-product that is extracted from the whey that is leftover from making stracchino, a semi-soft cheese made from whole cow’s milk, and once extracted from the whey, it is then coagulated with lemon juice and drained, and you have: Mascarpone.

Now for our featured recipe: Gluten Free Carrot Cake Pancakes with Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce, and here is what you will need.

2/3 cup coconut flour

1 ripe medium banana

1 medium carrot finely grated, do not pat dry (should equal about 1 cup)

1/2 cup dried coconut, shredded and unsweetened

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons melted coconut butter

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

3 eggs

2 cups coconut milk (can also use buttermilk, milk, or almond milk)

The Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce to follow.

Ingredients for Carrot Cake Pancakes with Orange Maple Mascarpone SauceMix all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

Carrot Cake Pancakes cooking in a skilletWarm a ceramic coated skillet over medium heat, and add a tablespoon of coconut butter. When butter is melted, add a ladle full of the pancake mix, and cook about 1 1/2 minutes on each side.

Before making the pancakes, in a separate small mixing bowl, make the Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce, as follows.

Ingredients for Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce

 

1 – 8 oz. tub of mascarpone cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 zest of an orange

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon real maple syrup

1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt

Mix all ingredients in a small mixing bowl, and set aside. If there is any leftover cream cheese sauce, save in a glass jar with a tight lid for up to 10 days in the refrigerator.

Carrot Cake Pancakes with Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce

 

When you have finished cooking the pancakes (makes about 6 large cakes), plate them and top with the Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce. You can also top the sauce with some grated carrot, and nuts, like pecans or walnuts. Enjoy!!

What Others Are Reading:

Pecan Buttermilk Banana Bread

Pecan Buttermilk Banana Bread

Many who are not vegan or not allergic to gluten, make there sweet breads with regular white flour. It can be bleached or unbleached. I thought I would change that and use 100% whole wheat flour in our featured recipe: Pecan Buttermilk Banana Bread.

Even though it’s made with 100% whole wheat, it won’t ruin the fun of enjoying this sweet treat. Besides whole wheat is a complex carbohydrate and wont spike your glucose, or cause a serge of energy to only fall fast 20 minutes later.

The inside has Almond Toffee Bits or better know as Heath Bars. The outside of the bread is bake coated with sugar, for that extra sweetness.

The sugar coats better, and doesn’t clump like flour or leave a floury film on the baked cake. Instead, it leaves a slight sweet coating on the bottom and sides. Avocado oil or olive oil can be replaced with butter, considered a healthier alternative.

extra ripe bananasWe also used over ripe bananas. when bananas go black and then some, they have a lot of natural sweetness.

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the video and then enjoy preparing Pecan Buttermilk Banana Bread.

Pecan Buttermilk Banana Bread

2 eggs, beaten

1/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup butter, unsalted, melted (1/2 cup oil or apple sauce to replace butter)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamon or pie spice

1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium)

1 cup white sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

½ cup almond toffee (or Heath Bars, about 4 crushed)

1 cup chopped pecans, divided

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

Coat a 9×5 inch loaf pan with butter or olive oil and 3 tablespoons of sugar.

In a large mixing bowl blend together the eggs, buttermilk, butter and bananas.

Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a medium bowl. Add ½ cup pecans, almond toffee bits, and both sugars, mix in. Add flour mixture to banana mixture, mix till well incorporated.

Pour into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle ½ cup pecans over batter. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

What Others are Saying About Banana Bread:

Honey Roasted Nuts

Honey Roasted Nuts

A part from being a mouthwatering snack, honey roasted nuts have nutritional benefits as well.

Nuts have protein, fiber, antioxidants and mono-saturated fat. It’s the fat that protects you from chronic heart disease. Some studies have reported that consuming one ounce of nuts daily reduces the risk of developing diabetes.

To receive the value of 6 grams of protein in Almonds you need to eat one ounce (about 24 nuts). There is also the benefits of vitamin E and the trace mineral magnesium.

To get 4 grams of protein from Cashews it is also one ounce (about 18 nuts) along with these trace minerals: selenium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.

Twenty halves of pecans will give you 3 grams of protein along with vitamin B-1 for energy and the trace mineral zinc.

Now let’s get to roasting!!

Here is what you will need:

ingredients for Honey Roasted Nuts

In a medium bowl pour in three cups of mixed nuts, almonds, cashews and pecans. Pour 1/4 cup of honey over the nuts. Cut up 3 tablespoons of butter into small chunks
and disperse over nuts. Add 3 teaspoons of orange zest and sprinkle in the 1/2 teaspoon mixed cinnamon and nutmeg. To make it a better choice snack for the health of your heart replace the butter with 3 tablespoons of coconut oil (read our article about: Adding a Little Zest).

mixing all ingredients together for roasting

Next place bowl into microwave for 4 to 7 minutes. The time will depend on your microwave. I was able to roast the nuts in 4 minutes. Half way through the roasting stir
the mixture up. Place back into the microwave and continue to roast. While you are waiting place a sheet of parchment paper onto a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.

preparing  finished roasted nuts for cooling

When nuts have finished roasting, remove the bowl and pour nuts out over parchment paper. Allow the nuts to cool for about 20 to 30 minutes.

adding sugar, dried cranberries and dried coconut
Next, with clean hands break up cooled roasted nuts and place into a large bowl. After you have broken apart the roasted nuts add about 1/4 cup or less of sugar (optional). The amount of sugar is to your liking. Mix up the nuts to coat them with the sugar. The amount of dried cranberries and shredded coconut is also to your liking. I added two handfuls of cranberries and two handfuls of coconut. Now mix in these additions until well incorporated.

Take your Honey Roasted Nuts and place them into a jar or container with a tight fitted lid. Enjoy!!

Honey Roasted Nuts packed into a Jar

You can have Honey Roasted Nuts with your next party or dinner gathering along with these other favorites Party Favorites .

What Others are Saying About Nuts:

Enhanced by Zemanta