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.

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Breaded Coconut French Toast

Breaded Coconut French Toast

The night before the plan was to have french toast the next morning with slices of sourdough and real maple syrup. The next morning the plan was followed through, but first a cup of coffee was enjoyed and a little of the Today Show.

For their recipe segment, they had featured taking restaurant favorites and making them healthier eating. They took the “Chicken Nuggets” recipe you buy at McDonald’s and made it into a healthier choice, “Coconut Breaded Chicken Nuggets.” Seeing that had given inspiration on how the planned breakfast that included french toast was going to be prepared.

Therefore our featured recipe: Breaded Coconut French Toast, and here is what you will need.

Keep in mind this recipe is not just great for breakfast, but can also be included as an item on your Sunday Brunch Menu.

The amounts of each ingredient will depend on how many you are serving.

1/4 cup coconut butter, divided

2 large eggs

1/2 cup coconut milk

4 slices of sourdough bread

1 cup dried shredded coconut

Real Maple Syrup

melting coconut butterIn a pie plate mix the eggs and coconut milk. In a separate pie plate add the dried coconut. Next heat a medium sized ceramic coated pan over medium-heat. Add some coconut butter and let melt.

dipping slice of sourdough in egg-coconut milk batterNext take a slice of the bread and liberally dip it into egg-coconut milk batter coating both sides. Next coat both sides with the dried coconut.

cooking slice of coconut breaded french toastNext add the breaded coconut slice of bread into the heated pan. After about a minute and a half turn slice of bread and continue cooking.

Breaded Coconut French ToastWhen all slices of bread are coated and cooked, plate, pour on real maple syrup, top with more dried coconut, and enjoy your Breaded Coconut French Toast for breakfast or brunch.

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Sweet Milk Sandwich Cookies

Sweet Milk Sandwich CookiesGail Borden was a teacher, land surveyor, inventor, real estate salesman and editor. He also invented condensed milk. He patented the canned milk in 1856, and preserved it by adding sugar. So thanks to him we can have Sweet Milk Sandwich Cookies.

To start here is what you will need:

1 (17 ½ oz.) sugar cookie mix

1 cup shredded coconut

½ cup pecan halves, finely chopped

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 egg

1 can 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

beat a medium eggIn a large bowl beat 1 medium egg. Mix in the butter, cookie mix along with the chopped nuts and coconut. First start the mixing with a large fork. As the wet ingredients start to mix with the dry ingredients; put fork aside and use your hands to continue the mixing until you have firm dough.

prepared dough for Sweet Milk Sandwich CookiesDivide the dough in half and sprinkle some flour onto a cutting board and flour your rolling pin. Then start to roll the dough about 1/4 inches thick.

rolling dough out for Sweet Milk Sandwich CookiesThis recipe will make about 4 dozen cookies. Two dozen will make one dozen sandwich cookies and so on. Divide the dough into two halves. Roll out each half enough to make 24 – 2 inch round cookies. Roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Place cookies on a light colored cookie sheet. Notice I am referring to a light colored pan? The darker the pan color the greater chance your cookies will be darker on the bottom sides, possibly to the point of burning. So I always use a glass baking pan or light colored nonstick metal baking pans.

After your dough is rolled out, the cookies are cut and placed on the cookie sheet, bake 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove to a wire rack until they cool completely.

cookies prepared to receive sweet milk and coconutAfter the cookies are done and have cooled about a good 20 to 30 minutes…place 48 cookies on a clean cutting board as shown in the picture.

Next open a room temperature 14 oz. can of sweet milk and on the 2nd and 4th rolls spread 1 tsp. evenly over each cookie.

cookies laid out to put sweet milk and coconut on themNow on the 1st and 3rd rolls place a dab or two of sweet milk. With 1/2 cup of coconut sprinkle generously the coconut around the outer edges of the cookies with the ones that have the 1 tsp. of sweet milk.

sweet milk cookies ready to become cookie sandwichesPlace the 1st and 3rd roll of cookies over the ones with the coconut on them to form a Sweet Milk Sandwich Cookie.

Sweet Milk Sandwich Cookies prepared for refrigerationAfter cookies have set with the sweet milk, remove from refrigerator and place on a plate.

Sweet Milk Sandwich CookiesWe hope that you can make these cookies for your family and friends. Oh so sweet are those Sweet Milk Sandwich Cookies.

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Carrot Coconut Bread

Carrot Coconut Bread

1¼ cups flour

¾ cup sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

1 cup sweet shredded coconut

2 large eggs, beaten

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup shredded carrot

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

 

In a large bowl, sift together first 7 ingredients. Then mix in shredded coconut.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs then add oil and mix well; add the yogurt, vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Stir the shredded carrots into the egg mixture, and then fold into the dry mixture until just combined.

Pour into four 4 to 5 inch spring form pans lined with parchment paper. Bake for 35 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes and then remove bread and cool on a rack.

Frosting for bread as follows: Whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, 8 oz. soft cream cheese and 1 tsp. vanilla. Spread over cooled bread. Reserve some cream cheese to decorate carrots on top. Use orange and green food coloring and a pastry bag. Orange is for the carrot and green for the leaf.

 

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