Granola

Yes, another granola recipe. I have changed this one up a bit by using coconut oil, and a lower cooking temp. The coconut oil’s smoke point is 350, so I’m knocking the temp by 100 degrees just to be on the extra-safe side. This smells fantastic while baking!
Verdict: I enjoyed this granola with sliced bananas and raisins. This is my first time using sesame seeds for anything, but I can’t really taste them in this, but I have read how beneficial adding them to my diet is. Apparently the seeds are high in copper, manganese, calcium, fiber and other important nutrients. So, despite the maple syrup and honey in this, the granola is healthy and packed with nutrition. This was also my first time using coconut oil which is also super healthy and considered by some to be the healthiest oil on earth. My first thought about coconut oil was “is this going to make my food taste like coconut”, but it’s flavorless. I’ve been looking for ways to use the oil and it’s not just for food but can be used on your skin and hair. There is a lot of information to look through! 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Aunt Melissa’s Granola – adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup sesame seed
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • raisins or your favorite dried fruit for serving
Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil and lightly oiled or a silpat.
2. Combine the honey, maple syrup, oil, water and vanilla, set aside. Toss together all of the dry ingredients. (leaving the raisins and dried fruit out until after the granola is baked).
3. Add the honey mixture and toss with a spoon until the oats are well covered. Spread the granola in a thin layer on the baking sheet.
4. Bake for 40-50 minutes. After 20 minutes toss the granola with a spoon and rotate the trays from top to bottom so they both bake evenly. keep a close eye on it as it starts to turn brown so it doesn’t over bake. It will be a deep golden brown when it is done.

Peanut Butter Granola Bites

The kids love snacks – especially my five year old. If I let her, she’d graze all day long – she’s a bit of a snacking fiend. This aren’t the healthiest snack that I could make, but at least I know what is in them. The kids were running low on granola bars and I have been meaning to make them some, and I made the mistake of mentioning it to my son. That boy never lets me forget a food promise! He’s as bad as his dad 😉
These are sticky to work with, so I recommend chilling the mixture for at least 10 minutes before forming them. I tried one (for quality control’s sake *wink*) and they were really tasty. The peanut butter flavors this nicely and they’re only slightly sweet. The mini chocolate chips are a nice addition, the coconut and oats give these a nice chewy texture and the rice cereal adds a pleasing crunch. I was afraid the uncooked oats would make these hard to eat but I was pleasantly surprised. I will make these again, but maybe in bar form. The bites wont make good lunch box snacks, but rather after school snacks because they fall apart easily. Maybe it’s because of the humid climate that these never set up tightly, so I serve these straight from the fridge. I placed the ball in a muffin paper so the kids’ hands wouldn’t get sticky. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Peanut Butter Granola Bites – adapted from Lisa is Hungry
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup cold cereal like Rice Krispies
  • 1 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
Directions:
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the maple syrup or honey, peanut butter and butter. Heat until the butter is melted and the peanut butter is loosened.
2. Combine cereal, oats and coconut in a medium bowl. Pour the warm peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients and fold tom combine. Stir until all of the dry ingredients are moistened by the peanut butter mixture. Allow the mixture to cool a bit for easier scooping. Mix in chocolate chips if desired.
3. Using a small scoop, scoop mixture onto a wax paper lined baking sheet. Press balls together with clean and damp fingers if they break apart a bit. Place in the fridge for about 15 minutes to harden and set. Place balls in cupcake liners and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Makes about 24 bites.

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

Quick Post: This is what I came up with while searching for school snack ideas for my kids’ lunches. These don’t have any oil and they’re a great recipe to use for overripe bananas. I had four small ones for this, but probably could have used the recommended three. The kids request these moist, chocolaty mini muffins – score 1 more for mom! 😉
Double Chocolate Banana Muffins – adapted from Handle the Heat
  • 3 large bananas
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour or whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position a rack in the center. Line a muffin tin with baking cups and set it aside.
In a large bowl mash the bananas with a fork or potato masher then mix in the sugar, egg and applesauce. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder over the banana mixture. Mix lightly with a rubber spatula to combine. Fold in chocolate chips. The batter should be just moistened but still a little clumpy. Don’t overmix!
Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop or spoons, divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups and bake them for about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer them to a rack to cool. Store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Triple Chocolate Muffins

Wow, it’s been a long time since my last post – sorry about that. I’m just now getting back into my old routine and for some reason five days threw me. I suppose it could have been the time change too, or just plain laziness. I will make up for it though because I have several new recipes to share with you, like this one 🙂

M really likes the jumbo chocolate muffins with chocolate chips that Sam’s Club sells, so I figured these would be a tastier, smaller and cheaper option. Yes, these aren’t exactly healthy, nor a breakfast item but I know he would appreciate something easy to grab on the way to work. These are moist, chocolatey and not too sweet – probably a perfect accompaniment  to his morning coffee. I’ll make these again soon, thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chocolate Chunk Muffins – adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles via Dorie Greenspan

  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups (9.6 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • â…” cup (4.67 ounces) sugar
  • â…“ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chips or chocolate chunks
Directions –

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

Melt the butter and half the chopped chocolate together in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water; or do this in a microwave. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients and the melted butter and chocolate over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough — a few lumps are better than overmixing the batter. Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin molds.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.

Banana Crumb Muffins

There were several spotted bananas waiting to be used and I remembered this recipe. I haven’t baked these in years so I don’t remember what modifications I used to make. I thought it best to make them without doctoring them up at all – success! There is a reason why this is the most popular at Allrecipes.com. It only makes 10 muffins which could be a problem for M – we tried one for quality control sake. He said “these wont last long here”. Too bad for him, but I was already planning on sharing some with our new neighbors:) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Banana Crumb Muffins – adapted from Allrecipes

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions –

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.


Try This…

Only if you like avocados, tomatoes and the flavor of lime juice. It’s a super simple snack that I came up with sometime last year when I had a craving for guacamole but I didn’t have the time or all the ingredients that go into my fave guacamole. Oh, and no chips either but this “salad” fit my cravings perfectly. Avocado does have a lot of fat, but really – how bad can fat be from a fruit?;o) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Tomato and Avocado “Salad” ingredients –

  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1 – 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • juice of half a lime
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

Directions –

1. Toss all ingredients in a bowl.

2. Eat!