PB&J No Bake Granola Bars

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My youngest son H is a snacker, a grazer if you will. He eats constantly yet never really seems to eat a lot. He would also consume a massive amount of milk until a few months of stomach cramps (that he would happily suffer through bc of his love of milk) led us to the fact that he had become intolerant or allergic to milk.

After talking to the Ped we were to detox him from dairy products for at least 2 weeks. About 5 weeks later we had successfully made it two whole weeks with no dairy. This was no easy task; did you know there are dairy products in many BBQ flavored potato chips…why? Anyway, I started to make him his very own special granola bars because paying $6.00 for 4 allergen free snack bars was out of the question…not to mention we tried one box and nobody would eat them.

Thankfully my son is intolerant to lactose, not allergic to milk protein, which means we don’t have to be as strict with things like snack food. However, I continue to make granola bars and both of my son’s continue to eat them.

The other day I asked my youngest what he wanted in his next batch of granola bars. He did not hesitate to say Peanut Butter
and Jelly.

I have learned a few things about making no bake granola bars. The First, but second most important, is that you need to have enough “sticky” wet ingredients to completely coat your dry ingredients. Secondly, and most
importantly, you have to SMASHSMASHSMASH…them! And just when you think you have smashed them enough you should smash them again! These two very important tips make the difference between tasty granola bars or tasty granola…I’m okay with both, but the satisfaction that comes with a perfectly cut granola bar is grand…or maybe I just feel that way because of my many mishaps.

So on to the food.

PB&J No Bake Granola Bars

Wet Ingredients

  • ½ cup Peanut Butter (or your preferred nut or soy butter)
  • ½ cup Jelly

Dry Ingredients (The core)

  • 2 cup quick oats
  • 2 cups cereal (I used a combination of brown rice cereal and grape nut flakes)
  • 1 cup nut of choice (I used ½ sliced almonds, ½ cashews)

(The following ingredients are optional, but I used all of them. You can easily use whatever nutrition boosting ingredients you find fit)

  • ¼ cup milled flax seed
  • ¼ cup oat bran
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • ½ cup peanut butter chips

Usually I add shredded coconut because my sons love coconut so much, but I forgot. Just remember if you continue to add dry ingredients, you may have to add more sticky wet ingredients.

  1. Spray or grease a square baking dish. (I think mine is 8×8)
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a BIG
    bowl. (Do not mix any peanut butter or chocolate chips in until the end.)
  3. Gently heat Peanut Butter
    and Jelly
    in saucepan or microwave until melted and combined. (Be careful not to overheat, the peanut butter will separate…take my word on this one.)
  4. Mix the wet and dry together making sure all dry ingredients are no longer dry.
  5. Add peanut butter chips and pour into prepared pan.
  6. Now it is time to SMASH
    and SQUISH! (I bring the pan to the dinner table to get more leverage; the counter is too high for me. Use your body weight!)
  7. Let cool. If you are impatient like me put it in the fridge for 20 to 30 min.
  8. Cut and wrap your bars. (Use a sharp knife and cut skinny strips one way and one cut down the middle perpendicular to the skinny cuts. The depth of the pan will be the width of the bar…not sure that made sense, but there you go. I cut wax paper squares to wrap my bars in; I roll them in the paper and twist the paper on the ends, like a tootsie roll.)

Okay, so maybe my son had a different idea when he said he wanted pb&j in his granola bar, I think he wanted a granola sandwich, but using the pb&j as the sticky wet ingredients for a granola bar made perfect sense. Great idea H!

What are some of your favorite granola flavor combinations?

 

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Coconut Oil Review

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A few months ago I began to read lots of blogs on the benefits of Coconut Oil.  To be honest I was intrigued, but a little wary.  I feel like there is a lot of hype well for just about everything.  The idea that One thing can have so many benefits and uses seemed too good to be true.  The reason I decided to give coconut oil a try is that it is natural and affordable.

I decided to buy a small jar and began to use it externally.  I still use it mainly externally, but it is great for cooking too.  Here are a few of my favorite (tested by me) uses and a couple of things you should know.

First Coconut Oil is a solid under 72 degrees F.  It becomes a liquid above 72 degrees.  Like any oil there are different types, virgin, extra virgin, raw cold pressed extra, etc…  The more processed the oil the less coconut smell/taste it will have.  The less processed the more coconut smell/taste!

Externally (I usually rub the oil in my hands to melt it)

  1. Deep Conditioner for Hair
  2. Face Cleanser (more on that later)
  3. Night Cream
  4. Body Lotion – I use this after every shower, all over.
  5. Lip Oil (yes, I use it everywhere)
  6. Massage Oil
  7. Sunburn Soother
  8. Bug Bite Soother
  9. Razor Burn Soother
  10. Temporary Tattoo Remover (I have little boys)

What I noticed after about two weeks of use:  the dark circles under my eyes had lightened up and these little bumps on the back of my arms were gone.  Both of these things I have had forever and had accepted both.  I wasn’t trying to fix these problems, but I am delighted they are fixed!  I wish I had before and after, but like I said I wasn’t trying to fix it, it just happened.

This oil does not feel like other kitchen oils on the skin.  Olive Oil is great for your skin, but I’m not a fan of the way it feels on my skin.  Coconut Oil feels good.  Almost like baby oil.  If you want you can whip the oil to make smoothing on skin easier, whip it by itself or follow this lovely recipe.

The only thing I have tried and did not like it for was homemade deodorant…stay with me.  It was totally worth a try and it worked great as a deodorant, however the particular recipe I used had baking soda and cornstarch, one of them made my skin irritated.

Here are a few ways I have used it Internally

  1. A spoonful = energy boost
  2. Butter Substitute (on popcorn is my favorite)
  3. Saute Oil
  4. Baking
  5. Granola Bars (my son’s fave is chocolate chip w/ coconut, the oil adds depth, recipe later)

There are also a couple of things I have not tried but would like to:

  1. Bug repellent (mix peppermint oil with coconut oil)
  2. Toothpaste
  3. Sugar Scrub

With so many benefits and uses I will leave you with some awesome resources.

80 Uses for Coconut Oil  not only has 80 uses, it also has many benefits and nutritional information that I can not give.  Within this article there are also other great links for further research.

I hope this was helpful, if you can’t tell I love Coconut Oil.  Please feel free to let me know your favorite use for this amazing oil.

With heart, home and motherhood

SarahLiann