Cranberry Chia Granola Bites

This is the second variety in the great granola ball taste test.  Should I have a go to recipe for granola balls, this would be it.  Although, I would dial down the sweetness if possible.

Cranberry Chia Granola Bites
Adapted from Babble

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp  cinnamon
1/2 cup room temperature creamy nut butter

Directions

1. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl, add wet ingredients and mix until thoroughly incorporated.

2. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.

3. Working with wet hands, roll into bite sized balls.

4. Store in refrigerator.

Note: This recipe is not scientific. Anything can be modified and or substituted to your preferences. Also, depending on temperature, humidity, etc. you may have to add more dry or wet ingredients to get the balls to come together. They don’t have to be perfect to be yummy!

Choconut Granola Balls

Like every other woman in America, I’ve been pinning like crazy on Pinterest.  There, I stumbled upon a few variations of no bake granola bites that I was anxious to try.  This weekend I made two varieties.  Of course, Forrest loved these coconut balls, while I preferred these cranberry chia bites.  Both recipes can be easily adapted to your tastes.  I found that this recipe was much drier than the other recipes, though.

Choconut Granola Balls
Adapted from Gimme Some Oven
Ingredients
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 cup nut butter
1/3 cup agave
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
Directions
1.  Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl, add wet ingredients and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
2.  Let chill in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
3.  Working with wet hands, roll into bite sized balls.
4.  Store in refrigerator.
Note:  This recipe is not scientific.  Anything can be modified and or substituted to your preferences.  Also, depending on temperature, humidity, etc. you may have to add more dry or wet ingredients to get the balls to come together.  They don’t have to be perfect to be yummy!

Fresh Picked Peppers

The first peppers were harvest from the garden this week.  I was excited to try this recipe that I’d saved from last month’s Bon Appetit.  The dish was a tasty as expected, although a bit salty due to the combination of salt & parmesan cheese.  I’ll be more reserved on the sprinkling next time.

Parmesan Peppers
Adapted from Bon Appetit, June 2011

4 bell peppers (a mix is great, but I only had red)
fresh thyme & oregano
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Stem, core, and slice bell peppers; place on a baking sheet. Toss with herbs and extra-virgin olive oil; season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange skin side down in a single layer and roast in a 425° oven about 15 minutes, or until softened, then top with Parmesan and broil for just a minute, until cheese is melted and peppers are slightly charred.

Pepperoni Bread

This is a favorite of a wonderful college friend.  She serves it at all of her parties and there’s never a bit left.  Perfect game day food!

Kara’s Pepperoni Bread

1 can Pillsbury French Loaf
Sliced deli pepperoni
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 egg, beaten

Unroll the bread onto a cookie sheet.  Layer pepperoni and cheese.  Fold up dough and tuck the corners forming a loaf.  Brush with egg.  Bake at 325 until golden brown.

Granola Bars

Chewy Granola Bars

Adapted from KAF

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup almond butter or seed butter
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate pieces, mini if possible
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
Directions
  1. Line a 9×13 backing dish with parchment or aluminum foil. Spray well, these guys are sticky! Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine dry ingredients and mix to incorporate. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, agave and vanilla. Add liquid mixture to dry mixture and mix well.
  3. Press mixture into pan, leveling with your hands. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and slightly crispy.
  4. Carefully remove from pan, while keeping on the paper/foil. Let cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars and store wrapped tightly.  They tend to fall apart, but we just eat the pieces like granola!

Overly Chocolately Granola Bars

In an attempt to use up some steel cut oats that I bought by accident, I decided to make a chewy granola bar.  I love these as an anytime snack, but it’d be especially nice to create a recipe that’s delicious and not as bad for you.  They should be relatively healthy, otherwise you might as well have an oatmeal cookie!

This batch ended up with a few too many chocolate chips and not enough almond butter, so I’ll adjust the recipe next time.  I’ll also try using all agave instead of brown sugar.  However, the basic recipe may become a pantry staple! 

Chewy Granola Bars
Adapted from KAF

1 2/3 cups rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup oat bran
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup almond butter
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon water

Line a 9×13 backing dish with parchment or aluminum foil. Spray well, these guys are sticky! Preheat oven to 350.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine dry ingredients and mix to incorporate.  In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, agave, water and vanilla.  Add liquid mixture to dry mixture and mix well. 

Press mixture into pan, leveling with your hands.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and slightly crispy.  Carefully remove from pan, while keeping on the paper/foil.  Let cool on a wire rack.  Cut into bars and store wrapped tightly.