Super Easy Healthy Granola Bars

Super Easy Healthy Granola Bars

My sister, Julie, called me this morning and raved about a granola bar recipe she tried from Giada’s cookbook, Giada’s Feel Good Food. I had all of the ingredients on hand so I tweaked the recipe slightly and made these Super Easy Healthy Granola Bars, which came out awesome! I used liquid coconut oil instead of the safflower oil, added additional oats and vanilla, used golden raisins and added a combination pecans and walnuts instead of just walnuts. These are a fabulous gluten free healthy breakfast or mid or afternoon snack recipe. Since my daughter does not get a lunch break at school, this is the ideal blend of protein, fiber, carbohydrates to help her energized though her day. These also make a great travel snack, so try them now and thank me later!

Banana Granola Recipe

Banana Granola via @alisonlewis

We have been making granola again, and my daughter, Leigh, found a Banana Granola recipe on Pinterest which I adapted, and it was a huge hit! Use this granola in your Greek yogurt, smoothies, to top smoothie bowls, or eat as a snack or dessert. It has a great taste and is so easy for words.

Healthy Peach Crisp

Individual Peach Crisp

Alabama peaches are the best right now: so sweet and juicy! If you’re looking for a healthy dessert (under 200 calories) with fresh peaches, read on. I quickly created this individual Healthy Peach Crisp recipe with these fresh jewels which came out spectacular! All you will need is whole wheat flour, flaxseed meal, raw sugar and oats for the topping. I used as little butter as possible. You can prepare these ahead of time and warm them up in the microwave when you’re ready to serve them. Enjoy this summertime recipe during the week or for weekend get togethers.

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Individual Blueberry Cobbler

Individual Blueberry Cobblers

We are loving summer fruit, and we bought a ton of blueberries yesterday! Instead of making a large blueberry cobbler, we decided to make this Individual Blueberry Cobbler recipe. It’s super easy with only 15 minutes of prep time. Feel free to add frozen vanilla yogurt or ice cream, if desired. Blueberries are great for brain health, cancer protection, digestion and constipation, and they are have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit. Enjoy and have a fabulous week ahead!

No-Bake Dog Treats: For People Too

When Birmingham Magazine asked me for some dog treats for my monthly food column, I wasn’t sure what to do. Honestly, this is not my area of expertise. I contacted our wonderful veterinarian, Andy, and I asked him to name a couple of ingredients which I could use to develop a cookie that would be good for dogs. I created these No-Bake Dog Treats which are great for people too. These came out fabulous, and my dog, Latte, loved every one of them. Note: For overweight dogs, these should be a “splurge” snack.

No Bake Chocolate-Peanut Flaxseed Butter Bars

No Bake recipes bar cookie recipes are some of my favorite cookie/bar types of desserts, especially this time of year when I’m so busy. I quickly mixed up these up  one afternoon, and my kids told me these were a “home run” (well that was what the boys said). My daughter loved them even though she isn’t a coconut fan. These No Bake Chocolate Peanut Bars call for ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. These make a great afternoon snack, dessert (with milk) and an easy homemade gift for Christmas or Hanukkah.

Heart-Smart Snack: No-Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

For those who know me well, you know that eating healthy and staying active is extremely important to me. I have been a runner since I was 16 and in love with anything related to health and nutrition since college. Over the past 20 years, my dad has had three heart attacks and open-heart surgeries, which has made me even more conscious of keeping my family fit and heart-healthy.

As you know, I’ve been working with CanolaInfo on its World Heart Day campaign and have learned a lot! For example, cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease, stroke and diseases of the blood vessels, is the number one cause of death worldwide, accounting for more than 17 million lost lives every year. In the U.S. alone, more than 81 million people (37 percent of the population) have CVD, resulting in nearly 850,000 deaths a year. Research has also shown that obese children are at a high risk for being obese as adults, which is a risk factor for CVD. There is good news though – with healthy diet and exercise, CVD can be prevented up to 80 percent of the time!

I’ve tried to teach my three children (10, 12 and 14) the importance of a healthy lifestyle through examples I’ve set and it seems to be working! As a family, we like to ride bikes, take walks, play tennis – anything active that we can do together. I also urge them to join team sports every season and we discuss the importance of making healthy food choices. I include them in meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking. I am always proud, impressed and grateful when I see them making wise decisions with healthy snacks and other foods. But kids are also, well kids, so I try to make heart-healthy foods fun like these No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars I developed for CanolaInfo’s “Home is Where the Heart is” Recipe Collection.

These easy and tasty granola bars are perfect for breakfast, a lunchbox dessert or afternoon snack. For more great kid-friendly recipes and information on living a heart-smart lifestyle, visit Canolainfo.org.

Easy and Healthy Homemade Granola Bars

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One of my very favorite things in the world is granola. Most of the time, I have to battle myself not to buy it, because once I start eating it, I can’t stop. I also have prepared many granola recipes, but again, I have to limit myself. So, when I was asked to come up with some healthy breakfast recipes for a national food magazine, one of my recipe concepts was a granola, Breakfast Bar. I really wasn’t sure if I could get the recipe to work, but on the second try, it was a home-run. I was so excited, and I couldn’t wait to share them with friends. I went straight from recipe testing to a tennis lesson with my tennis pro, Bob (who isn’t a health nut), and he said, “Wow” and “delicious”, and I feel healthy already”. I know you will agree. These are a more than a wow!

Power House Granola

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I’m obsessed with granola. I really try not to have it in my house because when I start eating it I cannot stop. I have developed various granola recipes for many different food magazines, but when one of my subscribers, Erica, asked me for a recipe, I went back to the drawing (or cooking) board. I wanted this recipe as low-fat and healthy as possible, and I think I did a good job because my 3 kids (under the age of 11) even devoured the entire container.

 

By the way, I did photograph, style and prop this photo all on my own. I get a lot of questions via email asking me do I really do all of this, so the answer is, yes.


Power House Granola

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes

Yield: About 5 cups (serving size: about 1/2 cup)

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups  regular oats

1/3  cup  flaxseeds

1/2  cup  chopped walnuts

1/2  cup  almonds

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

21/2  teaspoons  ground cinnamon

1/2  cup  orange juice

1/2  cup  honey

1/3  cup  packed brown sugar

1  teaspoon  canola oil

1  teaspoon  vanilla extract

Cooking spray

1/3  cup  dried berry mix (cranberries, cherries, blueberries)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 300°.

2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl.

3. Combine orange juice, honey, and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat just until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in oil and vanilla.

4. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture, stirring to coat. Spread mixture in a thin layer onto a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 300° for 10 minutes; stir well. Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Spoon granola into a bowl; stir in dried cranberries. Cool completely.

Note: Store completely cooled granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.