Chewy Nut-Free Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

21 Sep


I posted this photo of a nut-free version of my granola bars on Instagram and was asked to share the recipe. If you can’t find brown rice syrup, substitute an equal amount of honey.

3 1/4 cups plain rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup roasted salted sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons shelled raw hemp seeds
3 tablespoons buckwheat groats (aka kasha)
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup whole spelt flour or white whole-wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup brown-rice syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
1/3 cup sunflower seed butter
1/3 cup coconut oil (warmed to a liquid state)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
scant 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life brand)

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees with rack in center. Line a 13×9-inch baking dish with a long sheet of aluminum foil and spray lightly with oil. In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, buckwheat, wheat germ, flour and salt; mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine rice syrup, honey, maple syrup, sunflower seed butter, coconut oil, and vanilla; whisk until smooth. Add syrup mixture to oat mixture, mixing well with a wooden spoon until completly combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Use a flat-bottomed measuring cup to firmly press oat mixture into an even layer. Bake until surface of bars appears dry and edges are just golden, about 35 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack, then use foil to lift bars from pan. Carefully peel foil from bars, then use a serrated knife to cut into bars roughly 3 x 1 1/2 inches. Store bars in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or wrap individual bars in plastic wrap and freeze.

The Best Buttered Popcorn

2 Mar

popcornIt recently came to my attention that people still eat microwave popcorn! Why?! Besides being not delicious, the makers of microwave popcorn are guilty of taking a simple, healthful, easy-to-make snack (popcorn) and unnecessarily assaulting it with salt, food coloring, and chemicals, all in the name of convenience. Don’t be fooled. It’s so easy and delicious to make yourself! Continue reading

Healthy Tip: Veg-ify Your Chili

2 Feb

Veg-ify Your ChiliWhen cooking for kids (or adults) I’m all for sneaking in a little extra nutrition here and there, but I’m not one of those “hide the vegetables,” spinach-in-the-brownies kind of people. (Not that I’m judging those who are–whatever works, folks!) Instead I prefer the “hiding in plain sight” approach, which (I believe) teaches my kids to recognize and like the veggies they eat. Here’s an easy way to add extra vegetables–and therefore more nutrients and fiber–to any chili recipe. Continue reading

Chewy Granola Bars

29 Jan

Chewy Chocolate Granola BarsI’m so excited to share this recipe with you. In search of healthy, homemade treats for my kids I tried a few different recipes for granola bars over the holiday break. After being underwhelmed by what was out there, I took it upon myself to come up with my own version. I love the resulting recipe and I hope you will, too! (I’ve even included a nut-free variation for allergy sufferers!)

Continue reading

Chicken-Ginger Noodle Bowls

23 Jan

IMG_7128What do you think of this steamy, gingery bowl of soup? It’s my non-authentic version of an Asian noodle soup–the perfect winter supper for a family, as each person can build a bowl to his liking. Picky kids can have their plain noodles and broth, but you still get to have a grown-up dinner. Read on for the recipe… Continue reading