I am sure you all have heard it over and over, again and again – about how breakfast is the most important meal of your day.! So I am not going to belabor over that. You can read webMD if you really want to know why it’s important. 🙂
Do you really however make sure that you and your family indeed get a healthy breakfast every morning? In a typical household where both the husband and wife are working, breakfast always tend to get the least amount of attention(at least in my house!) mainly because there is no time! Backpack and lunches need to be packed and kids need to be dropped off and of course that 9 AM meeting needs to happen!. Breakfast – oh the regular cereal will do!
But maybe there is something simple that you really can do! Pleased to say – there really is one easy thing you could do! How about healthy homemade breakfast / granola bars? I have been on the look out for a good granola bar recipe that could be easily made at home. I searched several recipes online and finally settled on one from thecornerkitchenblog.com. This recipe really had a lot of my favorite ingredients – coconut, almonds and raisins! But then I also wanted to add in a lot of other ingredients that I also really like 🙂 So I added cashew nuts, pistachios,dried cherries and dried cranberries. And then I wanted to keep the flavor simple – so stuck to plain vanilla. I also did not want to buy any ingredient that I don’t regularly have in my pantry and so replaced the flax seeds with sesame seeds and wheat germ with wheat flour. And then of course the kids came in last minute to supervise my efforts and ordered that chocolate chips be added! I am glad they did – the result of all this was one delicious and scrumptious bar that is not only easy to make but also filled with so much healthy goodness!
Only problem I had now was what should I call these ? I thought perhaps I should order the ingredients in alphabetical order – Almond, coconut, cherry, chocolate chip,cranberry, etc etc… bar!. Of course, the kids totally rejected that idea. So in the end we just settled for ‘Homemade healthy breakfast bars’ 🙂 I also have done a video recording of this the last time I made it.- See link on the bottom.
Homemade Healthy Breakfast bar (Oat and nut bar )
Recipe adapted from thecornerkitchenblog.com
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp or pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup almonds,chopped
1/4 cup cashew nuts,chopped
1/4 cup peanuts,chopped
1/4 cup pistachios,chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp honey (I used a mix of agave and honey)
1/4 cup unsalted melted butter
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F (or 180 deg C) and line a 8 inch square baking tray with al foil and butter the foil. Leave some extra foil hanging out from both edges.
2. Next chop all the nuts and measure them and keep aside. Measure the cranberries, cherries,raisins and chocolate chips and keep aside.
3. Take a large mixing bowl and add the oats,whole wheat flour,sesame seeds,brown sugar, coconut and the salt.
4. Take a small glass mixing bowl and add melted butter (I microwaved for 2 minutes to melt the butter) and then add the orange juice,honey and vanilla extract and whisk together to blend.
5. Now pour this butter honey mixture into the larger bowl with the oats and the flour. Add the chopped nuts , the dried fruits and the chocolate chips too.Mix well using a spatula or a wooden spoon till the mixture is fully mixed with the butter and honey mixture.
6. Pour this mixture onto the prepared square baking pan and press on the outside by placing wax paper on the top.
7. Bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes (for quick cooking oats) or about 30 minutes (if you are using old fashioned oats and or if you prefer a crunchy bar). Remove from the oven and cool for about 30 minutes at room temperature. Then keep in the refrigerator for about 1 hour for the bars to set properly. (Initially when you get them out from the oven, they will be still soft but they will set on cooling)
8. After cooling, get the tray out of the fridge and take the baked mixture out of the tray by using the foil edges and place on a flat tray or a cutting board. Use a large knife to make cuts on the baked granola(Dip the knife in hot water to make it easier to make cuts