Monday, June 8, 2009

Creative Avoidance

That's what they call it in Mary Kay when you find really great excuses to do things other than what you're supposed to be doing.

Like, I have a mountain of things I am supposed to be doing as my last two weeks of classes wrap up.

1. Write the draft of the Final Paper due on Wednesday in Humanities.
2. Re-read The Rape of Shavi for the "very tricky" quiz in Humanities on Wednesday. Great.
3. Finish reading The Reader for discussion on Wednesday.
4. Read the Metabolism chapter in Chemistry, do all the problems, and understand them.
5. Review the chapters on Proteins and Nucleic Acids before Thursday.

Here's what I did instead:

Baked homemade granola bars for breakfast for the next several days.

I first saw this recipe on The Blossoming Skillet. It got rave reviews from 11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven, so I decided to give them a try. I changed it up just a bit, but you should make these for sure. They're really good. And no added fat (negligible amount in the sliced almonds), and no added sugar. Store-bought granola bars will get you with how unhealthy they really are, but not these! They're hearty and filling too, loaded with fiber!

Chewy Breakfast (or anytime!) Granola Bars
Yields 24 Bars

1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 cake pan or small baking sheet

2. Combine the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl :

4 1/2 cups oats
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup raw flaxseeds, pulsed a few times in a food processor
1/3 cup coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cinnamon

3. In a small sauce pan combine the following ingredients until smooth and then add to the dry ingredients and mix well.

1 TBS. molasses
2 cup honey
3 tsp. vanilla extract

4. Pour into baking sheet and pack it. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool. Cut and enjoy.

5. Wrap extra bars individually in plastic wrap or small baggies and place in an air tight container.

Just some tips: You MUST pulse/grind the flax seeds if you want any nutritional value from them. You will not digest the shells of the seeds and the valuable part of flax is the oil, which you can't get to without breaking the shell, and it's really hard to bite through the seeds. (that was a long sentence) So, pulse them up just before using them to keep the oils fresh.

You could also change up the dried fruit in these, or add other/different nuts. They are chewy and wholesome and yummy. Cut the 9 x 13 pan down the middle and then cut each half into 12 bars, like granola bars, and then wrap them up in plastic wrap. I put all of my wrapped bars into a big Ziploc and they will keep this way for 2 weeks. Or you can make a bigger batch and freeze the rest.
My kids will get one with a smoothie for breakfast, or if your kids are younger and have smaller appetites, just a glass of milk will start their day out right!

And now, no more excuses. I must get to work.

Oh, wait! Family Home Evening! Darn.

7 comments:

Abby said...

Those look yummy, Jenna! I've been thinking about making granola bars for a while but haven't yet. I will..I will.

Dude, I can't find flax seeds ANYWHERE in my grocery store. Am I overlooking them? What aisle are they in? It seems a ton of recipes I want to make lately call for them and I'm like ahhhh I can't find them!

Terresa said...

I love making homemade granola & granola bars...they taste so much better when they're made @ home (as do most things!!)

Can't wait to try this recipe!

Sarah said...

Those look sooo good! I have almonds and cranberries on hand as well as oatmeal and I think everything else except the flaxseed and molasses. Oh and the wheat germ and coconut. But I have everything else. Well, not the apricots, but I think I'd pass on those anyway because well, just because...but they look good enough to spend the money on those 4 other items just so I can make them. Plus my kids love granola bars. I may add some mini semi-sweet choco chips though. Have I rambled enough?

Luisa Perkins said...

Yummy!

Creative avoidance: that brings back memories. Writers call such behavior "vacuuming the cat."

Alejandra said...

Hey Jenna,
Or should I call you Martha Stewart! Maybe not, you are way sweater. I just go pick up Nico from his class and you've made these delicious bars. We ate them in the car on our way home and loved them! I can't wait to make some, thanks for sharing the recipe :)

Rachel Sue said...

These look delish! I'm so excited to try them!

Shellie said...

Creative avoidance...I had no idea that was my best skill in life. Thanks for the enlightenment. I was just making ice cream, and granola, and jerky instead of facing other less pleasant chores...