Thursday, February 6, 2014

Chewy Oatmeal Bars

Here is another recipe that my neighbor sent me. We made these last summer, and they were pretty good. I stored them in the freezer and would throw them in my bag before we headed out the door. By the time Preston would be hungry after playing at the park or what not, they'd be thawed and ready to consume. John tried them once and thought they tasted too healthy. To each his own, right? I thought they were pretty good.

Image and original recipe found here
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 (8 ounce) container low-fat vanilla greek yogurt...or plain
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
2 tablespoons nonfat milk (I used whole, it's what we drink around here)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 ripe, smashed banana (my neighbor always threw one of these in just to add a little more to these, but the recipe doesn't actually call for it) 
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I substituted 1/4 c flax seed, and equal parts white and whole wheat flour into ours)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup raisins (we used peanut butter chips instead)

You can pretty much hide anything healthy in these and I don't think anyone would notice.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients...and banana if using. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well. Add dry ingredients to wet mix and mix well. 

Stir in oats and dried fruit or whatever addition you're using. Spread onto bottom of ungreased 13x9 baking pan. Bake for 28-32 minutes or until golden brown. 

Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into bars and store tightly covered. 

You could even make these into muffins if you preferred! 

Breakfast Cookies

Back in Oklahoma, I used to meet up with a neighbor and we'd take our kids to the park...oh, how I long for it to be park weather again...and I was always amazed at a) how prepared she was, food wise, when we were there, and b) how she always had the most healthy, and delicious looking snacks for her kids. All the while I was pulling out some highly processed bar of something or other for Preston, because it was quick, and easy, and quick and easy are the two things I like most.

I begged her to send me the recipes, because I figured one day, when I wasn't so lazy, I'd make my child healthy, on-the-go snacks, too.  I'd be that "good" parent that truly cares about the health benefits of what my child is consuming. Well, that's only slightly true. Mostly, I just care that my child eats something other than fruit, because that's all he seems to wants these days. At least it's healthy, but, too much fruit always has it's after effects.

Moving on.

I wouldn't say this recipe is the most healthy thing out there (lots of sugar), but it is full of other good stuff. It's the perfect little protein boots when you're on the go, or not, and you just want something full of hearty goodness. We made these yesterday and I have to say, they're pretty good!

Breakfast Cookies   

1/2 cup butter, softened
Image and original recipe found here
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
1 egg
1 tbls vanilla
1/4 cup flaxseed
3/4 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour (you could do all whole wheat if you want. Just make sure the flours equal 1 1/4 cup)
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup raisins/dark chocolate chip/peanut butter chips (we did a little bit of everything, per Preston's request)
3 cups round toasted oat cereal (like cheerios)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In large mixing bowl beat butter and peanut butter with electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, basking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in water, egg, and vanilla until combined. beat in flour until combined. Beat in as much of the rolled oats as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remain rolled oats. Stir in raisins/chocolate pieces and oat cereal.

Drop dough by scant 1/4 cupfuls, about 3 inches apart onto an undressed cookie sheet. Flatten slightly. Bake for 10 or so minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Cool on a cookie sheet and transfer to wire rack to let cool completely.

These can be stored in a tightly covered container for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. Makes about 24 (2-cookie) servings.