Cranberry Seed Hippy Granola for Kids and Life Lessons Learned in the Kitchen

I always like getting adventurous in the kitchen, and yesterday Sunday afternoon I set out to do just that! My mission was to create a healthy nut-free granola bar for school lunches, chock full of nutritious goodness that children would love. A recipe that even the busiest parent could muster up the time and energy to pull off – and best part, no baking required!

See I’m giving a corporate talk tomorrow today on the topic of meal planning for busy parents and I wanted to give them a healthy replacement option for all the garbage granola bars out there on grocery store shelves. You know the ones…laden with hydrogenated oils and rancid fats, artificial this and that, refined sugar and grain? Yeah, those ones! So I was going to make them, refrigerate them, and then bring them in tomorrow today for all the parents to try. I wanted to impress them with my mad skills in the kitchen and hopefully sway them from ever buying another mainstream granola bar again!

Here they are! They look pretty tasty and granola bar-like, eh?

Don’t be deceived. No-bake granola bar attempt #1 = FAIL!!

See in the pic above they look really great because they just came out of the freezer after being in there for about 30 minutes. As soon as they sat out on the counter for a little while (after cutting them), these little babies started to crumble. Big time! How could I bring these into my corporate talk on Tuesday today? My granola bars would be the laughing-stock of the boardroom. Furthermore, what parent in their right mind would want to put a granola bar in their child’s lunchbox if it crumbled before they even packed it. “Might as well have just bought the store-bought ones” I could imagine them exclaiming. And more so, what kid wants to be “the kid” with the crumbly granola bar on the first day of school. Not cool! No kid wants sticky granola crumble stuck in their pony-tail or to the front of their shirt.

Not being one to give up very easily I started to ponder how I could turn this crumbling situation around.

Voila!

Here we have Cranberry Seed Hippy Granola for Kiddos (I basically just pulled the bars apart)! For all of you granola lovers out there this is for you. Toss it in your yogurt if that’s your thing, or sprinkle it over top of your “healthier” cereal for a little added sweetness. My method of choice?  Sprinkled over a sliced banana with a splash of almond milk (pictured below).

(Actually, I think I may have added that splash of almond milk after I snapped the picture.)

Now, remember this is more like a treat than an everyday staple, it’s sweet, granted using natural raw honey. If you are transitioning your child away from their “Fruit Loops” or other sugary breakfast cereal, a few tbsps of this mixed in with a lower sugar alternative would a nice option, or half a cup of this mixed in with some sliced up fruit would be another. They could even eat it straight up! It can also still be a replacement for a granola bar (my original intention), you’ll just need to include a reusable container and spoon to go along with! And remember, it’s still way better than all those mainstream granola bars.

Recipe: Organic Cranberry Seed Hippy Granola (Nut-free)

2 cups of organic rolled oats

½ cup of raw sunflower seeds

½ cup of raw sesame seeds

½ cup of raw pumpkin seeds (not pictured above bc I didn’t have any on hand)

1 cup of dried organic cranberries (or other dried fruit of choice)

1 tbsp of ground cinnamon

½ cup of organic chocolate chips (optional)

¾ cup of raw honey (you can try tapering it back to ½ cup to start) – honey must be liquid consistency for blending purposes. You might also try mixing 1/2 cup of raw honey with 1/4 cup of black strap molasses for a different flavour.

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients except the honey in a large bowl and mix well.

Next slowly drizzle the honey over the mixture and mix well so that all dry ingredients are covered. I suppose you could just omit the honey, however, seeing as this was made with the kiddos in mind as a “treat” or alternative to all those sweet granola bars, the sweetness is key here.

* Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container

 

Life Lesson Learned?

Don’t assume a recipe is going to work out if you’ve never tried it before and better yet, don’t wait until the last-minute to attempt a first-time trial when you need the goods in a pinch. Procrastinating never gets you ahead of the game. That’s just the way the cookie (er, granola bar?) crumbles.

Be back soon!!

Elaine

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