One of my confessions to you is I’m not a good cook. I don’t really enjoy cooking, at all. So even I was a little surprised with myself when I started making things from scratch—things that could be easily bought pre-packaged. Initially I did it because it was cheaper. Then I realized: of course there are the health benefits–I know exactly what’s going into the dish and I can exclude things that our family tries to avoid. Things I make must have easy to follow (read: Nicole-fool-proof) recipes and they can’t take a long time to prep/make. The following recipes are healthy, delicious and so easy to make!
5 ingredient No-Bake Granola Bars
I found the recipe at The Minimalist Baker—she had me at 5 ingredients and no bake! Because it’s our first week of school, I did add something a little extra to make it special for Big Sister’s first day: white chocolate chips. Other than that and using unsalted peanut butter, I followed the recipe exactly–dates and all!
- 1 cup packed dates, pitted (deglet nour or medjool)
- 1/4 cup honey (or sub maple syrup or agave for vegan option)
- 1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
- 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten free for GF eaters)
- optional additions: Coconut, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, dark chocolate chips, chia seeds etc.
- Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency. (mine rolled into a ball)
- Optional step: Toast your oats in a 350 degree oven for 15-ish minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw – I haven’t tried toasting them yet for sake of time but let us know if you do and how it turns out!
- Place oats, almonds and dates in a bowl – set aside.
- Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout. I do this step by hand.
- Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8 dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars.)
- Press down until uniformly flattened. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let set in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.
- Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. I keep mine in the refrigerator.
Twin Brother approved! Five ingredients: Dates, oats, honey, peanut butter and almonds!
Easy Fruit Roll-Ups
I’ve seen a ton of recipes for fruit roll-ups. I remember them from my own childhood and though my own kids had never had one (deprived kiddos!), I liked the idea of making our own with whole and healthy ingredients. My friend Kristel, over at Toppled Turtle, has a simple, step-by-step guide to help you achieve perfectly imperfect fruit roll-ups! Before I got her recipe I tried another and didn’t take the advice in her post to continue warming them after the 4 hour cook time–trust me! Follow her instructions and yours will turn out great! The two small changes I made were: I did add about two tablespoons of honey and instead of a pizza cutter, I used cooking scissors to cut the fruit strips right along with the parchment paper and then rolled them up.
Twin Sister asked: Mommy, how do I eat it?
Two Ingredient Cookies
One of our very first posts on My Fit Family was a recipe on Two Ingredient Cookies. The base is always oats and bananas but you can add in anything else from chocolate chips to nuts to raisins. This week, I decided to add a little protein for a complete after-school snack by mixing in about a 1/4 cup of peanut butter. I think some dark chocolate would be the perfect combo for a delicious and healthy snack (I added a few butterscotch morsels for a sweet surprise)!
Let us know if you try any of these recipes! And be sure to share your own favorite, healthy, kid-approved snack–we’re always looking for more
Never Give Up!