After being home for a few weeks, my son headed back to school yesterday. And so of course, we headed to the store to load him up with lots of healthy snacks to take with him back to school. At school, he’s been using his lunch break to play sports instead of eating, which leaves him hungry during times that food isn’t being served. As a growing boy that doesn’t work out too well. 😉 I’m sure he will figure out how to manage playing sports AND getting to eat his lunch, but until then, the mama guilt in me kicked in and I have to load him up to make sure that he doesn’t go hungry.
As we were squeezing and tugging to get his bulging suitcase closed, he told me that I was a good Jewish mother. So I guess I’m doing my job correctly, phew! 🙂
But, even though I got him a bunch of things from the grocery store, I really wanted to send him with some homemade treats as well. The thing is I was so sad about him leaving that I was doing everything I could to avoid thinking about it. Which means that it wasn’t until an hour before we had to leave to the airport that I realized, I better get baking or else he will leave without something homemade from me (which would be heartbreaking for me) or he would miss his flight waiting for me. And so that’s when I decided to make these granola bars. With only 4 basic ingredients, it was a no-fail quick and easy recipe that I could pull off in the little time that I had. 📷
📷I love making my own granola bars because not only can I control how much sugar and fat are in them, I can also get super fun and creative with the different flavors, adding lots of beneficial nutrients. Plus, I feel great about him having these at school because granola bars help increase cognitive function. The low sodium and high potassium help decrease blood pressure and increase blood and oxygen in the brain…the ultimate brain food. Also, the items found in granola bars provide protein and fiber. So these little bars will fight off hunger pangs and keep a person feeling fuller longer. So the sustenance will reduce your appetite and by default helps with weight management as well.
Healthy fats, + protein + complex carbs from the oats = perfect energy to keep up with a long school day, even if he doesn’t have time for lunch. It also makes a great afternoon snack or even a quick on the go breakfast, if you are anything like me and need something on the fly since you are always “running out the door”.
So, the next time you want to show your love through baking, try these! And let me know what kind of new flavors you come up with!
To your health, xxx
PS Are you in the Busy and Healthy Moms Facebook group yet?? You can join us here: Busy and Healthy Moms
4 Ingredient Granola Bars
📷 Ingredients 2 cups oats
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup + 1 tspn vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond butter you can substitute with sun butter if it needs to be nut free Optional: When you toast the oats and almonds you can add in:
pumpkin seeds (like I did in these)
Different kinds of nuts such as walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios etc.
Sunflower seeds, Flax seeds, Craisins or any other dried fruit.
Chocolate chips, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice are all great seasonings to add as well. Instructions 1. Place nuts and oats on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven.
2. Toast for 20 minutes 3. Meanwhile, over a low flame, melt the almond butter and honey + vanilla extract in a small pot. 4. Once nuts and oats are toasted. Remove from oven and add to melted almond butter and honey. 5. Add in optional dried fruits and/or chocolate chips. 6. Mix well and place on parchment lined baking sheet. 7. Place back in oven on 300 degrees and bake for 10 minutes. 8. Remove. Cool. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container. ENJOY!