No Bake Granola Bars

by Terrica Joy in


These are decadent and chewy and delicious.  All you need to whip them up are a few spare minutes and handful of ingredients.  I stole a few minutes of precious nap time while my girl was snoozing and easily threw together two batches.  They were so simple and inexpensive compared to store bought, not to mention you control the ingredients. Always a plus.  All organic and gluten free ingredients per usual over here--and I couldn't be happier with them!  

No Bake Granola Bars

  • 2 cups quick cooking oats (not rolled)
  • 1 cup crispy brown rice cereal 
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • handful of dark chocolate chips
  • pinch of sea salt
  • Simply toss the oats, cereal, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.  Melt the butter, honey, and brown sugar over medium heat.  Once it begins to bubble give it another 2 minutes or so, stirring continuously.  You want it to turn to an almost caramel-like consistency, thick and sticky, but careful not to overdo it as it can easily burn.  Once you're there, pour the syrup over the oat mixture and toss making sure everything is coated well.  Press into a parchment lined 9x13 pan to about half an inch in thickness, and then simply press in the chocolate chips.  Be sure you pack it all together really well.  If you don't they'll crumble to pieces when you try to cut them.  Also, if your syrup mixture isn't sticky enough that can have an effect, too.  My second batch held together much better because I gave the syrup a few more seconds on the heat.  Allow them to cool and set for at least 2 hours before cutting into bars. (update: cool them in the fridge overnight--makes them hold together perfectly!)

    The best thing about these are the endless variations.  Use this as a base recipe (minus the chocolate chips) and add in anything you want: nut butter, dried fruit, coconut, seeds of any kind, nuts galore, coconut oil, you name it!  I did a variation with big coconut flakes and almonds.  Really yummy.  Reminiscent of an Almond Joy.  I want to try peanut or almond butter for sure, too, and one with dried cranberries and pecans, maybe sunflower seeds.  

    Oh!  The other thing?  I hate those skinny little twiggy granola bars that offer you two bites and leave you wanting...  I cut mine THICK!  No skinny bars over here, people.  And I still got a dozen per batch!  That's two store bought boxes, four in my case.  The cost comparison is insane.  I don't have the exact math, but even with organic ingredients these cost a fraction of what their highly processed, store bought counterparts do.

    So there ya have it!  Let me know what you think...  and if you have any other flavor suggestions!

    Vanilla Chai Banana Smoothie

    by Terrica Joy in

    I don't remember the last time a beverage made me so happy.  I can't stop drinking these.  One part tea, one part smoothie, one part heaven... oh man.  They're divine.


    Being in the last few weeks of pregnancy has meant I don't have much of an appetite.  Juice, fruit, tea... that's about the extent of what appeals at the moment.  I've been doing lots of smoothies with greek yogurt to get some decent protein, but my 'normal' diet has sort of been shelved for the moment.  At 37 weeks I've only gained 26 pounds, so listening to my body has certainly been the best route.  That said, if tons of beverages are what's appealing at the moment, then tons of beverages it shall be!

    But this, oh my word, I'm not kidding.  It's rockin' my world.  It's so decadent it almost feels sinful.  

    Vanilla Chai Banana Smoothie

    -chai tea, brewed fairly strong

    -almond milk (or you could use regular, soy, whatever)

    -one whole ripe banana

    -a good splash of vanilla

    -tablespoon or so of honey

    -generous shake of cinnamon

    -few drops of stevia, to taste (you could omit this, but I like it sweet!)

    You really should freeze the chai into ice cubes first, but I haven't had the patience.  Freezing will create more of a milkshake or smoothie-like consistency.  Same goes for the banana.  But I've simply been blending the above and pouring it directly over ice. (More like an iced coffee concotion.)  And let me tell you, I'd take this over a frappuccino or milkshake any day of the week!  It's.  SO.  Delicious.

    Try her out!  Can't imagine it'd be anything less than love... ;-)