Chewy Granola Bars

 

Many moons ago, my friend, Tiffany, gave me this recipe.  I went through a season of making them a couple of times a month…and then we greatly reduced our grocery budget.  (Sigh.)  Fortunately, there is now a bulk foods store nearby that sells most of these ingredients well below grocery store prices.  Yay for us!

These bars will not taste at all like the chewy granola bars that you can buy.  They are heartier and less artificial in taste and texture.  A pan of these can last our hungry family for several days–unlike a pan of brownies.  The ingredients are super flexible and easily altered to accommodate preferences and pantry supplies.  For instance, the ones I’m making this morning have almonds and flax seeds instead of sunflower seeds and wheat germ.  As long as you get a reasonably-right combination of wet and dry ingredients, your chance of success is fairly solid.

1/3 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. peanut butter
3/4 c. honey
2 T. hot water
2 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. rolled oats
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. wheat germ
1/2 c. sunflower seeds
1 T. sesame seeds
1 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. shredded coconut

Mix thoroughly and press into buttered 9×13″ baking dish.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until top is golden brown.  Cool 10 minutes before cutting into bars.  Allow to cool completely before storing.

Tightly wrapped, these store very well for a week.  Or, feel free to tuck them into the freezer for anther day.

 

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Making Yogurt in a Slow Cooker

I was teaching an Eat Cheap! class to a group of women today, and the topic of making yogurt came up.  I had just tried this slow cooker technique last week (and am getting ready to make another batch tomorrow), so I was able to speak to the accuracy and ease of this particular recipe.  It makes just over a half gallon of plain yogurt, which is a great substitution for sour cream.  It can also be mixed with all kinds of fruit, nuts and honey for a yummy breakfast or snack.  I used whole milk for the base and plain Greek yogurt for the starter, but it looks like it’s fairly flexible.

Enjoy!

http://www.ayearofslowcooking.com/2008/10/you-can-make-yogurt-in-your-crockpot.html

Apple Salsa/Salad

applesalad

I love this stuff.  Seriously.  And, in the fall, it’s incredibly cost-effective.  This recipe is perfect for a casual get-together, a healthy snack or even for breakfast…like I had this morning.

2-3 apples, grated or chopped

1 c. dried cranberries

1-2 T. honey or maple syrup

juice of one orange

½ t. cinnamon

Mix and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Eat with cinnamon tortilla chips, on your oatmeal or with a fork.