Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My energy/granola bar recipe (and other breakfast recipes reviewed)

I posted this "recipe" before and had commented about how it was almost too sweet because of all the honey.  Since then, I have been trying to modify it so that it will make energy bars that are the perfect combination of sweet and savory, but also have a little fruit and crunch to them.  I found that the base of this recipe is fantastic and if you want to customize it to your tastes, feel free.  Below is the original recipe (given to me by a dear friend) and then below that is my alterations:


*You really do need about 2 1/2 cups of some kind of "liquid" to create a sticky enough base so when it is refrigerated it becomes a bar that sticks together completely.

*I have made this so many times, I almost have my altered recipe memorized and in all the times I have made it the only times it completely works (where the bars stick together) is when I food process the oats (I use old fashion oats instead of granola) and the dried fruits until they are finely chopped.

My version of Energy/Granola bars -

2 cups old fashioned Oats
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup whole almonds
3 cups crispy rice cereal
1 cup honey
1 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon


Put 1 1/2 cups oats, all the cranberries, raisins and almonds into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  I usually have to do this in batches in my small blender.  If you have slivered or chopped almonds,  you just saved yourself a step!  Dump the finely chopped goodness in a large mixing bowl along with the other 1/2 cup oats (fully in tact), 3 cups of rice cereal and cinnamon.  Gently mix until combined and set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl, pour in the honey, peanut butter and vanilla extract and microwave on high for two minutes.  You want the honey to be hot and liquid.  Stir the mixture so they are completely combined and smooth, no lumps of peanut butter.

Pour the honey/peanut butter/vanilla mixture over the cereal/oats/fruit mixture and stir until completely combined.  You want to make sure and get everything completely coated in the wet mixture.  It will resemble a cookie dough mixture.

Line a 13x9 pan with parchment or waxed paper and dump the cereal mixture in and spread it out in the pan.  Refrigerate for several hours.  After at least four hours, I pull the parchment paper out of the pan and cut once down the middle (length wise) and then usually 10-12 times wide, making between 20-24 bars.

They are so good.  We eat them constantly and they never last more than four days.  I like them for a quick breakfast for me or an after school snack for the boys.  We have even eaten them as a dessert.

Other breakfast food recipes:

Skinny Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Scones
I don't really know how these can be "skinny" since it wants you to cover them in sugar, but they were delicious.  I (of course) used dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.  They were a little dry, but I think that's because I baked them the day before and then reheated them in the oven.  Definite try!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
I made a few alterations to this recipe, but loved the way it turned out.  I used coconut oil, dark chocolate cocoa powder, dark chocolate chips, and Greek yogurt.  The bread was very moist and tasty.  I put it in two regular size loaf pans and cooked it for about 40 minutes (but my oven runs hot).

Easy No Rise Cinnamon Rolls
I have posted this recipe before, but I just wanted to include it again.  It really makes delicious cinnamon rolls that are super easy to make.  They remind me a lot of the kind you buy in a tube, more so than the traditional bread-y, yeast-y cinnamon rolls.

Personal Sized Baked Oatmeal
We didn't really like this that much.  I think it's because we are so used to regular oatmeal.  This was a little dry for our tastes.  Try it for yourself!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Pancakes
I made this for one of the nights Matt was gone (he despises brinner aka breakfast for dinner) and I loved how they turned out.  I am always on the look out for an easy pancake recipe and this definitely is.  It also made enough for us to freeze and eat later.  They tasted just as good the second time around.  I am a big fan of anything I can make that freezes and reheats later!

Glazed Doughnut Muffins
I didn't use the icing recipe she includes, but I loved the muffin recipe.  Instead of using a regular sized muffin pan, I used a mini muffin one (I love the idea of small bite size food, especially for my kids) and it made around 36 mini muffins.  They remind me a lot of the cake donuts we get in the fall to dip in our apple cider.  I love that they are muffins that can withstand a dunking in coffee.  Very tasty!


  1. We're going to try the granola bars and the chocolate zucchini bread in the next week! Thanks for the recipes! :)

  2. I tried a new version of these energy bars today:

    2 cups old fashioned Oats (1 1/2 cup chopped, 1/2 cup whole)
    1/4 cup dried cranberries
    1/4 cup sunflower seeds
    1 tbsp. chia seeds
    2 tbsp. raisins
    3 cups crispy rice cereal
    1 cup honey
    1 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 tablespoon dark chocolate cocoa powder

    It's in the refrigerator right now, but I will let you know how they turn out. Chia seeds are my new fascination. Also, with adding the cocoa powder, I'm hoping it will satisfy a chocolate craving.