Well, I’m happy to report that we ALL survived the first week of school. There were no major “firsts” for either of our girls this year, which definitely helped to alleviate some of the usual back-to-school anxieties. The week was rather uneventful, which is just fine with me. ;)
If you ask our girls one of the highlights of the week, though, they might just tell you it’s when they came home from school to find just-baked homemade granola bars waiting for them on the kitchen counter. Even Blake asked, “What smells so good?”, when he walked in the door that day.
I was just tickled with how these Chocolate Chip Granola Bars turned out. And our girls are excited to pack them in their school lunches this week!
Ever since I fell in love with making my own granola, I’ve been meaning to bake some homemade granola bars. But it took Catherine McCord’s new book, Weelicious Lunches, to convince me to finally give it a go.
It was so fun to finally meet Catherine, author of the blog Weelicious, this past summer. I first saw her in Austin at Blogher Food, where she was presenting with Joy the Baker. I was immediately drawn to Catherine’s easy going personality, quick wit, and joyful smile while she was behind the microphone. Then the following month, I met her in person at the Blogher conference in Chicago. She’s just so nice. And funny. I love when people can make me laugh!
Catherine always has the sweetest looking kids’ lunches to share on her blog and Instagram. I appreciate how the eats are both healthful and FUN & CREATIVE. I even found our daughters paging through Weelicious Lunches, and then making suggestions for their lunch boxes the next day. How cool is that?! As a parent, I couldn’t be happier that this book catches our girls’ attention.
I love the colorful fresh food collages in the book. So pretty! And they’re a great reminder for us to step outside the box of our usual fruit and veggie offerings.
This week our girls will be happy to come home from school to this easy Avocado Honey Dip, the next recipe I’m going to try from Catherine’s book. Hatti and Tessa are quickly becoming avocado lovers, and I know this dip will disappear in no time at all. Maybe if I make a double batch, there will even be some left to pack in their lunch boxes the following day?!
What really caught my eye about this recipe for Chocolate Chip Granola Bars was that it didn’t contain peanut butter or nuts. While our family loves these ingredients, and we eat them regularly, guidelines for lunches, snacks, and birthday celebrations at school and church are becoming more and more restricted as food allergies become more and more common.
So Catherine’s recipe, sans peanut butter and nuts, I just had to try. And they are downright delicious. Crunchy, with a little bit of chewiness, they are perfectly sweetened with honey and a bit of brown sugar. And every bar has a few chocolate chips, too. Because I believe that a little chocolate makes every day a whole lot better! ;)
We are giving away TWO copies of Catherine’s new book, Weelicious Lunches! Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!
- 4 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
- 1/2 c. shredded unsweetened coconut (I only had sweetened on hand, so that's what I used.)
- 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon (not in the original recipe, but my family loves it!)
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 c. chocolate chips (or raisins or other dried fruit)
- 1/2 c. canola oil
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 c. honey
Preheat oven to 325°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and chocolate chips. Stir to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk together the canola oil, vanilla, and honey. Pour wet ingredients over the oats mixture and stir well to combine. Spread on the prepared cookie sheet and shape it into a 9'' x 13'' rectangle, about 1'' thick. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden and dry to the touch.
Cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then cut into desired size bars with a serrated knife. Wrap individually in parchment paper or wax paper.
Very slightly adapted from Weelicious Lunches by Catherine McCord.
Weelicious Lunches is packed full of great tips and information about keeping snacks and meals interesting and delicious for both kids and adults. Our whole family is benefitting from Catherine’s book.
Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win one of two copies of Weelicious Lunches!
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