Tag Archives: oats

No Bake Crispy Granola Bars (gluten free)

I’m so excited to share this recipe, I could hardly contain myself!  If you follow my IG stories then you know that I loveee to make granola bars with my kids.  It’s just fun and gives kids a chance to get creative with a variety of ingredients.  Plus they are way cheaper than store-bought and contain simple ingredients that you (and your kids) can actually pronounce!  I’m always looking for granola bar recipes that actually hold together and made this one which actually holds together (hooray!) but I suggest keeping in the fridge or freezer as it may start to fall apart once it’s left out and too soft.

These are so easy that my 4 year old basically made them with my guidance and pre-measurements!  No baking required…and these can even be frozen for an extra satisfying snack.  I love that these bars are crispy, made with One Degree Veganic Sprouted Brown Rice Crisps along with gluten free oats.  Oh and bonus, these babies contain zero refined sugar and are solely sweetened with honey.  Whoop whoop!  My little guys devoured these, especially my 2 year old who is a bit picky with homemade granola bars.  Drizzle them with a bit of melted chocolate and this crispy granola bar goes from simple to simply amazinggggg.

Ingredients

2 cups brown rice cereal

1 1/2 cups gluten free quick oats

1/3 cup finely ground flaxseed

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

1/2 cup honey

1 tablespoon coconut oil

3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/3 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup chocolate chips

2 teaspoons coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Line an 11×7 baking dish with parchment paper (if you use a larger sized dish, don’t; fill the entire dish…just pack them closer together so the bars are at least 1/2″ thick).
  2. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 chocolate chips with 2 teaspoons coconut oil and microwave for 30 seconds, whisk until chips are totally melted (place back in microwave for another 10 second if needed).  Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, brown rice crisps, sliced almonds and ground flaxseed and whisk to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine vanilla, honey, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, unsweetened applesauce and peanut butter, whisk well.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix to combine and until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  6. Transfer mixture into the prepared baking dish and using slightly wet hands, push evenly down into the pan.  Push down hard! and pack those ingredients together. This will help to keep the bars intact after cutting.
  7. Now drizzle on the chocolate!
  8. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting.  Enjoy!

 

Healthy Cherry Crumble

Every week I take some time to take inventory of my fridge, freezer and pantry…really just to make sure I don’t buy what I may already have (BTW, this is a GREAT way to plan a weekly grocery list!).  So this morning I realized I had a bag of dark, sweet frozen cherries that I had initially bought to make smoothies, but decided to make this healthy cherry crumble.  This recipe is vegan, gluten free and AHH-MAZING!! It’s SUPER easy to make and truly delicious and made with minimal sweetener.  I love the texture of the oats against the cherries and then top it off with a bit of yogurt (if having for breakfast) or with some frozen yogurt (I used Sweet Scoops madagascar vanilla in this photo) or whatever your belly and heart desire.

Note: You can also use frozen blueberries but if you do, I would suggest adding some fresh lemon zest to brighten up the flavor a bit and add it right with the blueberries and cornstarch.  Also, if you don’t have coconut oil, melted butter also works.

Ingredients 

Topping

1 cup gluten free rolled oats (GF quick oats also works fine)

1/3 cup almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Filling

1-16 oz bag of frozen dark sweet cherries (I used Whole Foods 365 brand)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a glass pie dish with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine the cherries and cornstarch.  Mix to combine and until the cherries are completely coated and cornstarch dissolves.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the oats and almond flour, whisk to combine.  Make a well in the center. Pour in the maple syrup, applesauce, vanilla and coconut oil. Stir until fully incorporated.
  4. Transfer the filling a glass pie dish, and sprinkle evenly with the topping.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the juice is bubbling at the sides of the dish.
  6. Allow to cool a bit and serve warm or completely cool and refrigerate.

 

Banana Walnut Loaf

If you’ve been following my posts, then you know that I love banana bread. I mean looove it to the point where I purposely buy a bunch of bananas weekly in hopes that they will ripen up (before they get eaten) so that I can make a fresh banana loaf like this one!  This banana loaf is SUPER moist and rich in banana goodness.  Best part-it’s made in one bowl using minimal ingredients you likely have sitting in your pantry right now! I made this while my mother-in-law visited yesterday and it was gone in less than 30 minutes.  My entire apartment smelled so delicious and I can’t wait to make it again! My husband said it reminded him of Trinidadian pone which is a delicious dessert made with cassava…but this banana loaf is naturally sweetened with bananas and no added sugar!  It’s  also #glutenfree #sugarfree and #awesome!  So let’s get to it!

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups gluten-free oat flour (I used @bobsredmills)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

3 bananas, mashed well

3 tablespoons coconut oil

3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg, whisked

1/3 cup chopped unsalted walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease one loaf pan with coconut oil (or unsalted butter). In a large bowl mash bananas well with a fork (I also use a potato mashed which works amazingly well!).
  2. In a medium-sized bowl combine oat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together until completely combined.
  3. Add coconut oil, egg, vanilla and applesauce
  4. Mix ingredients until combined.
  5. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and top with nuts.
  6. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into center of loaf. Turn out onto a cooling rack and cool completely before cutting (also it tastes delicious slightly warm!).  Enjoy!

Oatmeal Coconut Chip Cookies

Who doesn’t love a good chocolate chip cookie?  I usually make these cookies minus the coconut but for the holidays, decided to add in shredded coconut to give these cookies a boost of flavor.  Made with heart healthy oats, reduced fat and sugar with outstanding flavor!  I make a batch and freeze them.  My kids love them frozen.  Believe it or not, I find frozen cookies way more satisfying to eat compared to fresh and I think it’s because you’re forced to chew more.  Warm or frozen, these cookies are a must bake.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all -purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

2 eggs

3 cups old fashioned or quick oats

3/4 cup shredded coconut

1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Whisk flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt; set aside.
  4. Combine butter, applesauce, eggs, sugar with a hand mixer on low (I actually used my vitamix to blend these ingredients, which worked well!).
  5. Increase speed to high and beat until fluffy and the color lightens.
  6. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture until no flour is visible.
  7. Now add the oats, cool nut and chocolate chips; stir to incorporate and use your hands to combine all ingredients.
  8. Drop tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, flattening each cookie slightly.
  9. Bake for about 11-13 minute Cookies will be light brown at the edges when done.

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

Like many of us, I’m a very busy mommy.  Even too busy to eat a sensible meal so end up carrying healthy snacks with me through the day.  My typical morning breakfast is oatmeal or overnight oats but wanted my oatmeal in a to-go version! So I created these blueberry oatmeal muffins.  Think just about everything you put in oatmeal, but wrapped up in a little muffin.  These are a lifesaver for busy mornings when you have no time to even shove food into your mouth from a plate or bowl!  Not overly sweet, but has hint of brown sugar.  The primary sweetness comes from luscious blueberries and even though they are no longer in season, they still add a ton of flavor to these muffins!  I do recommend using fresh vs frozen for these, just because the fresh burst open when you bit into these muffins but frozen also works!

I used plain whole milk yogurt in these and applesauce which help to keep these babies moist and flavorful!  Not to mention the extra nutrients you get from these simple ingredients such as Vitamin C and protein.  Make these gluten-free by using gluten-free all purpose flour to replace the whole wheat and regular ap flour.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup quick cooking oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup low fat or whole milk yogurt

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Place muffin liners in a muffin tin and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Combine oats, flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, vanilla, egg and applesauce.
  5. Add liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix until moist.  Do not overmix!
  6. Fold in blueberries.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  8. Feel free to spread a little unsalted butter on these muffins without the guilt!

No Bake Granola Bars with Cranberries, Almonds & Chocolate

I love granola bars.  They are an essential item in my kitchen and truth be told, I used to spend a lot of $ on buying packaged bars.  I’ve experimented with many variations of granola bars and this is my favorite no-bake recipe!  These keep really well in the freezer and actually taste even more satisfying frozen (they do not freeze rock solid, similar to my peanut butter energy ball recipe!).  My boys loves these but I take out the mix-ins for my 18 month old.  All heart-healthy, natural ingredients: Flaxseed, oats, applesauce, honey and nut butter.  Once you make the base of the recipe, the mix-ins are endless.  Try unsweetened coconut, raisins, chopped walnuts, etc.  I also have a version that you can bake and includes egg, so if you prefer no nuts (or even for allergy reasons), check that recipe out.  It’s on my instagram page @cookingfortots but I’ll post on my blog later so stay tuned!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup finely ground flaxseed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup natural almond or peanut butter (if you have your nut butter in the fridge, microwave it for about 15 seconds before using it here)

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Mix-ins: 1/3 cup chocolate chips, 1/3 cup slivered almonds, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1/2 cup dried

Directions:

  1. Combine applesauce, vanilla, honey and nut butter in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flaxseed, oats, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Add the honey mixture to the oats and stir well! Coating all of the oats.
  4. Now fold in your mix-ins.
  5. Line a baking dish with parchment paper and pour in the mixture.
  6. Important! Press firmly down on the mixture to create a long rectangular shape about 1/2″ thick.
  7. Place in the freezer for quicker binding or the fridge for about 2 hours.
  8. Note: If in the fridge, some pieces may fall off as these do not bind super well but I do recommend freezing them as they hold together even better.

Cranberry Banana Oat Muffins

If you’ve been following my posts, then you know that I love baking muffins, especially with banana.  Truthfully, I take a weekly, if not twice weekly, trip to my local fruit stand to buy a bunch of bananas in hopes that there will be leftover for baking on the weekend!  I love to bake with super ripe bananas…and I mean the black, even slightly mushy ones.  Those produce the most amazing naturally sweet flavor in baking any banana baked good and worked perfectly for these muffins.

Another ingredient that I enjoy baking with is cranberries.  Not only are these tiny gems packed with nutrition, but they provide a burst of flavor to any dish you put them in, especially in baking.  In this case, I used dried cranberries which already have some sugar added to them.  By nature, cranberries are low in sugar and high in acid so they are usually sweetened with added sugars for palatability. Since I did not add any sugar to this recipe, I’ve included the cranberries as dried for that sweet/tart flavor that is just incredible in these banana muffins!

My kids and husband loved these muffins.  Let’s just say I baked one dozen yesterday and have only 2 left!  Those 2 will make the perfect snack for Austin and I during our trip to the playground this morning.

*Oh and here is a tip to making these gluten-free!  Simply replace the whole wheat flour with all-purpose gluten-free flour!

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup quick or rolled oats

1/4 cup finely ground flaxseed

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

3 large banana (or 4 small), very ripe and mashed well

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a muffin tin with liners and lightly spray with cooking spray.  
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and egg white, then add the oil, vanilla extract and applesauce.
  5. Add the mashed banana, and combine thoroughly.
  6. Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined. 
  7. Fold in the dried cranberries.
  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.