Awhile ago I was searching for a homemade granola bar recipe, but not having much luck finding what I wanted. I was looking for something raw and not full of processed, sugary syrups. In the end I decided to make my own. I have a list of superfoods on my fridge that I try to incorporate into my meals each day and these bars contain 6 of them! I will clarify, even though naturally occurring, this recipe does contain high levels of sugar and carbs. Also, I suggest it as a meal replacement not a snack, unless you alter the ingredients to contain fewer calories, or cut them smaller. I used mostly organic, raw ingredients.
- 2 cups oats
- 1 cup coconut
- 2/3 cups craisins (or chopped prunes or dates)
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup flax seeds, ground
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 3/4 cup real maple syrup
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
Put maple syrup, honey and coconut oil in a pot and simmer to thicken. Meanwhile, mix first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Once thickened, remove liquids from heat and let cool for a bit. Just enough so that your chocolate will hold up. Mix well. It will look like there is not enough liquid at first but after mixing for several minutes it should all be coated. Line a 9×13 pan with wax paper. Scrape granola mixture into pan. Cover with another sheet of wax paper and press mixture until hard and flat, or use a small rolling-pin inside the pan. Let cool. Flip onto cutting board and cut into bars or snack size squares. I cut it into 14 bars. Feel free to trade ingredients based on what you have in your cabinets. Chopped dates or prunes instead of craisins (a nice boost of fiber, if needed), pecans instead of almonds, sunflower seeds instead of pumpkin. My husband hates coconut, but loves when I put pretzels instead. I also trade part of the syrup for peanut butter, since the maple is too strong for him. Not as healthy, though, if you are trying to be good. Experiment with ingredients. You’ll never get bored with them that way!
NUTRITION FACTS (per bar, 1/14)
- Calories 355
- Fat 14.7
- Sodium 5.3
- Carbohydrate 53
- Sugar 31
- Fiber 5
- Protein 6.5
Well, after a very hectic Christmas season I finally have a moment to write, since I won’t be watching my Steelers play today 😦 My topic of choice today is Swagbucks.com. It is one of my favorite money-saving, housewifey things I use! It is a search engine (like google), that randomly rewards you with points as you search or participate in any of their other aspects, such as the daily poll, surveys, or even signing up for a free trial of Netflix. I find that it does not compare to google when it comes to search results but I use it to search for the specific website I am headed to. Why not win points for going to Facebook, or Hulu??? You can trade in your points for prizes… my personal choice is Amazon gift cards! My husband buys mp3 downloads and I have gotten free books, paid half of an exercise bike, and my latest, a red Mr. Coffee Keurig coffee maker!
If you are interested, copy and paste the link below and sign up! I have been doing it for over a year and love it!
I was at work (nannying) on Friday, the last day of the week, feeling uninspired when it came to fun activities. I had used all of my ideas earlier in the week. So, I stared at a screen of Google’s suggestions for “activities for preschoolers”. One suggestion had something to do with Play-Doh. I have no idea what the actual suggestion was; I had already moved on to Homemade Playdough! I specifically wanted the no-cook kind so that the little man could be involved. I read that the consistency of the stove top kind is better, but we were happy with ours!
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 4-5 drops food coloring
Mix the flour and salt together. Slowly mix in the water until it reaches the right consistency. You may not need all the water! Little Man and I squished it until in was all incorporated and then put the food coloring in the middle and folded it in and squished some more, so that we did not get the food coloring directly on our hands.
Overall, a great time-filling project! Making it and then playing with it!
My absolute favorite dip of all time is Tastefully Simple’s Si Si Cilantro. Unfortunately it must not have been everyone else’s favorite dip, because they discontinued it several years ago! So, after years of withdrawal I decided to see if I could make something similar myself. I think I was pretty succesful, but mind you, I have not had the actual dip in 3 years!
- 1 tbsp dried cilantro
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 to 1 serrano pepper, minced
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
I only used 1/2 a serrano and it was good. Not very spicy at all, but a good additional flavor. If you like a little heat, use the whole pepper! In fact, Si Si Cilantro had some heat, so the using the whole pepper is probably the most accurate version. After mixing, leave in the fridge for a couple of hours to let the flavors blend, otherwise the garlic will overpower the cilantro.
Happy dip making, and I hope I can help out a fellow Si Si Cilantro lover!
*update* If you happen to not be as big of a fresh garlic lover as me, you can substitute 1/8 tsp garlic powder for the clove of garlic.
I am a huge fan of popcorn in just about any form. In fact, forget rice; my husband and I ran out of the church on our wedding day with air-popped popcorn flying through the air! Predictably, one of my wedding gifts was a West Bend Stir Crazy popcorn maker, which has served us faithfully with buttery popcorn for movie nights for the last 4 years. Recently, I discovered a way to add the salty, sweet yummy-ness of kettle corn to my late night snacking! If you don’t have a Stir Crazy I totally suggest it! I love mine! You can buy them for about $30 at Younkers (Herbergers, Bon-Ton, etc.)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 2/3 cup popcorn
- 1/3 cup sugar
Put the coconut oil and popcorn in like you would regularly. Put the lid on, and place a funnel over one of the small holes in the top. As soon as you hear the first pop, pour the sugar through the funnel. You may need to help it along with a skewer or cake tester, since the steam will start melting the sugar towards the end. Once the popping slows, unplug and flip the popcorn maker. Add salt to taste (about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp) and shake or transfer to another bowl and stir. If you like it sweeter you can add a little extra sugar in the stirring phase as well. ENJOY!!!
So, as promised, homemade fabric softener. It was super easy so make and so far I am happy with it! You will need…
- hair conditioner (I bought the cheap stuff, $1.33 for 4 cups worth)
- white vinegar
Grab a mixing bowl and mix 2 cups hair conditioner, 3 cups vinegar, and 6 cups of water. Stirring it will not make it foam up like shaking it will. I had a leftover fabric softener container that works perfect to keep it in, otherwise a juice or milk container will be big enough. I did notice that the smell on my clothes is faint so I think I might add a little extra conditioner. You could also swap out the cheap conditioner for an all-natural conditioner, to make your fabric softener all-natural! It’s still cheaper (albeit not nearly as big of a difference in price) than the store-bought stuff.
In total this probably only cost me about $1.50 for 11 cups. I always have a big jug of vinegar on hand for cleaning purposes so I can’t calculate the cost exactly.
My mom has been making her own laundry soap and for a while I thought it wasn’t for me. I still have a little ways to go when it comes to the whole “all natural” everything. Mainly because I can’t afford it and partially because I love pulling my warm lavender vanilla scented clothes out of my dryer. Then I realized that my regular laundry soap was supposed to smell like a waterfall and the lavender vanilla was my dryer sheets… DUH! So, bring on the homemade laundry soap! I made 2.5 galons of laundry soap and it cost me around 75 cents! In total buying all of the ingredients, two of which will make numerous batches and one of which does two, cost me $6. The recipe comes from the Duggar Family website…
The only issue I seem to be having is because you are mixing oils and water, it separates. Although, it only takes me a whole 5 seconds to shake it up real quick. I also suggest using an old laundry soap container with the pour spout on the bottom so once shaken the foamy top isn’t what you are pouring out, but the concentrated liquid on the bottom. To me, 2.5 gallons of concentrated laundry soap for 75 cents is worth having to shake it up! Plus I can always use and arm workout!
Next I am attempting homemade fabric softener… hopefully more to follow!