The best fall snacks are ones you can pack up and grab on your way to the playground, the park, the office (for you), or school (for kids). Crunchy granola bars and crumbly trail mixes are the perfect nutritious, satisfying on-the-go snack, or breakfast…or even ice-cream topper!
1. A chocolate-y take on olive oil granola, this crumbly mixture from cookbook author, Debbie Koenig has just the right mix of sophistication and sweetness to make this a go-to recipe for kids and parents alike.
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1 cup blanched almonds
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup unsweetened dried cherries, halved if they’re large
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil (this’ll make it easier to transfer the granola off the sheet when you’re done). In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, cocoa, salt, and cinnamon. Toss together well, until it’s completely combined—break up any lumps of sugar with your fingers. Spread it on the baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granola is dry and toasty. Wash the large bowl while it’s baking. Transfer it back into that large bowl (dry it off first!), using the parchment or foil to lift it carefully. Stir in the cherries, and allow to cool before transferring to an air-tight container—give it a stir every 15 minutes or so if you remember, to cool it off faster.
2. Thekitchn.com shares these easy granola bars via Emily Franklin, author of Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Adventures with 1 Mom, 4 Kids, and 102 Recipes. With lots of room for improvisation and a tried-and-true guarantee for deliciousness, these will be sure to become a summer staple amongst fams.
You can shift around these ingredients depending on what you have around, but these make a satisfying snack or quick breakfast.
3 1/2 tbsp. soy butter (or almond or peanut butter), preferably chunky
3 tbsp. honey
3 1/2 tbsp. brown rice syrup
Big splash of vanilla
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 cups puffed wheat/rice/kamut
1/2 cup bran buds/Grape-Nuts cereal
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not the quick-cook kind)
1 handful (about 1/3 cup) dried cranberries or cut-up dried apricot
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup salted sunflower seeds (or a mixture with raw)
Preheat oven to 325°. Line 8- or 9-inch square pan with a long sheet of parchment paper (you want longer ends than the length of the pan). Warm soy butte,r honey, brown rice syrup, vanilla, and brown sugar until sugar has melted and soy butter has thinned. Mix dry ingredients in big bowl and dust with cinnamon. Pour liquid on top, mixing as you go. When everything is equally coated, spread the mixture into the pan. Press mixture down with long ends of the parchment paper. Bake for about 25 minutes. When you remove the pan from the oven, again use long ends of the parchment to press bars flat. Allow to cool completely before touching again. When totally cooled and hard, lift the ends of the parchment and put onto a cutting board and cut into longish bars or squares.
Note: You can add crushed almonds or slivered ones, or toasted coconut if you like, or raisins — golden and brown — if desired.
3. Filled with pantry staples, these fan favorites from allrecipe.com are healthy, easy to make, and super tasty. Win-win-win.
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9×13 inch baking pan. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.
4. For anyone worried about allergies, Elizabeth Gordon is your go-to woman. NYC mom, baker extraordinaire, author of two allergy-free cookbooks, and someone who suffers from multiple allergies herself, Gordon has figured out how to transform ho-hum ingredients into fabulous food. These snack bars are no exception!
12 pitted Medjool dates (about 6.5 ounces)
1/4 c unsalted sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
6 ounces dried cherries
Place the dates, sunflower seeds, cocoa powder, salt and dried cherries in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the dates are smooth and a thick paste has formed. I like to leave the cherries and sunflower seeds somewhat chunky, but you may continue pulsing until they are completely smooth. Lightly grease your hands and form the paste into 3 2.5 ounce bars or roll it into smaller, bite-sized balls. Tightly wrap the bars in plastic wrap and then store them in an airtight container, refrigerated, until you are ready to eat.
5. Amie Valpone, New York nutritionist, chef, professional recipe developer and food writer, maintains the website, thehealthyapple.com and is a proponent of Clean Eating. She offers a gluten and dairy free substitute for granola. Throw it in a bag and you’ve got your quick midday (flax) fix.
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup stevia
2 cups salted peanuts, chopped
3/4 cup flax seeds
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/6 tsp. ground ginger
1/6 tsp. cocoa powder
1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare a sheet tray with parchment paper; set aside. In a saucepan, heat oil, honey and stevia over low heat until incorporated. Transfer to bowl and mix in 2 cups peanuts and flax seeds, cinnamon, ginger and cocoa powder. Transfer to sheet tray and bake; mixing every 20 minutes for 1 hour. Remove from oven; set aside to cool. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; toss with cranberries. Store in a sealed container in the fridge. Enjoy atop yogurt, salads, mixed into hummus or just eaten alone as an on-the-go snack.
6. If you’re feeling inspired, or just adventurous, try out this recipe using an excalibur dehydrator. Preserving the living enzymes of your fruits and vegetables, you’ll get all the health benefits of raw food, with all the taste benefits of cooking. (And these bars are just plain yummy).
Crunch and Munch Bars
1/3 Cup Oil
½ Cup Honey
½ Cup Sunflower Seeds
½ Cup Sliced Almonds
½ Cup Dried Apricots or Cranberries
½ Cup Raisins
Mini M&Ms or Mini Optional
Mix oats, oil, honey and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add sunflower seeds, apricots and almonds and mix well. Spread on dehydrator trays about ½ in thick. Dehydrate at 135°F/ 57°C for 5-7 hours or until dry.
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