We love salad. It’s healthy. It’s easy to prepare. We view it as a pallet cleanser. You know, it leaves your mouth feeling fresh after that hearty meal… And bonus – it’s a vehicle for salad dressing Yum!
Most of the time we fall back on the traditional favourite – lettuce, tomato and cucumber. And feta! Don’t forget the feta! But the other night I decided to be a little more adventurous with the limited fresh ingredients I had in my kitchen. Ok, so maybe it wasn’t as adventurous, it was actually pretty straight forward. But it looked beautiful – thank you Martha Stewart! Definitely something I will make when guests come over and I need to impress.
If I get hungry, I get grumpy. And I can eat every two hours or so. So to save the peace, we make sure to have snacks in our house. Our favourite is a recipe I discovered and adapted last year, after realizing that making my own granola bars really wasn’t as much work as I initially thought. Making it myself is not only healthier, but also less expensive than the cheapest cereal bars at Pick ‘n Pay. And hey! It tastes delicious – how fast we finish it says it all.
Quick & Easy Granola Bars
(adapted from a few recipes on Yummly.com)
Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup dried berries
3 tablespoons butter
⅔ cups honey
¼ cup brown sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Mix the oats, nuts and wheat germ on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly brown. Transfer it to a mixing bowl and add the berries.
Place the butter, honey and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the vanilla extract. Cook and stir for one minute, then pour over the oats mixture.
Pour the mixture into a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Lightly press the mixture with a spatula to even it out.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let it cool to room temperature before cutting into bars. Enjoy the smell now, and your cooled snack later.
Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper! I have tried greasing the pan with butter and Spray-n-Cook on different occasions to my own detriment. Once the cooked honey cools down, it fossilizes onto the pan. You might break an arm, or at least your knife, trying to cut it out of the pan.
You can try different kinds of nuts and berries. Our favourite combo is cashews and cranberries.
Rolled oats provide a better texture than breakfast oats in my opinion.
I have added seeds as well (⅔ cup linseeds). Just make sure there is enough syrup to cover the dry mixture.
When stored in an airtight container, these bars can last for a while (depending on how much you like them), because it doesn’t contain egg.
Use the crumbs as muesli and eat it with yoghurt – pure deliciousness!