I'm trying to take baby steps in making our kitchen more healthy. I try to buy more natural products and a lot less of the processed foods that I'm so used to cooking with.
My kids are always ready for an afternoon snack so instead of buying oatmeal bars with ingredients I don't know, I'm going to start trying to have more homemade snacks for them.
Here is a yummy recipe for homemade oatmeal bars that I got from a friend. I actually altered the recipe on accident (note to self: read all of the directions before you begin!) which made a completely different kind of oatmeal bar than what my friend makes but one that I love even more.
2/3 cup honey
1 cup natural peanut butter
2 Tb butter
2 cups crispy rice cereal (Rice Krispies, organic crispy rice cereal, or even crispy brown rice cereal)
2 cups Quaker oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins
1 cup mini chocolate chips (ok so it isn't a sugar free recipe)
1. Melt the honey, peanut butter, and butter over low heat. For the honey, I buy local honey from my area anytime I can. There is not a lot of research on it but some studies show that consuming honey made from pollen in your area may desensitize your body to some of those allergens.
2. While the liquids are melting, combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. This is so easy for kids to make since it is just measuring and combining ingredients!
Of course, when it came to the chocolate chips, there was much sampling required to be sure that we were using a quality ingredient in our recipe.
3. Pour the melted peanut butter mixture into the dry ingredients and combine. The chocolate chips will usually melt and blend throughout the oatmeal mixture making it all chocolatey and yummy.
4. Prepare a 9x13 inch baking dish by lining it with parchment paper (or wax paper). You could probably just butter the dish if you don't have the paper but I haven't tried that.
5. Pour (dump!) the mixture into your baking dish and spread it out to all the corners. If it gets too sticky to spread, use the back of a buttered spoon or a piece of wax paper to press it into the corners.
6. Let it cool on the counter (or in the refrigerator if you just can't wait). It will firm up as it cools.
7. Slice into bars and enjoy!