Sugarfoot

For the Casually Inclined

Blueberry Vanilla Greek Yogurt Granola Bars

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So, my son's a picky eater. But he's two so how caught up in that can you really get? Well I get real caught up, unfortunately. I'm able to understand that it's normal, and he's young, and yada yada yada, but it gets me sometimes. Like if he ends up eating well on a particular night, no fight involved, I want to throw my hands in the air and friggen celebrate. So, in conclusion, as I said, I'm a little caught up.

I'm five-months pregnant so that may have something to do with it but really I just think I'm a Mom, and when you become a Mom you worry, (on top of the regular worry) it's just what you do. It's okay mom's-to-be, you'll be fineeee. RUN! No, I'm kidding, seriously. It's part of your world and when you get frustrated you just need to remind yourself that he/she/they is/are getting good stuff each day, it just may not be consistent and perfect, but that's how it works with (let me put this in here for myself mainly) A TWO YEAR OLD.

So what I try to do (when time permits) is find recipes, chucked full of healthy, good ingredients (sometimes disguised with a little bit of sugar) that he may really like. It happens he really likes granola bars, so I thought I'd give making my own a shot and see how it worked out. The task was slightly daunting because really, who makes their own granola bars? But it was actually much easier than I thought and I had almost all of the ingredients in my kitchen which I always appreciate when it comes to a new recipe. Also, they are great for the whole family which is what you ultimately hope for. My husband liked them, as did our son.

The yogurt coating is definitely a bonus and will help draw your kids in but I also would consider this step optional. If you want to try and go sugar-free these bars are still tasty sans yogurt frosting. Or, you don't have to dip, drip etc. the coating all over the bars. Instead, you can decide how much of it you want to add to the granola and go from there. You can keep the frosting in the refridgerator covered for a day and always add on after you get a feel for their popularity.

The part that will keep me coming back to this recipe is the fact that they were liked, obviously, but also that it was a couple day process. This sounds like a lot but it was actually more manageable, the freezing aspect breaks it up and makes it feel like a really quick task.

So, from one picky-eater's Mom to another, I salute you! And feel your pain, and am right there with you :)

|          PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES     COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES     TOTAL TIME: 8 HOURS          |   

YIELDS: 8-12 GRANOLA BARS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups rolled oats (gluten free if needed)
  • 1 1/2 cup brown rice krispies (or regular, if that's what you have)
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup whole roasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter (I used peanut butter)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (rounded) cup fresh blueberries or 3/4 cup dried blueberries

Greek Yogurt Coating:

  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon gelatin
  • 1/4 cup vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS:

(Skip step #1 if you are using dried blueberries)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the blueberries on the baking sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the berries burst and shrink. Remove from oven and let cool.

2. Line an 9x13 square Pyrex pan with wax or parchment paper.

3. In a large bowl combine the oats, rice krispies, coconut, almonds, chia seeds and salt. Mix together.

4. In a small microwave safe bowl combine the almond butter and honey. Microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the mixture is hot and pourable. Add the vanilla and mix again.

5. Add the honey mixture to the dry oat mixture and mix until everything is moist and combined. Gently stir in the blueberries. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and then using a spoon or back of a measuring cup press the mixture into the pan until it is tightly packed. Cover and place in the freezer for 1 hour. Cut into 9-12 bars and return to the freezer while you make the coating.

6. Make the greek yogurt coating. Combine the water and vanilla in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over top and whisk with a fork until the gelatin is evenly distributed. Set aside for about 5 minutes or until needed. It will set into a thick paste.

7. n another small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, and salt. Microwave on 15 second bursts, stirring in between each burst, until the yogurt is liquidy and very warm to the touch. Don't let it start to boil or the yogurt will curdle. I microwaved mine for 30 seconds total.

8. Whisk the gelatin into the warm yogurt mixture. Whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Scrape the yogurt mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Pour the powdered sugar on top. Use a mixer or whisk until the yogurt and powdered sugar combine into a thick, but pourable, coating.

9. Line a baking sheet with wax paper or a silpat. Working with one bar at a time, dip the bottom of the bar into the yogurt and allow any excess to drip off. Flip the bars over so the yogurt coated side faces up and place on the prepared baking sheet. They will be very sticky. Repeat with the remaining bars. Let the bars sit, uncovered, until dry to the touch, about four hours or overnight (I left mine overnight). Cover the remaining yogurt coating with plastic wrap until ready to use again.

10. Once the bars are completely dry, flip them over so the yogurt coated side is now facing down. Transfer the remaining yogurt coating to a sandwich size ziplock bag and snip a small hole in the corner. Drizzle the remaining coating over the bars and allow the bars to sit at least two hours or overnight (I left mine overnight).

11. Once the bars are completely dry, store in an airtight container at room temperature.

SOURCE: Half Baked Harvest