Healthy Peanut Butter and Honey Oat Bars

Peanut Butter and Honey Oat Bars

Here is an easy little recipe I made last night–a great low sugar option for a snack and delicious!  I sent a batch with my husband on a trip, and they will go in the kids’ lunches today.  I found them on this site.

Peanut Butter and Honey Oat Bars

 Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, ground
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped honey roasted peanuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 F

Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper, making sure the parchment paper hangs over the sides.

In a microwave safe bowl, add honey, coconut oil and peanut butter. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir until mixture gets runny and peanut butter completely melted in. You may have to heat for another 20 seconds or so. Mix in vanilla extract and cinnamon.

Add oats and peanuts, mix until everything is combined and the mixture is completely coated with honey and peanut butter mixture.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and press down with a back of a spoon; bake in the oven for 20 -25 minutes until lightly brown.

Once you take the bars out of the oven, press down with the back of a spoon to insure the oats are pressed firmly together. Let the oat bars cool slightly and carefully take out bars by grabbing onto the parchment paper and cut into 16 slices. Let bars cool completely and harden at room temperature.

Store bars in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

Makes 16 bars.

Nutritional Data

Calories per bar: 157.2, Fat: 8., Cholesterol: 0, Sodium: 31, Potassium: 38, Carbs: 18.8, Fiber: 2, Sugar: 10.4, Protein: 3.9

Enjoy and have a great day!

 

Meal Planning For The Busy Family

 

Photozzzz

I’d like to introduce a guest on the blog today–Liz Hayes.  Liz is my Mother-In-Law and friend.  She has many talents, like quilting and swinging a nine-iron, but where I have learned the most from Liz is in the kitchen.  Liz is who I call if I have a question about the best way to make gravy for a Thanksgiving meal, or if a food item can be frozen and still resemble its former self when thawed.  Which is why I do not hesitate to have her share some of her wisdom with all of us here on GracefullHome.  Here she teaches what she did for meal planning as a busy working mom of two:

 
My daughter-in-law, Amy, has graciously invited me to share some space in her blog.  I really enjoyed her recent blog dealing with chores and budgets.  I have been trying to figure out how the chore system might work with my husband.  I can probably guess what his “payment” might entail!
I do want to fully endorse using a budget system.  We embraced the cash envelope/allotment sheet budget 35+ years ago.  At that time we had credit cards with Sears, Penney’s, gas companies and Master Card – all with revolving balances.  We eventually paid them all off and have kept it that way.  Now we use Visa 99% of the time and pay it off every month – no exceptions!  We are retired and entered retirement with two fairly new cars paid for and no debt other than our mortgage.  We actually have a tighter budget in retirement, but we still travel and entertain quite a lot.  Things still happen that upset balances, liked having to replace the house A/C last summer, but the framework holds.

I know that many of you are in the midst of raising a family.  Some of you may also be working full time as well.  Life is hectic with all the different schedules and energy is often lacking.  Laundry, grocery shopping and meal planning and preparation never seems to end!  I understand, I was there once too, and you could have written the grocery list in the dust on just about any surface in my house.  I would like to share a stress reliever in meal planning I utilized at that time.  I still use it today when I am expecting houseguests.

1. Every other Sunday afternoon I would plan the meals for two weeks.  I would plan 10-12 meals since there would be the inevitable crazy night of grabbing fast food or a pizza.  A few of those meals might be assigned to a particular day but mostly they were free flowing and the list was posted on the side of the refrigerator so I could just wake up and pick a meal for dinner that evening.

2.  I would do the major shopping once every two weeks only returning to the store for milk, bread and produce.  This meant if the kids consumed all the granola bars the first week, I didn’t replace them until it was time to go shopping again.  Since I made my list on Sunday, I would typically grocery shop on Monday after work.

3,  In the morning, before I left for work, I would take a look at the list and then take the necessary ingredient(s) out of the freezer and leave them to thaw in the sink.   (I know – so unhealthy – but we all survived!)  An hour of planning twice a month took away the daily stress!

You know what meals your family likes and what you typically prepare and serve.  Start making a list and keeping it on your phone or computer.  Use categories like, meals, desserts, salads, appetizers etc.  When planning, look at the list and make choices or simply keep the same rotation.

Make everyone in the family share the responsibility for adding items to the shopping list.  When they use the end of something or run out of their shampoo, it is their responsibility to add it to the list.  I highly recommend the Apple app Grocery IQ, it can be synced to everyone’s phone and you can make separate lists for Costco, King Soopers, Home Depot etc.

Below is the list I used so many years ago.  I’m sure Jonathan and Jennifer will recognize many of these menus.

 

 IMG_1176

In case you can’t read this, here are a few on the list:

Hawaiian Chicken, Hamburgers, Lasagna, Spaghetti, Meatloaf, Chicken Divan, Beef and Rice, Mac and Cheese

Ask your family what their favorites are and make your own list!

Light Summer Dinner Recipe

This is a recipe I posted a couple of years ago, but wanted to share it again since it is such a light summer dish:

No Knife-Pasta from Martha Stewart

* 1 pound pasta

* Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

* 4 medium tomatoes, cored and torn into 3/4th inch pieces (I cheat    and buy diced tomatoes in a can!)

* 1/2 cup coarsely torn basil leaves, plus more for garnish

* 1/2 up extra-virgin olive oil

* 3T coarsely torn oregano leaves

* 4 medium cloves garlic, smashed

* 1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes

* 1/4 # fresh mozzarella, torn into 1/2 inch pieces

 

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions.

2. While pasta is cooking , in a large bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, olive oil, oregano, garlic, and red-pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature up to 8 hours.

3. Drain spaghetti in a colander and add tomato to mixture. Add mozzarella and toss to combine. Garnish with basil and serve immediately.

Being Thankful

Written By Amy

 

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Our family has been in Texas visiting life-long friends of ours.

Yesterday we feasted on all the traditional dishes of the holiday, stuffing ourselves past comfortable, but enjoying every minute.  After the last busy scuffle to set steaming dishes on the table (which Jodie beautifully set with her grandmother’s china), I approached my chair to take a seat.  I took a brief second to view the overflowing dishes of turkey and gravy, creamed corn and green beans, soft, warm rolls and cranberry sauce.   Around the table, in cheerful conversation, sat my family, whom I cherish, and good friends. I felt very thankful.

The idea of thankfulness is important to God.  He reminds us to be thankful for him, in his scriptures.

David, in the book of Chronicles, actually assigned a job to some of the Levites to thank and praise the Lord before the ark of the covenant (Chronicles 16:4) .  What if your sole role in life was to thank and praise the Lord?  I can’t think of  any modern-day job with that description, but…what if it became even a small part of our every day?

Here is what David asked of a few of the Levites in the book of Chronicles:

That day David first appointed Asaph and his associates to give praise to the Lord in this manner:

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.  Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.  Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.

Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgements he pronounced.

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.

Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.  Ascribe to the Lord glory due his name.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad:

Let them say among the nations, “The Lord Reigns!”

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

1 Chronicles 16: 8-12, 25-29, 33

 

We are given some great tips for thankfulness in these scriptures:

1.  Remember what God has done and tell people of his greatness

2. Look to the Lord to remember who he is, which stirs thankfulness in our hearts

3. Give the Lord the praise and glory  due his name

May God bless our hearts and stir them toward daily thankfulness.

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cinnamon Icing

Posted by Jen

Okay, these are AMAZING!  It is a MUST TRY recipe!!!  MMM.  Of course, 12 is not enough so I double it:)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cinnamon Icing

Makes 12 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/3 cup canola oil

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup soy milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips – I added almost 1 cup of chocolate chips

Cinnamon Icing (recipe below)

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin pan with cupcake liners (metal works better– would spray the muffin liners with cooking spray)

2. In a medium bowl, stir together pumpkin, oil, sugar, soy milk, and vanilla.  Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt.  Stir together with a fork– don’t use a handheld mixer, as it will make the batter gummy.  Once well combined, fold in the chocolate chips.

3. Fill liners two-thirds full.  Bake for 22 to 24 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let fully cool before icing.

 

 

Cinnamon Icing – I doubled the icing recipe

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons margarine, melted (can use benechol or other nonhydrogenated margerine)

1 tablespoon soy milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Directions:

1. Place sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Add the margarine, soy milk, and vanilla and stir with a fork until smooth.  Keep at room temperature until ready to use.  The mixture should look opaque and honey brown.  If it’s glistening a lot or looks too liquid, add a little extra powdered sugar.

 

To assemble:

1. Take a small plastic sandwich bag and cut out a tiny hole in one edge or fit a pastry bag with a small-holed decorating tip.  Fill the bag with icing and pipe it out Jackson Pollack-style onto the cupcakes.  You may also opt to pipe it in zig-zags, lines, or swirls.  Let the icing set at room temperature or refrigerated.

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