My new affection : Oatmeal

When I saw my friend eating oatmeal at Starbucks, I literally laughed at him. It looked like baby food to me. But the price and especially the three toppings – brown sugar, dried fruit and nuts caught my attention. Since then I have become a big fan of oatmeal.

Chinese tradition believes that the most important meal of the day is the first. So why not make it nutritious and delicious? I like to start my day off with this big bowl of warm and hearty old-fashioned oatmeal graced with fresh fruits such as strawberries, banana, red apple and walnuts and honey.

And here is another way to have it as a snack – Healthy and Hearty Homemade Granola Bars

Stay tuned for more info on instant oatmeal vs old-fashioned rolled oats!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade Granola Bars

Everyone loves oatmeal right? I mean the flavored ones.. I had a bunch of plain oatmeal packets stacked in my pantry and I used to wonder there has to be a better way of having original/old fashioned oatmeal. I saw this recipe by Ina Garten on Food network and I was so happy to discover my new favorite snack – “Granola Bars”. They look like just out of wrapper – healthy and delicious 🙂 Here is a slight modified version of the original recipe –

Ingredients -
5-6 packets of old-fashioned instant oatmeal
1 cup sliced walnuts (or almonds if you like)
1 cup shredded coconut
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar (or brown sugar)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried blueberries (or cranberries if you like)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. You can use any flat surfaced baking dish and line it with a parchment paper. No need to butter it additionally.

Mix the oatmeal, walnuts, and coconut together on the baking dish and bake for 10 to 12 minutesuntil lightly browned. Stir it occasionally.

Place the butter, honey, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture in a large mixing bowl. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 1 to 2 hours before cutting into squares.

The yummy healthy granola bars are ready to eat!

Sending this to Breakfast Club – More than Tea & Toast hosted by Ruth’s Deliciously Dairy Free