I love Kind bars, but they can get a little pricey and the taste can be a bit bland. Not the case with these bars. You toast the oatmeal, pumpkin seeds and almonds so it gives the bars a crispy bite and lots of flavor.
These hearty, homemade granola bars make a fast grab-and-go breakfast or perfect mid-morning snack. With the mixture of almonds, pumpkin seeds and peanut butter it has lots of protein to keep you fueled all morning long. This recipe makes 16 bars so you can share the wealth with friends or freeze half and enjoy one bar at a time whenever you need it.
With school less than a month away, they would make a great snack or addition to your child’s lunch. Enjoy!
Almond Cranberry Granola Bars
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup unsalted whole almonds, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1 cup packed, pitted Medjool dates
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven 350 degrees. Pour oats, almonds and pepitas onto a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 12 minutes. Transfer to a big mixing bowl.
- Chop dates in a food processor until you have a rough paste. Scrape into bowl with the oat mixture.
- Warm maple syrup and peanut butter in a saucepan on the stove over low heat until smooth. Add to the bowl along with the cranberries. Mix everything well.
- Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Spoon mixture into pan and press down with the back of a large spoon. Freeze for about 20 minutes.
- Lift contents out of pan and cut into 16 squares. Enjoy!
My oldest daughter brought home a recipe to make Thunder cake when she was in first grade and every time it storms she’s asked if we can make it. She starts fourth grade in the fall and we finally got all of the ingredients gathered in time to make this cake when the big storms rolled through a few days ago.
Apparently, there’s a children’s book called Thunder Cake and a mystery reader brought this to into her class. In the story, a child is afraid of storms so the grandmother shows her that they can mix all of the ingredients for the cake just like dark the storm swirling outside. Although we usually love storms in this household, some of those lightning bolts hit a little too close to home so we made the cake for good luck…to keep our house safe from any damage. I’m happy to report that it worked. 😉
I will warn you that there’s an ingredient in there that sounds and looks really strange as you’re mixing the cake batter, it’s tomato sauce. Once you add the cocoa powder the smell and odd color disappears and it gives the cake this mysterious, wonderful flavor that you couldn’t quite put your finger on if you tried it without knowing what’s in it.
Personally, I think this cake rivals Portillos. It’s moist, chocolately and goes perfectly with a cold glass of milk or a scoop of ice cream. The process of making the cake is also a great distraction for the kids on a stormy day. Enjoy!
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/3 cup plain tomato sauce
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- chocolate frosting (I used 1 can of Betty Crocker Chocolate Frosting)
- strawberries, sliced
- Cream together, one at a time, the shortening, sugar, vanilla, egg yolks, water and tomatoes.
- Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until peaks begin to form. Fold into batter.
- In a separate bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
- Mix dry ingredients into the batter.
- Bake at 350 degrees into 2 greased and floured 8 11/2 to 9 inch round cake pans for 35-40 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Frost cake with chocolate frosting and top with sliced strawberries.
I used Betty Crocker frosting for my recipe. One can frosted the entire cake.