Monday, March 16, 2015

Nuts to you, nuts!

Genesis 43: 11
" Then their father Israel said to them,  ' If  it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift- a little balm, a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds '. "

This portion of scripture describes the part of Genesis where Joseph is still estranged from his brothers, they have met him in Egypt and they don't recognize him.  Their father, Jacob (Israel) , is trying to appease Joseph, because the brothers have come home with money in their bags that's not theirs, short one brother (Simeon) and have been accused of being spies. Now, they are expected to return with their youngest brother, Benjamin. I encourage you to read this amazing story of Joseph (see Genesis, starting in verse 37), they even made a musical out of it, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"!

Nuts...they have been the bane of my existence this last year or so.  I love peanuts, peanut butter cups, Reese's Pieces, Cracker Jacks, your name it, I love it!  Unfortunately, my youngest daughter is allergic to them.  And because her allergy tests were inconclusive (I have to go back and get them done again), I can't rule out the fact that she may be allergic to other kinds of nuts too.  So we have been very careful not to purchase things with peanuts and tree nuts obviously, but also things that are processed with nuts. It's harder than you might think.  Last week, I was trying to purchase some granola, and I couldn't find any reasonably priced that met my criteria.  So...I made some instead. I'm including my recipe today.

Actual bars I made on Saturday, all of the kids liked them nuts!

Homemade Crunchy Granola Bars

Ingredients: 3 ½ cups oatmeal (I used quick oats, but old-fashioned oats                            are fine)     
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 375*.  Combine above ingredients in a bowl and then  bake for 20 min. Stirring mixture at 10 min. Lower oven temp. to 300*

Ingredients:   6 tablespoons of brown sugar
6 tablespoons of honey
½ tablespoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Spray the bottom of a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.  Combine above ingredients in a large saucepan until sugar is  dissolved.  Add toasted oats. Place oat mixture in 9x13 pan.  Coat a spatula with cooking spray and press oat mixture flat in pan.  Bake at 300* for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Slice after 10 minutes into bars (don't wait too long to cut or they will harden and crumble).

I found a recipe for crunchy granola bars on Pinterest, but it had nuts, so I had to modify it to suit my family. The recipe I modified is this one from "Delectably Mine"-Crunchy Granola Bars. The next time I make these I think I'm going to add dried fruit like raisins, cranberries or cherries. If you don't have allergies to nuts then by all means, add them (I thought coconut would be fun, too). Enjoy this simple healthy recipe!