Chunky Cereal Bars with Banana, Peanut Butter and Chocolate

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Hey everyone!

I made these cereal bars for the first time the other day and they are delicious! I individually wrapped them in wax paper before I put them in my Tupperware container so that I could just grab one and run. My family and I are going through a very busy season, and it seems that the first appetite that gets neglected is mine! I’m still intentional about dinners, but lunches and breakfasts kind of get thrown to the side in the midst of the chaos. I know this is the case for so many stay-at-home mamas, so here is a quick, cheap, easy recipe to help you out!

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The inspiration and basic recipe for these bars came from the Sweet Phi blog, but as always, I made a few tweaks of my own. The original recipe called for 1/2 a cup of dried cranberries and I wish I’d had them! I totally thought I did, but when I got home they were nowhere to be found. My bars are yummy without them, but man I do love dried cranberries…

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2 tbsp honey

1/2 cup of peanut butter (creamy!)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 bananas, mashed with a fork

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 1/4 cups rolled oats

1 cup rice krispies

1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks (I just buy big bars of chocolate and chop them myself)

1/4 cup chopped pecans

– Preheat yout oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×13 inch pan with wax or parchment paper.

Put your peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds until you can mix it together easily. Add the mashed bananas and brown sugar, and stir to combine. Then add the rest of your ingredients (oats, rice krispies, chocolate and nuts) and stir quite well. Don’t worry if the mixture is stiff and difficult to stir!

Plop this into the 9×13 inch pan and press it down so that it’s nice and evenly spread out. Bake for 25 minutes or until the edges are a toasty golden brown. Allow it to cool completely before using a sharp knife to cut it into approximately 20 bars. Store these in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chunky Cereal Bars with Banana, Peanut Butter and Chocolate

Fiesta Rice Salad

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This “salad” is my go-to at the moment to take and share at potluck type meals with friends. Every single time I make it I have people asking me for the recipe, so I figured it was time to put it on the blog! Not only is it something different, it’s also good for you and it contains one of Eleni’s all time favorite foods – chickpeas! I’ve had people tell me that they really thought they hated chickpeas until they ate this….so don’t knock it ’til you try it! I often double the recipe if we’re going somewhere with a big crowd, since it’s quite cheap to make too. At home we’ve had this with thick juicy steaks, chicken or burgers, but honestly it’s quite good by itself for lunch!

Ingredients:

4 or so cups of cooked basmati rice (which is like 2 cups uncooked)

1 can whole kernel sweetcorn, drained

1 can chickpeas, drained

1 can black beans, drained

1/2 red onion, chopped very small

1 red bell pepper, chopped small

3 or 4 big handfuls of raw spinach, chopped

The juice of 1 lemon

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

– Mix all together in a big bowl, and serve or refrigerate until you’re ready to eat. Easy peasy! If it seems sticky or too dry, add a drizzle or two of olive oil or an extra squeeze of lemon before serving.

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Fiesta Rice Salad

Quinoa Bites with Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese

It has been quite a while since I’ve blogged, and I do apologize for that. I always knew this summer was going to be busy, but I had no idea just how busy it would end up being! I have recently discovered the joyful grocery store that is Trader Joe’s. We have to drive 20 minutes down the road to Asheville, but it is SO worth it. I need to do a blogpost on all the wonderful things I buy there on a regular basis, as it’s a fantastic place to buy toddler snacks that aren’t necessarily marketed for babies and are therefore cheaper. Anyway I decided to go out on a bit of a limb on my Trader Joe’s trip this week and I bought a bag of quinoa – my first ever! I’m not one for ‘hype’ but I have to say, quinoa is totally living up to it’s reputation in the Pruett household. These bites are so delicious, all three of us love these and have been snacking on them since I made them. They make great midday pick-me-ups or you can have a couple for lunch. These are packed with protein and give a great boost of nutrition and energy. The original recipe is from Alida’s Kitchen, but of course I tweaked it!

Quinoa bites

1 cup quinoa, cooked in 2 cups chicken broth

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups raw broccoli, finely chopped

1/4 yellow onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Salt & pepper

a splash of paprika

–  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. 

Line a muffin tin with cupcake cases (I did this to prevent mess, but you could also just grease the tin and put the mixture straight in). 

Mix all the ingredients together, and distribute the mixture evenly between all the cupcake cases. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven, let cool and enjoy! You can refrigerate these and eat them cold or heat them up in the microwave. So yummy!

Quinoa Bites with Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese

Dark Chocolate Energy Bites

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YUM. What’s better than dark chocolate? Dark chocolate with a purpose. These dark chocolate energy bites give you a little boost between meals and I never feel guilty about having more than 1 (or 2, or 3, or 4!)

I got this recipe from Undressed Skeleton, and I was so excited because mine looked just as good as hers did – that means that these must be super easy to make!

I bought 1 bag of dark chocolate chips, 1 bag of my favorite trail mix which included dried cranberries, almonds, raisins & pistachios (it was cheaper to buy trail mix than to buy all those ingredients separately) and my shopping was done!

– Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in-between until melted completely. Lay out some waxed paper on your work surface and plop down a circle of chocolate about the size of a quarter. Press whatever kind of nuts and dried fruit that you want into the chocolate, and leave to set. Alternatively, you can put the waxed paper onto a baking sheet, and then transfer your energy bites to the fridge to set. 

Once they’re set, peel them off the waxed paper, put them in a tupperware (or a pretty packet with a ribbon – would make a great gift!) and take them with you wherever you go for an extra boost throughout your day.

Dark Chocolate Energy Bites