Homemade granola bars are good in the way that you can add whatever good stuff you feel like. I don’t think I have ever repeated the same combination of ingredients. However, recently I made a batch that were exceptionally successful and Iris and Roberto could not get enough of them. These granola bars are filled with different seeds and nuts and are therefore rich on minerals, vitamins and protein. Make a big batch, store them in the refrigerator and they will be fine for about a week.
You need: 1 cup/2.5 rolled oats, 0.5 cup/1dl dried apricots roughly chopped, 0.5 cup/1 dl almonds roughly chopped, 0.5 cup/1 dl hazelnuts roughly chopped, 0.25 cup/0.5 dl sesame seeds, 0.25cup/0.5 dl pumpkin seeds, 2 ripe bananas, 0.5 cup/1 dl nut butter ( any kind will do ), 0.5 tsp cinnamon and 0.5 tsp salt.
Preheat the oven to 175 C/350 F. Mash and mix the banana with the nut butter in a big bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and put it in an oven-ware covered in baking paper. Divide it equally and make sure to press the mixture down properly into the oven-ware. Bake it for about 30 minutes until firm and lightly coloured on the edges.
2. Wholegrain Crackers with Cheese and Apple
Fill a small to medium box with some wholegrain crackers, cheese and fruit. This is such a tasty and luxurious snack to bring with you at any time. Both Iris and I love this as an afternoon snack at the playground and believe me when I tell you there are more than one parent raising their eyebrows at Iris nibbling on crackers and French cheese. My daughter is a real cheese gourmet and she would happily live off Brie for the rest of her days. Some of her first words were Parmesan and Gruyère!
3. Vegetable Sticks with Hummus and Peanut Butter
If you feel like loading up your protein supply then this is the snack for you. Hummus made from chickpeas is a well known source of protein. Peanut butter on the other hand is not as well known for its high level of protein. Peanut butter has for many years had an undeservedly bad reputation but the truth is that peanut butter is a great source of protein and has a higher percentage of it than both almonds and hazelnuts. And if using it as a spread on your sandwich I would say it is far better than any butter ( made of animal fat ) or margarine due to its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids. Just be careful with which type of peanut butter you buy. Many of them contain both sugar and unsaturated fats and if so it is no longer healthy to eat. I always buy organic peanut butter where normally the only ingredient except peanuts is salt.
To make a great tasting hummus you need: 1 can ( 400 g ) of chickpeas or the same amount cooked at home, 1 big crushed clove of garlic, juice from 1 medium lemon, 5 tbsp tahini, 3 tbsp of olive oil and salt.
Place all ingredients except the salt in a blender and mix until you get a smooth texture. If you wish your humus to be a bit less firm just add a little water. Salt after taste and your hummus is done!
4. Yogurt Smoothie with Berries
There are thousands of ways to make smoothie. You can add whatever you want, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, dairy products you name it. This recipe is made by Iris and it is her favourite combo of ingredients. I also find the recipe very comfortable because we usually have all the ingredients to make it at home. This is not a pretentious smoothie full of greens and super food but rather an easy, so good, child-friendly and nutritious smoothie.
For one big glass you need: 1 ripe banana, 2 dl/1 cup mixed frozen blueberries and raspberries, juice from 1 orange and 1.5 dl/0.75 cup natural yogurt.
Place all ingredients in a blender and mix until you are happy with the texture. Pour into a big glass and top it off with some frozen blueberries.
5. Banana with Almond and Hazelnut Butter
This is one of my personal favourite snacks and it is also great for breakfast. It is very filling and the combination of the sweet banana and the roasted nut butter is divine. I could eat it every day and I am not the only one appreciating this combination. Most people trying it at our house becomes thrilled and continue eating it. You can buy different nut butters in your supermarket or your whole food store but it is very easy to make your own at home. My almond and hazelnut recipe is simple and you can vary the combination of nuts after taste. You find the recipe here!