loaded PB granola bars

Loaded Peanut Butter Granola Bars

If given a choice, my children would eat peanut butter every day for breakfast.  On top of the great taste, they enjoy getting to make breakfast on their own (if you can really call smothering a piece of bread with peanut butter cooking). Needless to say, we dissuade them with other, more filling choices.

This week I wanted to make something that was just as easy to serve, yet kept them begging to eat.  I made Loaded Peanut Butter Granola Bars. In addition to the peanut butter, the bars are filled with steel cut oats, puffed corn cereal, nuts, dates, and chia seeds. The kids LOVED them, and I am thrilled they get fiber, protein, and omega-3s. A family win!

loaded PB granola bars


Loaded Peanut Butter Granola Bars

3 cups steel cut oats
2 cups puffed corn cereal
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup pepitas
¼ cup chia seeds
¾ cup crunchy peanut butter
½ cup honey
3 tablespoons coconut oil

 

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, cereal, dates, pepitas, and chia seeds. In a small sauce pan, combine the peanut butter, honey, and oil. Heat over medium heat until melted. Pour over the oat mixture and stir to coat.  Cover the bottom and sides of a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with foil and cover with cooking spray, then spread in the granola mixture and press firmly.  Cover with a sheet of waxed paper and cover with another baking pan and weigh down.  Refrigerate for 1-2 hours than cut into bars.

Note: I used the recipe for Chocolate Monkey Bars from BH&G as a starting point for the peanut butter binder and wet to dry ratio.  The possibility of mix-ins are endless.

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Tuna & Oat Bowl

Tuna & Oat Bowl

I have a rather large bag of steel cut oats sitting in my pantry and I decided it was time to find other ways to incorporate them into my diet. Steel cut oats are a great source of fiber and protein, so I really have nothing to complain about. 

Tuna & Oat Bowl

I was in the mood for something that would qualify as a side dish or an entrée, rather than a breakfast item.  The resulting Tuna & Oat Bowl is more of an updated version of tuna noodle casserole.  Instead of noodles, the dish has a large serving of steel cut oats. The addition of tomatoes, dill, and goat cheese round out the dish and add a fresh taste. As an extra bonus there is no baking involved so it is quick to get on the table.

While the Tuna & Oat Bowl might not be the most photogenic, I found that it was a great dish for lunch since it kept me satisfied for a long time.  It looks like I may have found a way to finish all of my steel cut oats!

Tuna & Oat Bowl

Tuna & Oat Bowl

4 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups steel cut oats
4 ounces goat cheese
2, 7 ounce cans tuna, drained
1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon dry dill
¼ teaspoon salt

Bring water and salt to a boil in a large sauce pan.  Add the oats, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, covered, or until liquid is absorbed and the oats are tender but chewy.  Remove from the heat and let sit a few minutes. Next, stir in the goat cheese until the oats are coated.  Next add the tuna, tomatoes, dill and salt, stirring to combine.  Serve; refrigerate any leftovers.

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