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Chocolate Granola Fruity Bars

My little Luca (he’s now 6!!) started doing sports on a regular basis and snacks are become a real energy charge for him!! He really really likes granola bars and at the beginning I simply bought them from my the store. Than I started reading the ingredients and checking the prices…discovering that:

  1. not every advertised “healthy” granola bar is truly healthy. I was not super happy with some ingredients starting from the added sugars.
  2. the real healthy ones are kind of pricey

Two enough good reasons to make me prepare my own homemade chocolate fruity granola bars. They ended up insanely good and super easy to make!! Also, and that is for me a super bonus, I could cut them in the size appropriate to Luca’s appetite = two bites. So I made super mini granola bars that he could enjoy without any waste 😉

Kid happy & mom happy = Success!!!

Also, with the quantity of one recipe I made enough bars for more than one month, without talking about the huge money saving!!

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The chocolate granola bars are naturally gluten free and also refined sugar free. To naturally sweeten them I used dried fruit (mango and cherries) and a lovely apple sweetener that I’ve been recently testing. It’s from Rigoni di Asiago,  it’s called Dolcedì and it’s made from the concentrated and filtered sugar extracted from organic apples.

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Chocolate Granola Fruity Bars

Chocolate Granola Fruity Bars

Ingredients

    For the Bars
  • 1 cup whole almonds (150gr.)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (70gr.)
  • 1 cup crisp rice cereal (30gr.)
  • 1 ½ cup old fashion oats (140gr.)
  • 4 Tbsp cup ground flax
  • 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried mango (30gr.)
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries (30gr.)
  • ¼ cup Dolcedi' apple sweetener (60ml) by Rigoni di Asiago
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (70ml)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 6 Tablespoons almond butter
    For the Chocolate Glaze
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate (300gr.)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and scatter 1 cup old fashion oats in a baking sheet. Toast them in the oven for 15 min.
  2. Line a 9 X 9 pan with parchment paper. You want a piece long enough that the sides will come back over and cover the top of the bars once you fill the pan.
  3. In a food processor add ½ cup of almonds, ½ cup of sunflower seeds, and 1/2 cup of the remaining oats. Process until it turns into a fine powder, about 1 minute. Remove and place in a bowl.
  4. In the food processor now place the remaining almonds, the dried mango and the dried cherries. Chop them in tiny pieces, almost breadcrumbs consistency.
  5. Add them to a large bowl along with the toasted oats, the almond/oat/sunflowerseed flour, the rice cereal, the ground flax and the chia seeds. Toss together.
  6. Heat a small pan on the stove over medium heat. Add the apple sweetener, coconut oil, vanilla bean paste, and the almond butter. Stir constantly until everything is fully melted and begins to foam. Allow it to foam and bubble for about a minute before immediately pouring it over the nuts and oats mixture. Mix well.
  7. Fill the square pan with the granola mix. Press very well with a spoon to compact the mix as much as possible
  8. Fold the parchment over the top of the granola and PRESS to fill the corners and flatten. Keep pressing to remove any possible air bubble.
  9. Let the granola bar set up in a cool dry place (kitchen countertop) with a weight on top for at least few hours. overnight is better.
  10. Remove the granola bar from the pan on a cutting board. Remove the parchment paper. Slice small bars, rectangular shape. Size the bars pending your kids' appetite.
  11. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute
  12. Dip the base of each bar in the chocolate and place them on a parchment paper on a flat surface. Drizzle some chocolate on top too, it's more yummy and keeps the granola bars together 😉
  13. Let it cool down and ENJOY!
  14. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
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http://www.buonapappa.net/chocolate-granola-fruity-bars/

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posted on March 10, 2017

Oat Vegetable Tots

Tots, patties, balls, croquettes…are my favorite way to sneak in vegetables in my kids diet without them even noticing it. I’m not a fan of hiding vegetables and fruit in the recipes, I think that the more the kids are conscious of what they are eating, the less picky they will get. At the same time sneaking in vegetables or fruits in a recipe will let the kids get used to their taste so that, when you will offer them in the full shape they will be already used to the taste. Kids (like adults!!) like things that they already know 😉

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Oat Veggie Patties

My philosophy as a mom it to balance recipes where the “scary” ingredients are hidden with recipes where they are in full sight 😉

The Oat Vegetable Tots are a lovely recipes for toddlers and for babies starting from 9 months considering the creamy texture. This is a beautiful recipe to keep in mind if you are following the baby-led-weaning way or if you are looking for finger food ideas.

These tots are naturally Gluten free as we are using Oats and Vegetarian.

If you are cooking for little ones I suggest not to coat the tots in the Oat mix, they will be creamier without any crumbly grainy crust.

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Oat Vegetable Tots

Oat Vegetable Tots

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (150gr.) + one handful for coating
  • 8 oz. cauliflower (200gr.)
  • 2 small potatoes (100gr.)
  • 2 small carrots (100gr.)
  • 4 oz. kale (130gr.)
  • 2 oz. almonds (50gr.)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1.5 oz. pecorino cheese (40gr.)
  • 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Prepare the vegetables and chop them in small pieces.
  2. Steam the carrots/cauliflower/potatoes for 20 minutes. Let them cool down.
  3. In a food processor add the almonds and the oats. Mix for 20 sec enough to obtain a flour consistency.
  4. Add the steamed vegetables and the kale leaves. The garlic, a pinch of grated nutmeg and the grated pecorino cheese.
  5. Let the food processor work 1 or 2 minutes up until obtaining a smooth consistency.
  6. Take 1 tablespoon of mix from the food processor and create a small tot. Coat it with some oats previously minced.
  7. Place the tots on some parchment paper on a baking sheet and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top.
  8. Bake the tots in preheated oven at 400F/180C for 15/18 min.
  9. Enjoy!!
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http://www.buonapappa.net/oat-vegetable-tots/

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posted on February 24, 2017

Chocolate Energy Bites

When your kid needs an healthy boost of energy, these Chocolate Bites are a wonderful idea!

No bake, no refined sugars, no gluten….loaded with more than 10 healthy and nutritious ingredients, without mentioning the lovely chocolate taste! It’s a win-win situation: kids love them + moms love them.

The procedure is so simple that your older kids can make them by themselves 😉 I like to roll half of the bites in coconut flakes for my Luca (he likes a more crunchy texture) and leave the other half plain (Alex likes a more smooth and creamy surface).

You can prepare a nice batch, store it in an air tight container and keep the Energy Bites in the refrigerator for up to 1 months…but I’m sure they will be gone way before that 😉

Another plus of this recipe: you can size the bites following your kid’s appetite. Small or giant balls, you decide!

The bites are naturally sweetened by dried fruit: I used super soft and sweet dried apricots from the Farmer’s Market, but you can switch with any dried fruit you like.

I also used 70% cocoa chocolate chips as I like strong dark chocolate, but you can pick up the cocoa % you like.

This is a super toddler friendly recipe.

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Chocolate Energy Bites

Chocolate Energy Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed
  • ⅓ cup dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ½ cup chopped dark chocolate
  • dash of salt
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ unsweetened shredded coconut for coating

Instructions

  1. Chop the apricots and the chocolate. Set apart.
  2. In a big bowl mix together the dry ingredients: oats, cocoa powder, 1/3 cup coconut, ground flaxseed, apricots, chia seeds, chocolate and salt.
  3. In another small bowl place the almond butter, honey and coconut oil. Warm up in the microwave: 40 seconds total, stirring after every 20 sec. until completely melted and combined. Add in vanilla.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and stir well.
  5. With your hands create small balls and coat half of them with the remaining coconut.
  6. My Alex doesn’t like coconut flakes, so I fairly not coated 50% of the energy balls 😉
  7. Place in the refrigerator for 30 min to get firm. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 month…but I’m sure they will be gone in less than 1 week!!!
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http://www.buonapappa.net/chocolate-energy-bites/

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posted on February 18, 2017


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