Granola. As in the nickname for those moms who are die-hard fans of natural living. You know them. You may be friends with some of them. Heck, you may even be one of them!
When I first became a SAHM, I was lost. I had spent the 8 years prior working with women old enough to be my mom or grandmom. I was pretty far removed from the world of women my age. The only women I knew who were my age all worked full-time–I was alone.
Then I found the local crunchy moms. Or they found me, rather. I had leanings toward their philosophies–we had been trying to remove high fructose corn syrup and artificial crap from our diet, I wore my baby, I dabbled in cloth diapering, and I was planning on a midwife-attended water birth for the next baby, who was already making his presence known with my enlarged mid-section. Finally, I would find my place with women who understood! This had to be a perfect fit!
But it wasn’t. I was too mainstream for them. At the same time, I was too far outside for the mainstreamers. My usual approach to life of picking what works and leaving what doesn’t left me in an eclectic bind where I didn’t really belong anywhere. No matter what I did, someone had some objection to it.
After my second was born, I became even soggier… I guess I’m more oatmeal than granola these days. To each his own. I’m less concerned with fitting in with a particular crowd and more concerned with what’s right for us. That’s all that matters in the end, regardless of the labels society feels necessary to brand us with. Being a parent is hard enough without the pressure of living up to others’ expectations.
Granola is still tasty, though! And these granola bars are so easy–which is great because my kids eat granola bars at an alarming rate! It takes mere minutes to throw these together, 20 minutes in the oven, and then you just have to be patient and let them cool. Or not–and then you have granola instead of granola bars. It’s all good!
Easy-Made Granola Bars
slightly adapted from ShowFood Chef
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (which I find far preferable to canola oil–remnant of my crunchy days )
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (you could use brown rice syrup or honey instead)
- 1 cup of mix-ins (raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, dried blueberries, dried fruit in general, almonds, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, pecans, shelled sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flax meal, coconut, chocolate chips, etc… only limited by your imagination!) (I used raisins, almonds, shelled sunflower seeds, and organic dried unsweetened coconut)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8×8 or brownie pan with parchment paper.
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and then press into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing. Store in an airtight container or plastic baggie for up to 5 days at room temperature. If the bars don’t hold together–or there are crumbs–you can also use as granola for your yogurt, etc.