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Stoney's Crew: Granola and Re-Engineering!

Well I have been re-engineering my plans for the last week. Stoney announced that due to the soon to be warmer swimsuit weather (he is an optimistic guy) that he would like to change up his lunch plans. He would like yogurt, veggies, granola bar, trail mix, orange juice and fruit in his lunch and that is it.

This is what his lunch was: yogurt, granola bar and OJ for breakfast; trail mix for morning break; leftover day (or a couple of day's) previous supper, radishes or carrot sticks, a fruit such as a banana or similar; with a fruit left for an afternoon snack. His new regimen is granola bar and OJ for breakfast; trail mix for morning snack; yogurt, radishes or carrot sticks, a fruit for lunch; and a fruit for afternoon snack. So you see my less outlet for leftovers! It seems most of my recipes make 4-6 servings so I have been busy re-engineering them and/or (gasp) freezing to make ahead for a future meal. That is where I have to be really careful. All of my research leads me to believe that you shouldn't freeze prepped meals for more than a couple of months (sources: various once a month cooking blogs on That puts me on a tighter meal plan rotation. One thing is for sure tho...Granola Bars need to be made! Here is how I make them (and freeze) for 28 individually wrapped bars. (If you have a more physical job than "desk jockey" you may want to up the size of the bars for a net output of 20 bars.)

Granola Bars

5 cups oatmeal (I don't use quick cooking, I use the "real" stuff)
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup flax seed* (or ground flax seed)
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup roasted unsalted almond pieces
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
scant 2 cups water
1 cup dried raspberries**
1 cup dried strawberry pieces**

Mix all together adding water slowly (you may not need as much) you want enough to just hold together. Press into a oversize jelly roll pan (sprayed with butter flavor spray) evenly distributing the mix. Bake at 350 degrees for at least 1 hour. (1 hour will make for a softer bar, if you want you can bake longer, but keep an eye on it!)

Cool and cut into 28 pieces.
*After I started using flax seed straight, I read that ground flax seed will provided the desired nutrients better than the seed unground! This batch was the last of my flax seed stock, so when I stock back up, I will opt for ground flax seed, but it will need to be kept in the freezer like the nuts.

**I purchase all of my ingredients in bulk for this at E&S Grocery in Shipshewana. The prices are much cheaper (at least half) and the choices of dried fruit are much more varied than in the grocery. Look for opportunities to purchase the ingredients in bulk in your area. Any favorite dried fruit will work...raisins, dates, apples, apricots, cherries, figs, etc.

This is one thing that I have always done "once a month" style and frozen. The consistency is just right even right out of the freezer for an on the way to work breakfast with the OJ in a "sippy cup" (travel mug).

Since I am still menu again this week; but I can tell you tonight was Chicken Subs made from a roasted chicken and Tuesday will be Meatloaf!

If you get a chance, check out Money Saving Mom, The Frugal Girls, and OrgJunkie for more menu ideas, coupon tips and generally interesting stuff!

1 comment:

  1. I look forward to your blog every week. Thanks for some interesting and entertaining writing.