a balanced plate with room for dessert

Friday Favorites (& Granola Bars)


Happy Friday everyone! Hope everyone had a fabulous week. While my week was better than usual, I’m still looking forward to the weekend. I’m starting something new – Friday Favorites. Read on for little moments from the week that grabbed me as well as a delicious new recipe!

Favorite blast from the past: school lunch. Yup, that’s right. I started my 1 month school food service rotation this week and they are feeding me lunch!  This is my first rotation to offer me food, so I’m pretty psyched. Some menu items that brought me back to my elementary and middle school days? Pizza dipper, mini corn dogs, and the good ol’ chicken nuggets. Don’t worry, they’ve got some amazing fruit and veggie spreads along with some other healthier options. Also, for the first time in a loooong time (quite possibly years) I’ve had a cup of skim milk every. single. day. My favorite part of eating school lunch? The spork.

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Favorite  can’t-live-without-it workout equipment: Foam Roller. Best $20 I spent. You can find me rolling around on it for a good half hour after all my runs and cycling workouts.

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Favorite breakfast inspiration: overnight steel cut oatmeal. I’ve been eating old fashioned oatmeal for breakfast day-after-day. I love it, but it’s getting a little… boring. I finally went out last night and bought some steel cut oats and I can’t wait to give this recipe a try!

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 Favorite kitchen find: olive wood salt keeper. I’m drooling over this. I’ve seen so many salt keepers and I still haven’t snatched one up. Someday…

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Favorite jewelry find: “asymmetry” earrings from Paon Blanc. I love big, dangly earrings. I love sparkly things. Check and check. These earrings are perfect.

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 and finally, my Favorite new holiday: National Granola Bar Day. There will never be a shortage of bizarre “holidays”. Celebrate National Granola Bar Day with me on January 21, 2012 with these delicious, no-added-sugar granola bars!! These granola bars are chock full of goodness – cranberries, bananas, pecans, oats, and flax. They were so easy to whip up and they taste a-maaaaazing.

Low Fat Granola Bars with Bananas, Cranberries, and Pecans
recipe from Cookin Canuk via Prevention RD 

3 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
3 large, ripe bananas
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons ground flax seed (or flax meal)
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a 9×13 baking sheet with parchment paper, with about 1 inch of parchment paper overlapping the sides.
  3. Spread out the oats and chopped pecans on a baking sheet. Place in the oven until they are lightly toasted, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  4. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with the back of a fork. Stir in applesauce until combined.
  5. Transfer the oats and pecans to a large bowl and stir in dried cranberries, ground flax seed (flax meal), cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  6. Stir the banana mixture into the oat mixture until well combined and starting to clump together. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and press down evenly.
  7. Bake until the bars are golden brown and starting to separate from sides of the pan, about 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
  8. Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan. Let cool to room temperature, then cut into 15 bars. Serve or store in an airtight container.

Author: Jenni

Dietitian by day and Midwest food blogger by night. Lover of whiskey, running, and all things food.

2 thoughts on “Friday Favorites (& Granola Bars)

  1. You are such a sweetie, thanks so much for the repost!!! I’m making these granola bars THIS weekend, can’t wait!! Miss you!

  2. yum! i love granola bars. are these the chewy or crunchy kind??

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