In the midst of the morning rush, it's easy to fall into a breakfast or lunch-making rut, consistently filling cereal bowls or lil ones' sacks with the same items each week. Wouldn't it be great to break the boring lunch box routine and serve up something fun this year? As they head back to school, try adding something new to their lunch boxes — or keep your "surprise" tucked away for after-school snacks — because change is good, right? In addition to the recipes I'll share with you today, check out these links with healthy recipes and suggestions for a successful start to the school year: http://busycooks.about.com/od/fallrecipesandmenus/tp/backtoschool.htm
Today, I will begin with a new recipe that I tried (thanks to my Savannah daughter :-) just a couple of weeks ago. It was so good, I've made and given away two or three batches since then. The recipe for Granola Chews can be found on the back of the Kroger Low Fat Granola Cereal box. I bought the version with raisins, but if you don't like them, they also have one without raisins. The full name of the cereal on the front of the box is: Kroger Low Fat Granola Crispy Whole Grain Cereal with Raisins. WHEW! With a name like that, you can count on this cereal being PACKED FULL of nutrition, and it is. Just check the Nutrition Facts on the side---lots of good stuff like: 100% Vitamin B6; 100% Folate; 100% Vitamin B12... and etc. You can read it for yourself :-). This is a cookie you could have along with a glass of milk for breakfast. If you don't live near a Kroger store, I suggest trying whatever your grocery store brand of granola cereal might be. Wal-Mart also has its own brand of granola.
I also "tweaked: :-) the recipe just a little bit by using the Kroger 100% Natural Cereal--Oats & Honey version instead of the Low Fat Granola to coat the dough balls before baking them. So, it's up to you how you bake these. You can go by the recipe and roll them in the original cereal that's called for in the recipe (same as what's in the cookie dough), or you can purchase the extra box of 100% Natural Cereal (which is very yummy with almonds) and use it only for your coating. Either way, these cookies are the YUMMIEST!
One other note about my recipe "tweaks." The first couple of batches I baked without changing the recipe, and they were really good, but not as chewy as I wanted them to be. I have some dental work (bridge/crowns) that I didn't want chipped or broken, so I decided to soften the cookies up a little bit and make them chewier and less crunchy. In addition to the brown sugar, I added 1/2 cup granulated sugar. I also didn't bake them quite as long as before, taking them out just when the edges browned, but the centers were still a little soft. I left them on the cookie sheet only long enough for them to firm up enough to transfer to the counter to cool. These revisions made just the cookie I was looking for.
Let's get cookin'!
Bake for 10-14 minutes or until golden brown. (Adjust time according to taste. I preferred to bake mine about 12 minutes, remove them from the oven, and allow them to remain on the cookie sheet for just a minute to firm up enough to transfer to the counter and finish cooling.)
I must have made my cookies larger than 1-inch size, because I ended up with a few less than the predicted 5 dozen yield, but they were very large, chewy cookies.
1 3/4 c. brown sugar, packed, plus 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. baking soda
1 c. butter or margarine, soft
1 t. vanilla
4 1/2 - 5 c. Kroger Low Fat Granola Cereal w/ Raisins
OPTIONAL: 1 - 14 oz. box Kroger 100% Natural Cereal -- Oats & Honey
PREHEAT OVEN TO 375.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda.
Place 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
2 crisp apples, Gala or Fuji work well
6 whole wheat tortillas
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Thinly slice the apples into 1/4" thick slices. Sprinkle cheese over one tortilla. Place apple slices, barely overlapping, on top of cheese. Next, sprinkle more cheese on top of the apples and top with another tortilla. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Place the tortilla on microwave–safe plate. Follow the steps above and heat on “high” until the cheese is melted – approximately 2 minutes. Let it rest for one minute before slicing into wedges. Repeat with remaining tortillas, apples and cheese.
1/3 cup red seedless grapes
1/3 cup green seedless grapes
2/3 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup vanilla yogurt
¼ cup dried coconut, shredded
1/3 cup granola
(Can use other fruit such as melon, strawberries, mango, kiwi etc.)
Wash all the fruit and cut into large chunks. Put the fruit on a large plate or bowl. Spread the coconut and/or granola onto large plates. Slide pieces of fruit onto a wooden skewer. Fill the skewer with whatever fruits you enjoy. Hold your kabob at the ends. Roll in the yogurt so the fruit gets covered. Finally, roll in the coconut or granola.
2 cups all-purpose flour (I changed this to 1 cup all purpose, 1/2 cup whole wheat, 1/2 cup wheat bran)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder (plus, I added 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt)
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
3 or 4 medium bananas, mashed (I used 4 medium/large bananas)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
1½ cups chopped walnuts
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons COLD butter, cut in very small pieces
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) butter
2 tablespoons water
¼ cup light brown sugar (I used DARK brown)
¼ cup rum
(NOTE: I doubled the glaze recipe, because I wanted plenty to soak into both loaves of bread. I was glad I doubled it, because I don't think it would have been enough otherwise. If you choose to double, then use 1/2 C butter, 4 Tbsp. water, 1/2 C brown sugar, and 1/2 C rum.)