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Do You Know What You Are Eating?

Posted by [email protected] on January 12, 2015 at 10:25 PM

Have you ever noticed how many ingredients are in some of your favorite snacks? Take granola bars for example. One of America’s favorite trusted brand is Quaker Chewy Granola Bars. Their chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and peanut butter bars all contain more than 25 ingredients. Also, they contain artificial flavors and the artificial color, caramel coloring. Artificial flavors and colors are not safe to consume and not necessary in granola bars. The artificial color, caramel color contains the cancer-causing byproduct 4-methylimidazole.

Do you want to eat processed foods that have to add unsafe flavors made in a lab? Instead you can make the same products at home that are healthier and taste better.

When my family and I decided we would not eat any foods that contained artificial colors or flavors, it eliminated a lot of pre-packed snack foods. We didn’t want to stop eating yummy snacks so I started researching healthier alternatives. We experimented with granola bars that contained minimal ingredients and were quick to make. After several recipes we found one that we have now been enjoying for three years.

These granola bars are so easy to make that Trey, my 12-year-old son, started making them he was 9. The bars only contain real ingredients and have more flavor than prepackaged bars. They take 10-15 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to bake. We make a batch every weekend to put in our lunches during the week or as an after school snack. I have received the most requests for these bars than any other food I have made. Below is our recipe for our delicious granola bars.


4 ½ cups Rolled Oats (quick or old fashioned)

1 cup Whole Wheat Flour

1 ½ cups Organic Butter softened not melted (may use conventional)

½ cup Honey

1/3 cup (packed) Brown sugar

1 tsp. Baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla extract

*1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

*note we use only ½- ¾ cup of chocolate chips, we find 1 cup is too much chocolate. Play around with the amount until you find what is right for you.


Dash of Cinnamon


Substitute raisins, almonds, and cranberries etc. for the chocolate chips. 


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium size mixing bowl, cream together the butter, honey, brown sugar and vanilla extract. (I use an electric mixer, however you can use a large wooden spoon).

2. Add flour, baking soda and oats. Stir until well-mixed. Stir in chocolate chips. Mix with mixer, large spoon or hands.

3. Press mixture into lightly-greased baking dish (I do not grease, I use parchment paper in the baking dish and it does not stick.

4. Bake at 325 degrees for 18-25 minutes, until edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and place dish on wire rack to cool. (I skip that step and place directly into the refrigerator. I find that it helps the bars stay as bars and not crumble.)

5. Once cooled, cut into bar size with a pizza cutter or sharp knife.


Please send question or comments.

Until next week,


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Reply Alix
4:57 PM on January 18, 2015 
Hi Maggie-
I love making everything myself. As a health and lifestyle coach, I teach people everyday how to make their own foods, and tell them the reasons why. I just wanted to suggest that instead of brown sugar, which is actually as bad as white sugar, you should try Coconut Palm Sugar, which is much better for your body-containing many more nutrients than brown sugar, and can reduce blood sugar levels unlike brown sugar and white sugar which will spike up blood sugar levels.
Hope this helps!
Reply [email protected]
7:19 PM on January 18, 2015 
Thanks Alix for the recommendation. I have never used Coconut Palm Sugar. I will buy some and try it in our next batch. We are always on the hunt for better alternatives. Thanks!