Tag Archives: homemade

Smitten Bars – aka a Healthy, Homemade, Delicious Granola Bar

I call these sinfully delicious bars “Smitten Bars,” 1) because I’m absolutely smitten with them, and 2) because I adapted them a smidge from the Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars.  They are so delicious (especially after being on Whole30 for a month) that you feel like you’re cheating… on something!  These would be perfect to make for your kids… or yourself.  They’re gluten-free, they can be nut-free (to take to schools with rules about nut allergies), and you can amend them to suit your own personal tastes and diets.  It’s basically the perfect recipe.

Smitten Kitchen's Chocolate Chunk Healthy Granola Bars, Cat Tea Towel from Maiden South - oysters and pearls

You have cat to be kitten me right meow.  These snacks are healthy?  Tea towel from Maiden South.  #shamelessplug #catsonbikes

Smitten Bars - Healthy Delicious Chocolate Granola Bars - oysters and pearls

Smitten Bars - Healthy Delicious Chocolate Granola Bars adapted from Smitten Kitchen - oysters and pearls

Smitten Bars - Healthy Delicious Chocolate Granola Bars adapted from Smitten Kitchen - oysters and pearls

Let’s get down to recipe business, shall we?

Smitten Bars
recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s chocolate chunk granola bar recipe
yields 16-ish 2×2 granola bars

ingredients

– 1 1/2 heaping cups (100 grams) gluten-free rolled oats
– 1/4 cup (20 grams) rolled oats, finely ground, or 1/4 cup oat flour
– 3/4 cup (60 grams) dried unsweetened shredded coconut
– 1 tablespoon ground flax
– 1 tablespoon chia seeds
– 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
– 1 cup (about 140 grams) chopped dried fruit (I used unsweetened, unsulphured dried cherries from Trader Joe’s)
– 1 cup (170 grams) chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
– 1/4 cup (65 grams) almond butter (use sunflower seed butter to be nut-free)
– 1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed until liquefied (may sub olive oil)
– 1/4 cup (about 85 grams) maple raw local honey (may sub maple/cane syrup)

other supplies

– 8×8 inch square casserole dish or baking pan
– parchment paper

instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line casserole dish or baking pan with two sheets of parchment paper, cross-ways and extending up the sides, in order to form a non-stick “sling” for your bars to make them easy to remove from the pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (oats, oat flour, coconut, cherries/dried fruit, chocolate, salt, cinnamon).  In a smaller, separate bowl, whisk together the “wet” ingredients (almond butter, coconut oil, and honey).  Pour wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until combined.

Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it out until flat, then using another square of parchment paper to protect your hand, use the heel of your palm to press the mixture as firmly as you can until you cannot press it any further.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees, until the tops are golden and the edges are light brown.  Let the bars cool COMPLETELY before cutting into them.  I recommend letting them cool to close to room temperature, then finish them off for a couple of hours in the fridge.  Then use the parchment paper “sling” to transfer the bars to a cutting board.  Using a sharp, serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion, carefully cut the bars into desired sizes.

According to Smitten Kitchen, these bars will keep for about a week in an air-tight container at room temperature… but I highly doubt they’ll last that long that way because you’ll eat them all.  So, I stick them a couple at a time in a snack-size freezer bag and pop them into the freezer.  That way, I can pull them out two at a time so Wheat and I don’t overindulge.  They only take about 30 minutes to an hour to fully defrost at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge. Perfect for packing in lunch boxes – for kids or working grown-ups. :)

Smitten Bars - Healthy Delicious Chocolate Granola Bars adapted from Smitten Kitchen - oysters and pearls

What’s your favorite healthy snack?  This has quickly moved to the top of my list, but I’m always on the look for more options!

Until Next Time

Strawberry Ice Cream Casserole

Happy Friday!!  Or should I say, Fri-yay?

The original recipe called this “Frozen Strawberries and Cream Dessert,” but I think Strawberry Ice Cream Casserole is a more appropriate term.  After all, it’s made in a casserole dish.

Strawberry Ice Cream Casserole - Oysters & Pearls

I made this dessert for Easter because 1) it would feed a crowd, and 2) strawberries were in season, and 3) strawberry desserts are my favorite.  The pecan crumble topping absolutely MADE this dish.  I doubled it to serve our Hugh Jass family and added extra pecans strawberries.  Because pecans and strawberries.

No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream Casserole
via Pip & Ebby

Ingredients:

– 1 cup pecans, toasted
– 8 whole graham crackers, broken into pieces
– 20 tablespoons butter, melted
– 2 cup all-purpose flour
– 2/3 cup brown sugar
– 4 egg whites
– 1 cup sugar
– 2 cup heavy whipping cream
– Juice from 2 lemon
– 8 oz. brick cream cheese, softened
– 5 cups strawberries, hulled and chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat an 9×13-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. In a food processor, combine the pecans and graham cracker pieces. Process until finely ground. Add the crumbs to a large bowl, along with the butter, flour and brown sugar. Mix well. Spread the crumbs evenly on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, stirring once half way.  Remove and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine egg whites and sugar. Using a hand-held mixer, mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add whipping cream and mix on medium speed for an additional 6 minutes. Add lemon juice and cream cheese and mix on low speed until creamy. Gently fold in strawberries with a spoon.
  3. Press half of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with strawberry-cream mixture, followed by the remaining crumbs. Cover with foil and freeze for a minimum of 6 hours (preferably overnight) before serving.
  4. To serve, allow to thaw for a few minutes before cutting slices.

No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream Dessert - Oysters & Pearls

This dessert earned rave reviews this Easter!  And the better the strawberries, the better the finished product.  We got these local berries from Southern Fresh Market at the Bainbridge Farmers’ Market and they were delish. :) Eat local, y’all!

As a PSA, tomorrow, May 2, 2015, the BFM will have a Touch-A-Truck for da kids.  Kids love trucks!  Get yo self there, get some strawberries, and make this bomb diggety dessert this weekend.  It’s supposed to be gorgeous and sunny all weekend – perfect ice cream weather!

Until Next Time

Peach Crisp Recipe

I mentioned this peach crisp recipe last time we had our Farm to Table Supper Club, and I am just about ready to make it again.  In fact, with a crispy, nutty oatmeal crust, it would be the perfect summer dessert OR breakfast.

Georgia Peaches and Blackberry for a Crisp | Oysters & Pearls

Cutting Butter into Peach Crisp Toppings | Oysters & Pearls

Don’t mind that butter…

Peach and Blackberry Crisp Topping | Oysters & Pearls

I based this super simple peach crisp recipe off of this one that I found at the last minute.  When it comes to sweet summer fruit, I think simplest is usually best.

Georgia Peaches and Blackberry for a Crisp | Oysters & Pearls

Georgia Peaches and Blackberry for a Crisp | Oysters & Pearls

Simple Summer Peach Crisp Recipe
serves 12 easily
adapted via Allrecipes.com

ingredients

– 10 to 12 very ripe peaches, washed and sliced
– 1 package very ripe blackberries (or any ripe berry you like, or omit them altogether)
– 1 cup all purpose flour
– 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
– 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter
– 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
– 2 cups rolled oats
– 1 cup chopped pecans

instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Arrange sliced peaches evenly in a 9×13 greased pan or casserole dish.  Scatter berries throughout, if using.  Set aside.

Mix flour, light brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl using a pastry cutter until evenly mixed and with crumbles the size of peas.  Fold the oats and pecans into the flour mixture.  Evenly sprinkle and press the topping over the top of the fruit.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the topping is slightly browned.

Georgia Peaches and Blackberry for a Crisp | Oysters & Pearls

This is the perfect way to showcase perfectly ripe, delicious Georgia peaches and really let them shine.  I often find cobblers too sweet, and sometimes a cobbler can mask the true flavor of the fruit with all that sugar.  There’s a time and place for cobblers, but I think this crisp really puts the fruit front and center.

 Peach and Blackberry Crisp | Oysters & Pearls Peach and Blackberry Crisp | Oysters & Pearls

I think this crisp recipe would be wonderful with any fresh or canned fruit, summer or winter, doubled or halved.  The topping is versatile, crunchy, sweet, and salty.  Feel free to throw anything you want underneath it!  And do not hesitate to top it with ice cream, no matter what’s on the bottom.

Peach and Blackberry Crisp | Oysters & Pearls

Where to shop:
flour sack dish cloth: Julie Guyot and Ashley Ivey via TCA
farm table: Southern Restoration Furniture by Marc Ventry
vintage pyrex bowl (similar)
vintage pastry cutter (similar)

You may also like:
Honey Ice Cream Recipe
Easy Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe
Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Recipe
Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

Until Next Time