No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

Finger-licking good and healthy to boot.

That’s exactly the type of snack these little bars are.

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They are honey-sweetened and feature peanut butter, dark chocolate, and coconut.

Oh yeah, and oatmeal too.

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See? Healthy and good. And maybe a little bit addictive.

Perfect for a little snack to accompany your coffee or a sweet treat to put in a lunchbox.

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In addition to being healthy, this is a no-bake snack, so it’s easy to make a full pan of these without even turning on your oven.

I don’t make these THAT often, but when I do they’re usually gone by the second day.

Trust me, it’s good stuff.

Here’s the recipe if you’re interested in whipping some up for your family:

1 C peanut butter
1/2 C honey
1/2 C coconut oil
2 C rolled oats
1 C flaked coconut
1/2 C nuts or dried fruit
1 1/2 C dark chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Melt the first three ingredients in a heavy bottom saucepan. Add in the rest and stir until chocolate is melted. Press into a 9″x13″ pan and chill for a few hours. Cut into bars.


Banana Baked Oatmeal Muffins

This is a great recipe if you’re looking for a healthy bite.

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Though we have no food allergies in our house (thank God!) and don’t specifically avoid any certain ingredient, they are perfect for families who ARE avoiding specific things.

No white sugar. No flour. No eggs.

Less than 100 calories a piece.

As an added bonus, they are super tasty and nutritious. Perfect for a quick grab-it-and-go breakfast or a healthy little snack.

These would also be great in kids’ lunchboxes. I am always struggling to pack healthy for my gang. After packing five lunchboxes a day every weekday morning I seem to run out of fresh ideas sometimes.

I haven’t tried this yet, but these supposedly freeze well also.

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I snagged the recipe off of this website.

Here’s the lowdown on what you need to make these:

5 cups rolled oats

2 1/2 cups overly ripe bananas

1 tsp salt

5 TB sweetener (you choose which one–I used honey)

2/3 cup Chocolate chips

2 1/2 cup water

1/4 cup + 1 TB oil (coconut or vegetable)

2 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 380 degrees F and line cupcake pans with liners. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl and then add in to the dry ones. Mix together well, than spoon into cupcake liners. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Makes about 24.

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No-Stir Granola

Ever get into a breakfast rut?

I do sometimes. I love breakfast, but I like to mix it up once in a while with something different on weekday mornings.

The beauty of this recipe is that it could easily be eaten for breakfast, or as a tasty snack any old time.

Oh yes, I made this over the weekend and have been noshing on it a piece at a time. My hands can’t seem to stay away from that tupperware container with the granola in it!

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This is a hearty granola that can be baked on a rimmed baking sheet, with no need to stir it during the baking time. The result is a crunchy granola that you break apart once it’s cooled.

(Other granola recipes, like this one I posted a couple of years ago, has you stirring it periodically.)

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Here’s the recipe that I followed to make this nice crispy treat:

1/3 C maple syrup

1/3 C brown sugar

3 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C vegetable oil

3 C rolled oats

1 1/2 C nuts

1/2 C coconut

2 C dried fruit

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray. Spread mixed granola out onto sheet. Bake at 325 F for 30-40 minutes. Once this is cool, break apart and place pieces in an airtight container. Eat by itself or covered with milk.


No-Bake Energy Bites

If you’re on the hunt for healthier snack options that actually taste good, then this recipe is for you.

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A bonus  (besides the fact that they’re healthy) is that you don’t even have to turn the oven on to make these.

Just mix, chill, and roll. Sweet.

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The first time I made these they were gone in less than a day. My crew gobbled them up and pronounced them good.

The second time around I just went ahead and made a double batch. No messing around for this Mama, especially when it’s something they all like.

They are great for lunch boxes as well.

No-Bake Energy Bites

1 cup oatmeal

2/3 cup coconut

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup flax seeds

1/4 cup wheat germ

1/4 cup chocolate chips

1/3 cup honey

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients in, mixing well by hand.

Chill the dough for 30 minutes, the roll into balls. Store in the fridge.

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Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Did you ever eat steel-cut oats?

I never tried any until the last year or so, but have since really enjoyed having it for breakfast now and again. Actually, lately we have been having it pretty often.

Before I ate any, I had never understood why or how they were different than regular (rolled) oats. Apparently rolled oats are steamed and then rolled, whereas steel-cut oats are just sliced a different way and not steamed. So they come from the same plant, but just processed a slightly different way. The picture below illustrates the difference pretty well.

I like steel-cut oats because not only are they very healthy, they have a different texture and a nuttier flavor.

What I don’t like is how long they take to cook. That is, until I discovered this recipe in Cook’s Illustrated magazine.

Instead of putting them on to cook in the morning and waiting a good 20-30 minutes, for these you do one simple step the night before and cook a mere 5 minutes the next morning. Sweet!

Here’s the recipe I’ve been following as of late and have found to be spot-on. With toppings added in, one batch usually makes enough to feed our family.

4 cups water

1 cup steel-cut oats

1/4 tsp salt

The night before: Bring 3 cups of the water to a boil. Remove from heat and add in oats and salt. Place cover on the pan and let sit overnight.

In the morning: Add in remaining cup of water and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Photo courtesy of

We like to add our toppings in at the end. Some things that are good on steel-cut oatmeal: any kind of dried fruit, various nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, chopped apples, milk, honey, molasses, or whatever else floats your boat! To mix it up a bit, you can also substitute fruit juice in for the 1 cup of water in the last step.


Oatmeal Cake

Ever broiled a cake before? Me neither–that is, until yesterday when I made this piece of deliciousness for my man.

A moist and scrumptious oatmeal cake with coconut on top.

And I should have been a little more specific–you actually bake the cake and then broil the topping.

We found the recipe for this in a Penzey’s Spice catalog. Other than selling amazing spices, their catalogs also boast great recipes. ( Our most recent one had this recipe in it, and I discovered that my husband had earmarked the page. I figured he was going to try making it soon, but surprised him by making it yesterday as a token of my appreciation for all he does (which is a lot). It was a big hit, especially with my older boys. In fact, I took the pictures of this piece today while there was still some around!

Oatmeal Cake

  • 1 C oats
  • 1 1/4 C boiling water
  • 1/2 C softened butter
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  • 1/4 C softened butter
  • 1/4 C heavy cream (I used just milk and it was fine)
  • 1 C packed light brown sugar
  • 1 C shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 pan that will hold up well during the broiling. Combine the oats with boiling water and let sit for @10 minutes. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugars together, and then add to the oat mixture. Add in the eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt , and cinnamon. Gradually add to the oat mixture and mix well. Pour into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Take out and then preheat the broiler. In a bowl, combine all of the topping ingredients and mix well. Pour and spread over the top of the warm cake. Place in oven directly under broiler. Broil for 2-4 minutes, or until cake top is lightly browned.


Homemade Granola

Breakfast has got to be my favorite meal of the day.  I always wake up hungry and enjoy a variety of breakfast foods. However, I am not one of those Moms who make their clan a hot, nutritious breakfast every morning. Kudos to you if you are! My kids usually get a hot breakfast Sunday and Monday mornings when my hubby is off, that way we get to eat breakfast as a family. All of the other mornings my kids are very familiar with Toucan Sam, Tony the Tiger, and all of their friends. Though they are quick and easy to serve, I don’t dig all of the sugar and other not-so-healthy elements of these cereals.

Recently my Mom came across an old recipe that she used to make for homemade granola. It was written on an old recipe card by our neighbor from almost 30 years ago! I don’t know about you, but I love to keep hand-written recipes from family and friends. When my Mom discovered this, we decided to make a batch for old times sake. My brother, who must have the memory of an elephant, remembered the last time she had made it, which was over 20 years ago. Mmmm, was it ever good! I enjoyed it in lieu of traditional cereal for about a week straight, and can honestly say it kept me full and satisfied much longer than other cereals. It is chock full of good stuff and doesn’t have any added sugar. So, if you’re looking to serve your family something a little different for breakfast, or just to snack on, give it a try! Another good thing about this recipe is that you can adapt it to the likes of your family, or adjust it if there are any allergies as well. Enjoy!

Chock full of goodness, made with love.

Homemade Granola

Heat oven to 250 degrees F. In a large roasting pan, heat the following ingredients:

1/2-1 cup oil OR 2 sticks butter

1/2-1 cup honey

1/2 cup water

2 tsp vanilla

After the above ingredients are heated, add 6 cups of rolled oats.

In addition to your rolled oats, add 6 cups of any combination of the following ingredients:

whole wheat flour

soy flour

wheat germ

sunflower, pumpkin, or sesame seeds

non-fat milk powder

shredded coconut

walnuts, almonds, or pecans, chopped


pinch of salt

Bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stir every 20 minutes.

After baking, add dried fruit (raisins, craisins, dried blueberries….) in any amount that you wish. Store in an airtight container. This recipe can easily be doubled.

PS-Put some in a mason jar, add a handmade tag, and give to someone you love or appreciate!