Helping families eat healthier for less

Helping families eat healthier for less

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Honey Bunches of Oat Squares a Healthier No Bake Snack or Dessert

Honey Bunches of Oat Squares

I confess. I like rice krispie bars - yes, the ones with butter and marshmallows. When I think of no-bake desserts or snacks, that is the first thing that pops into my head. The theme this month for Recipe Redux is no cook desserts.

So, I think everyone has a recipe for rice krispie bars. So, I decided to come up with a recipe that makes these bars a little healthier. But, I also wanted to keep it easy.

With only 3 ingredients this recipe goes together in a snap. The recipe makes 9 bars. Each bar is 199 calories, provides a good source of several vitamins, and costs about 34 cents each. Instead of the Post brand of Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds, I bought the "knock-off" product made by Malto Meal at Walmart where you can buy a large, 32-ounce bag for under $5.00.

Here is the full recipe.

Honey Bunches of Oat Squares
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes

Non-stick cooking spray
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup almond butter
3 cups lightly sweetened corn & whole wheat flake cereal with granola & sliced almonds (Post Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds)

Spray 8x8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Combine honey and almond butter in large pot over medium-low heat until melted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cereal. Mixture will be sticky. Press into prepared dish. May want to use waxed paper under hands to press down hard to spread mixture evenly in dish. Let cool. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Cut into 9 squares.

Makes 9 servings.

Nutrition Information per Serving: 199 calories, 9 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g dietary fiber, 4 g protein, and 92 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides an excellent source of folate and a good source of riboflavin, niacin and vitamin E.

Cost per Serving: $0.34 Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices.

Be sure to check out these other no bake favorites.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Corn Chowder with Wild Rice and Grapes

Disclaimer: By posting this recipe, I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Table Grape commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Grapes. Red, green, black. I love them all.

Grapes from California are in season May through January. They are in season long past the summer season for peaches, apricots, and nectarines.

Grapes of all colors - red, black, and green- are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols. A serving of grapes (3/4 cup or about 25 grapes) is just 90 calories, has no fat, cholesterol and virtually no sodium and provide potassium and are a good source of vitamin K. Exciting research has been and is being done to examine the beneficial properties of the antioxidants and other chemicals found in grapes. Grapes appear to support a healthy heart, blood pressure, colon, eyes, brain, prostate, and bladder. Click here to download and read more about grapes and health.

Keep grapes refrigerated. Store them unwashed and avoid storing them next to onions or leeks or anything with a strong odor. Like most berries, grapes tend to absorb odors. Rinse them just before eating them or using them in a recipe.

I am pleased to share that with this posting I am entering the "Fall in Love with Grapes” recipe contest. When deciding what to create for this contest, I looked at the various recipe categories and realized that I have never used grapes in a soup before. This sounded to me like an interesting challenge. Make a soup recipe using fresh grapes. Just a few days ago one of my girlfriends told me about a soup she made using fresh corn and wild rice. This inspired me to create a similar recipe, adding red grapes to the dish. Of course, green or black grapes could be used in place of the red grapes I used in this recipe.

This is a fairly hearty soup, but only has 250 calories for a large bowl. Although I used fresh corn on the cob, you can easily use frozen corn, allowing you to make this dish anytime this fall or winter. For the wild rice in this soup, I found a package of precooked wild rice manufactured by Fall River Wild Rice for only $3.39 for a 10.5 oz package (2 cups cooked), making this a relatively fast dish to assemble and serve.

Here’s a picture of the wild rice package:
Wild Rice Used in Corn Chowder Recipe

Here’s the full recipe:

Corn Chowder with Wild Rice and Grapes

6 slices lower sodium turkey bacon
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium sweet onion, peeled and diced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tsp fresh or dried rosemary, minced
4 cups fresh or frozen corn, thawed if frozen
5 cups lower sodium chicken broth
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 cup seedless red or green grapes, halved

Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, turning as needed. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Add oil to Dutch oven. Add onion and sweet potato and cook over medium-low heat, covered and stirring occasionally, until onion and sweet potato soften, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and rosemary and cook for 1 minute. Add corn, chicken broth, and pepper and bring to a simmer.

Carefully transfer half of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Add pureed mixture back to Dutch oven. Stir in wild rice and grapes and heat just until warm throughout. Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish each bowl with 1 strip of crumbled turkey bacon.

Makes 6 servings (about 1-2/3 cups each or 10 cups total)

Nutrition Information per Serving: 250 calories, 6 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 4g dietary fiber, 9 g protein, and 415 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides a good source of protein, fiber, B-6 folate, and vitamin C.

Cost per Serving: $1.78
Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices except grapes were on sale for $0.99 per pound and corn was on sale, 5 ears for $1.99.

Click here to download and print a copy of this Corn Chowder with Wild Rice and Grapes recipe.
Be sure to check out these other California Grape contest entries.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Breaking Bad

There is a cool article on the food and colors associated with Breaking Bad. Check this out at