Sunday, January 31, 2010

Don't put your homemade granola bars in the freezer, unless you wanna break your Heinkel knives

I decided I needed a challenge from chicken and rice so I tried out a granola bar recipe. Oh, how I learned a couple of lessons with this one.

1) Baking does NOT have room for ingredient substitutions. If you don't have what the recipe calls for, or enough of it...get some. Do not try to substitute with random things in your cupboard. Doesn't work.

2) If the recipe calls for milk, water does not take it's place

3) If the recipe calls for honey do not try to substitute for some healthy altrenative. It does not work.

Today I made these yummy-sounding chocolate protein granola bars. When I think of granola I think of a modge-podge of nuts, oats, and dried fruit. I kinda always thought you could throw anything into a bowl, add liquid, stir, and shape. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. I traded the flour for protein powder, the honey for stevia and water, and the nuts for flaxseeds. Oh boy, you can imagine that they did not exactly turn out like the picture. And since there was so much water in the bars, when I went to put them in the freezer they completely froze. Sometimes cutting calories can be a health hazard. I was desparate to try this chocolate miracle but I couldn't break it into pieces. I'm banging it on the counter, against the cupboards, and stabbed it repeatedly with my $100 knives...only to break the damn knife. You'd have died to seen me pick up the whole piece and bite the corner off. I'm surprised I didn't break a tooth.

Oh, but were they tasty. I mean, not in a Nature's Valley, artificial sugary, sort-of-way, but in a I-busted-my-butt-to-make-these-healthy-granola-bars-so-I-better-like-them sort of way. It was the taste of success.

On another note, I have to admit that I had a major set back. Friday I had a meltdown at the gym. Usually I can keep the tears back until I get home but not then. As I stared at my not-so-perfect body in the mirror I couldn't help but be washed away by the floods of self-judgement. I KNOW I'm healthy, I KNOW my body is still adjusting. When does this end?? Why can't I look in the mirror and always like what I see. It's a constant roller coaster, some days I'm happy, some days I'm sad. I always feel like I need to change my self in some improve myself, to be better. But for who, and why? These are the questions I struggle with every day.

Thank you all for keeping me going. The battle continues...xoxo


  1. There are ways to make substitutions in baking but it isn't as easy as in cooking stove top meals. Usually an ingredient isn't just for flavour and provides something about the creation (e.g. acid to react with baking soda for rising, fats for moisture, eggs for tying it all together, etc.). So you can sub stuff, but you need to make sure the concentrations are right before you move anything in or out.

    And, Honey, honey is pretty healthy. Better than refined white sugar. ;)

    Also, if you want to try a sweet recipe for some rich muffins (ABC = Awesome Banana-Chocolate), I can send it to you. Super easy to make and definitely not on any diet fad of the last century. And they taste most excellent.


    P.S. A secret I learned about normal people is that they all have those days, too. I had one last week after a swim. My elbow (which I broke real bad 4 months ago) was stiff and hurting and I just started to think about all the things I could've been doing and would be set back from. But it's just a set back. We'll all make it out in the end.

    Keep your stick on the ice. We're all in this together.

  2. Hi sunshine. This is my first public comment, but you know me and you know my struggles... Next time you have a meltdown at the gym, come find me. You know I'm there too. Big hugs and don't give up. You're wonderful and beautiful - don't forget that.

  3. Sarah, reading these crack me up. You have a way with words that is just refreshing. Thank you.

    Josh made a good point, we are all in this together. Everyone has their shit going on, I know I do for sure. Don't worry about the mirrors, you are smokin' and everyone knows it. Im no baker, but I'd try your frozen granola bars... they actually sounded delish.



  4. Healthy Fruit Bars

    2 cups Puffed rice cereal
    1 ½ cups Rolled oats
    ¼ cup Sunflower seeds
    ¼ cup Sesame seeds
    200g Packet dried fruit medley
    1/3 cup Rice flour
    ½ cup Apple Sauce
    ¼ cup Honey

    1-Preheat oven to 180 C and line the base and the long sides
    of a 29 x 19cm tin with baking paper.

    2- Place cereal, oats, seeds, fruit and rice flour in a bowl and mix well.

    3-Place apple sauce and honey in a small sauce pan and heat gently over medium heat for 2 minutes or until runny. Stir syrup into dry ingredients and mix well to coat.

    4-Press mixture into prepared tin and place a sheet of baking paper over the mixture and press evenly using the back of a spoon.

    5-Remove the top sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool before lifting out of the tin.

    6-Cut into (16-20) fingers and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

    The Hawthorn Series “Food for Fitness” Murdock Books

    These are quick, easy, delicious & healthy! You can likely add in ground flax without affecting the recipe...and I don't think it has to be rice flour.

    Good job Sarah! You are doing wonderful!