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Showing posts with label Raisins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Raisins. Show all posts

OATMEAL RAISIN POPCORN BARS

Oatmeal raisin cookie lovers will love these fun Oatmeal Raisin Popcorn Bars full of oatmeal, walnuts, cinnamon and raisins, then drizzled in white chocolate.

Are you kids “snackers”? My three angels have always loved their snacks. When they were toddlers, I looked forward to snack time, too. Snack time meant happiness in our house. It didn’t matter if the precious little two-year-old was having a terrible, rotten, fussy day. As soon as I pulled out our standard toddler snack of graham crackers and apple juice, all was peaceful, even if just for 20 minutes or so. On special occasions, I’d give them a package of fruit snacks. I can remember Maddie playing with her “Finding Nemo” themed fruit snacks for a good hour at the table. She’d have those little gummy fishies swimming all over the place!

We’re past the stage of me handing out snacks at set times of the day, but my kids still love their snack time.  Lately their favorite snack is popping up a bag of microwave popcorn.  Those popcorn snacks got me in the mood for making some popcorn bars. This time of year always has me craving cinnamon. And that’s how these Oatmeal Raisin Popcorn Bars came to be!

As soon as I tasted the buttery, sweet, cinnamon flavor paired with the slightly salty popcorn and crunchy steel cut oats, I fell in love. These popcorn bars will literally melt in your mouth. Matt and I worked together creating these. He’s the genius mind behind many of our best recipes. It’s embarrssing to say how many of these popcorn bars we put down in the name of “sampling the recipe to see if it is blog-worthy”.  It’s  a hard job, ya know?  The kids were hooked, too, which was actually a good thing so that Matt and I didn’t eat the whole pan.

You’ll need just under 30 minutes to make these snack bars. Popcorn, walnuts, raisins and oatmeal are the main ingredients that make up these bars.  I used steel cut oats, but you can use regualar old-fashioned or quick cooking oats, too. Each kind will give you just a bit of a different texture, but any will work. I liked the steel cut oats because it gave them more of a nutty flavor and crunchy texture.

By pouring a mixture of honey, molasses, cinnamon, vanilla and butter over the freshly popped popcorn mixture, that cinnamon flavor that you love will soak in to each and every bite.  Then you’ll make the “glue” that holds the popcorn snack together.  It’s just butter and marshmallows, the same mixture you’d make for rice krispie treats, but with a dash of cinnamon thrown in.

Press that gooey mixture into a 9×13 pan that you’ve lined with wax paper.  Sprinkle a few extra steel cut oats on top, then drizzle with white chocolate if you’d like. Try to eat just one of these cinnamon & raisin infused bars. I dare you. Popcorn snack time in our house will never be the same!

INGREDIENTS
7 cups popcorn
2/3 cup raisins
2/3 cup walnuts
2/3 cup Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon molasses
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
20 large Kraft Jet-Puffed marshmallows
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 additional tablespoons Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats
3 tablespoons white chocolate

PREPARATION
1. In a large bowl, place the popcorn, raisins, walnuts and steel cut oats.

2. In a saucepan over low heat, heat the honey, molasses, vanilla, cinnamon and 1 tablespoon butter together just until melted. Pour this mixture over the popcorn mixture and mix well.

3. In the same saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and the marshmallows, stirring constantly until the marshmallows are melted. Add in 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and mix. Pour this mixture over the popcorn and mix well.

4. Press the popcorn mixture into an 8x8 pan that has been lined with wax paper. Rub a bit of butter on your fingers and press firmly on the mixture to completely cover the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the additional 3 tablespoons of steel cut oats on top of the bars and press them in lightly with your hands.

5. If desired, melt 1/4 cup white chocolate over low heat on a double boiler. Drizzle the melted white chocolate overtop the bars. Cut into 16 bars.

Snack Recipe: Apple Sandwiches with Honeyed Peanut Butter, Oats & Raisins


What happens when apples and peanut butter – that old standby – get dressed up with a little flair? 
They turn into these charming little apple sandwiches.

Awhile back I attended a fancy catered event where I could hardly eat anything, as most of the dishes contained meat, dairy, or gluten — ingredients I have to avoid. My only consolation was the kids' table, where I found "sandwiches" made from sliced apples, peanut butter, oats, and raisins. Though the apples satiated my rumbling stomach, I didn't think much of them as I gazed longingly at the parade of off-limits foods.

But then a funny thing happened. In the weeks that followed, I found myself craving these well-rounded, tasty snacks. Apples and peanut butter are nothing new, but somehow the addition of toasted oats and raisins, and a touch of honey and cinnamon, makes them that much more satisfying. Now I frequently make these sandwiches for an afternoon snack.

Apple sandwiches are great for both adults and kids (little hands can help assemble them), and they're adaptable for various preferences and allergies. Instead of peanut butter, you might try almond butter or pumpkin-sunflower-flax seed butter, and the raisins may be swapped for dried cranberries, chopped dates, and other dried fruits. I like the simplicity and texture of lightly toasted oats, but granola is an option, as are toppings like chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and chia seeds.

INGREDIENTS
Makes 3 sandwiches
1 tablespoon rolled oats
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsweetened peanut butter
3/4 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon raisins
1 medium apple

PREPARATION
1. Combine the oats and cinnamon in a dry skillet over medium heat and toast, stirring occasionally, until the oats are golden. Cool before using.

2. Mix together the peanut butter and honey.

3. Core and slice the apple into 6 rounds. (If you don't have an apple corer, you can slice the apple first and then cut out the centers with a small cookie cutter or knife.)

4. Spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on 3 of the apple slices and sprinkle with raisins and oats. Top with the remaining apple slices to form sandwiches.

Tip
If you are not eating the apple right away, you can brush it with lemon juice to prevent browning. A solution of 1/4 cup water and 1 tablespoon lemon juice does the trick without tasting too lemony. 

For strict gluten-free diets, be sure to use gluten-free oats.

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