Friday, August 6, 2010

Fun With Ola

Last weekend I was looking for a fun cooking project to do with my daughter. We were in the mood for something sweet, but I was hoping to avoid heating up the house with the oven. I showed my daughter a picture of homemade granola bars. Then she launched into this extended story about how her preschool friend Emily likes ola bars with chocolate chips and how her other friend Maria likes ola bars only sometimes.

Since we almost never eat granola bars around our house, this was the first time I had heard my daughter call them "ola bars." She was dumbfounded when I explained that they are actually called "granola bar." So cute!

In the end we did make a batch of granola bars. Truthfully these are somewhat of a cross between granola bars and Rice Krispie treats. They don't have granola in them, and they aren't baked like homemade granola. But they do have the flavor of granola bars with some of the same treats you would expect mixed in ~ dried fruit and chocolate chips. The cereal is more like over-sized Rice Krispies, similar to what rice cakes are made of, and I found it in bags with all the other cereals.

It was a super fun project ~ easy, very child-friendly, and SO tasty. The first time I made these I followed my penpal Emily's recipe, then last weekend I used another variation. My version is a little less sweet than the two recipes I looked at.


Peanut Butter "Ola" Bars
  • 3 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 3 cups crispy kamut cereal or toasted oat cereal
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (or other small dried fruit)
  • 1/2 regular raisins
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 16 oz jar natural peanut butter (creamy or chunky)

Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan. Combine the cereals, raisins, and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Place the peanut butter and honey in a microwave safe bowl and microwave briefly to soften the mixture, then stir well to combine. Pour over the cereal mixture, then mix well. Press the combined mixture into the prepared pan. Cool, cut into squares or bars, and serve.

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