Nut Butter Granola Bars

Nut Butter Granola Bars

NUT BUTTER GRANOLA BARS

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Baked Nut Butter Granola Bars cut and wrapped with a ribbon.

These slightly chewy, a little bit crunchy Nut Butter Granola Bars are the perfect snack or grab and go breakfast. As the name implies, they are made with nut butter, and my personal preference is natural chunky peanut butter. I’ve also made them with almond butter, which is tasty too, however the peanut flavour really comes through when using peanut butter and it’s a great flavour that marries up nicely with the honey. So tasty!

Nut Butter Granola Bars pressed into a 9x13 pan and ready for baking.

From this recipe, you get 16 nicely sized bars that wrap and freeze well for those of you who like to get a little meal prep done. If it’s likely that your hungry family will hoover through these is a short time, they’ll last for several days in a sealed container at room temperature.

Nut Butter Granola Bars are gluten-free, packed full of protein from the goodness of nuts and egg whites. The fat from the peanut butter and ground-up nuts helps to keep you feeling full and dried fruit and honey give a little chewiness and natural sweetness. There’s no excuse not to have a batch of these ready for snacking, enjoy!

Baked Nut Butter Granola Bars cut and wrapped with a ribbon.

Author:  Compelled to Cook, adapted slightly from Bon Appétit

Nut Butter Granola Bars
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    16 bars 30 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    30-35 minutes 5 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    16 bars 30 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    30-35 minutes 5 minutes
    Nut Butter Granola Bars
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      16 bars 30 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      30-35 minutes 5 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      16 bars 30 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      30-35 minutes 5 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: bars
      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange nuts and pumpkin seeds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 10-12 minutes until golden, stirring once. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
      2. Meanwhile, reduce the oven to 300°F. Spray a 13x9" pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper, overhanging the long sides.
      3. Using a food processor, pulse cooled nuts and 1 cup of oats until a sandy consistency and no large pieces of oats remain. Transfer to a large bowl, along with the remaining cup of whole oats. To the same bowl stir in dried fruit and oil (chop any dried fruit bigger than a raisin).
      4. In a medium saucepan whisk together honey, salt and vanilla over medium heat until at a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes until bubbling vigorously and smells like caramel.
      5. Add peanut butter to oat mixture along with the hot honey and stir to fully combine. By adding together, the hot honey will help melt the peanut butter. Whisk egg white in a small bowl and stir into oat mixture until fully incorporated.
      6. Scoop into prepared pan and pack down firmly and evenly. Using the bottom of a measuring cup helps to compact the mixture and get it flat.
      7. Bake until golden and no longer sticky 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before scoring into 16 pieces (2x8). Let cool completely in the pan before lifting out using the parchment overhang. Cut along score marks into bars.
      Recipe Notes

      -don't skimp on the amount of listed salt.

      -I used a combination of almonds, pecans and cashews.

      -cut bars can be wrapped and frozen, kept in a sealed container for up to 1 month.

      -cut bars will last for about 5 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

      -other nut butter such as almond butter work well too.

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      Creamy Lemon Pops

      Creamy Lemon Pops

      CREAMY LEMON POPS

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      Creamy Lemon Pops stacked on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh strawberries and a bowl of lemons in the background.

      It’s still summer, thankfully! So this means there’s still time to enjoy these delicious Creamy Lemon Pops. This week in central Alberta the weather is scheduled to be one of the nicest of the summer, assuming the weatherman gets it right of course!! It’s crazy to think people can predict the weather 30 years from now with global warming but can’t seem to predict two days out. It’s frustrating, to say the least, when trying to plan activities and having a very short summer season. But all my mumbling aside, these Creamy Lemon Pops are packed with lemon flavour from fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. They’re creamy and delicious but not overly sweet, which makes them great in hot weather.

      Creamy Lemon Pops in a popsicle mold with a tray of Creamy Lemon Pops garnished with strawberries and mint in the foreground.

      The recipe is a riff on a Semifreddo, meaning half-frozen and like custard-style ice cream. I’ve gone and added yogurt and lightened up on the sugar to make these lovely treats. They’re super creamy and indulgent, making them great for kids and adults alike. So go ahead and treat yourself while the sun still shines this summer, enjoy!

      Creamy Lemon Pops stacked on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh strawberries and a bowl of lemons in the background.

      Creamy Lemon Pops stacked on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh strawberries and a bowl of lemons in the background.
      Creamy Lemon Pops
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        8 popsicles 20-25 minutes
        Cook Time
        4-5 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        8 popsicles 20-25 minutes
        Cook Time
        4-5 minutes
        Creamy Lemon Pops stacked on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh strawberries and a bowl of lemons in the background.
        Creamy Lemon Pops
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          8 popsicles 20-25 minutes
          Cook Time
          4-5 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          8 popsicles 20-25 minutes
          Cook Time
          4-5 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: popsicles
          Instructions
          1. In a small bowl whisk together egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Place the bowl over a double boiler, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat over medium, whisking constantly until mixture registers 170°F, about 4 minutes.
          2. Remove from heat and place in the fridge while proceeding.
          3. Whip heavy cream until firm peaks hold. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
          4. Using the same beaters, whip the warm egg yolk mixture until creamy, lite, and cool/room temperature to the touch, about 4 minutes. Stir in Greek yogurt until combined.
          5. Fold whipped cream into egg mixture until combined. Divide evenly into 8-80ml popsicle molds. Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. Run warm water over the popsicle molds to loosen slightly before pulling the popsicles out. Popsicles will last for a week if kept covered and in the mold.
          Recipe Notes

          -If preferred, remove all popsicles at once and store them in an airtight container for up to one week.

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          Mango Chipotle Glazed Salmon

          Mango Chipotle Glazed Salmon

          Mango Chipotle Glazed Salmon

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          Mango Chipotle Glazed Salmon served on a cedar plank with mango salsa.

          It’s not summer without enjoying grilled cedar plank salmon, especially one brushed with mango and chipotle glaze and served with fresh mango salsa.  Mango Chipotle Glazed Salmon is just a little spicy and bursting with flavour. This great recipe was found flipping through the Costco Connection magazine and it’s a must to make this summer.

          Fresh salmon fillets on a cedar plank ready for the grill and Mango Chipotle Glazed Salmon.

          As with any cedar plank cooking, it’s important to properly soak your plank.  I recommend an hour for the thinner boards even though the package suggests only 30 minutes.  I’ve done both and find that the edges don’t burn away as fast when the plank is soaked a bit longer. It can be easy to overcook salmon, and because everyone’s grill is different it’s difficult to give an exact length of time and temperature to cook the salmon.  What you want to watch is the internal temperature of the salmon. You’re looking to obtain an internal temperature of 130°F-135°F before resting the fish.  As it rests for a few minutes the temperature will continue to rise about 5-10 degrees which will give you a final 135°F-145°F temperature.  The salmon will take 12-20 minutes on the grill depending on your grill temperature and how often you open the lid.  Start checking after 12 minutes. 

          Mango Chipotle Glazed Salmon on a cedar plank with a dish of mango salsa in the background.

          The mango salsa and glaze can both be prepared up to one day in advance, making it easy to bring this delicious dish together for a weeknight meal. They’re a great combination with salmon and wonderful served with rice.  The glaze and the mango salsa are also great with grilled boneless, skinless chicken thighs. So if you don’t like salmon or can’t source it easily, chicken is a delicious option.  The mango salsa will keep for a couple of days, so use up any leftovers with other proteins such as chicken or even goat cheese crostini.  Enjoy!

          Mango Chipotle Glazed Salmon served over rice in a shallow yellow bowl.

          Author: Compelled to Cook, adapted from Costco Connection magazine.

          Mango Chipotle Glazed Salmon served over rice in a shallow yellow bowl.
          Mango Chipotle Glazed Salmon
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            4 people 30 minutes
            Cook Time
            12-20 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            4 people 30 minutes
            Cook Time
            12-20 minutes
            Mango Chipotle Glazed Salmon served over rice in a shallow yellow bowl.
            Mango Chipotle Glazed Salmon
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              4 people 30 minutes
              Cook Time
              12-20 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              4 people 30 minutes
              Cook Time
              12-20 minutes
              Ingredients
              Salmon
              Mango Salsa
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              Salmon
              1. Soak cedar plank for a minimum of 60 minutes.
              2. While the cedar plank is soaking make the salsa and glaze.
              3. In a medium saucepan whisk together mango juice, maple syrup, chipotle powder, ground ginger, garlic, and onion powder. Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce for about 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
              4. Remove from heat and whisk in lime juice, butter and Dijon mustard. Divide glaze into two portions. One to brush on the salmon and one to drizzle over salmon for serving.
              5. Preheat grill to 400°F.
              6. In a small bowl combine salt, smoked paprika and a few grinds of freshly cracked pepper. Pat salmon dry with a paper towel and sprinkle both sides of the salmon fillets. Lay fillets out evenly spaced on the prepared cedar plank.
              7. Brush salmon with glaze and place on preheated grill. Close the lid and cook for 12-20 minutes depending on grill temperature. Brush with additional glaze once or twice while cooking until your fish reaches an internal temperature of 130-135. Time to cook will be dependent on your grill temperature.
              8. Remove salmon from plank, cover and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes which will allow the fish to rise in temperature. Serve immediately with additional glaze and mango salsa.
              Mango Salsa
              1. Add ingredients to a medium bowl and toss gently to combine. Keep covered and chilled until ready to use.

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              Meaty Black Bean Chili

              Meaty Black Bean Chili

              Meaty Black Bean Chili

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              Meaty Black Bean Chili served in a shallow bowl with flatbread, garnished with cheddar cheese, green onions and cilantro.

              Meaty Black Bean Chili is my new favourite chili! For good reason too, it’s hearty and spicy with a punch of freshness from fresh cilantro added at the end. It also uses black beans, which is my favourite bean and they’re a great change from kidney beans. I also like the use of beef and pork for a meaty and hearty chili that is very satisfying. This chili is excellent for potlucks and back yard BBQ parties.

              Meaty Black Bean Chili in a cream coloured dutch oven resting on a navy kitchen towel and wooden trivet.

              Spicy heat is a personal choice for everyone and everyone gets an opinion on how hot their food should be. I don’t care for anything too spicy, and by that I mean, if I can’t taste the other ingredients because my lips are burning so bad, well, that ’s too hot for me. I find the spiciness in this Meaty Black Bean Chilli just right for my liking. It has a subtle spiciness that’s just enough to make me want to eat another bite with fresh cilantro and cheese to mellow the heat. But of course, this is just my opinion, so feel free to add more cayenne or chipotle peppers in adobo sauce if that suits your taste.

              Another great thing about chili is it’s even better if served the next day as the flavours and spiciness have more time meld. It freezes very well and can be kept in a sealed container in the freezer for 1-2 months. Enjoy!

              Meaty Black Bean Chili
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                9 cups 30 minutes
                Cook Time
                60 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                9 cups 30 minutes
                Cook Time
                60 minutes
                Meaty Black Bean Chili
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  9 cups 30 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  60 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  9 cups 30 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  60 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: cups
                  Instructions
                  1. Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add ground beef and pork and cook until no longer pink and starting to brown, breaking up any large pieces. Stir in minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
                  2. Scrape out seeds from the chipotle peppers and finely mince, use about two chili peppers with sauce to equal 2 tbsp or more depending how hot you want it. Add peppers to the pot along with beef broth, tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, green pepper, onion, spices, salt, and sugar. Stir well to combine.
                  3. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and adjust consistency to your liking by adding more beef broth or simmering uncovered for a few minutes to evaporate some liquid. The chili will thicken slightly as it sits and cools.
                  4. Stir in black beans and cook for 1-2 minutes to warm. Stir in cilantro just before serving and ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with cheddar cheese, green onion and additional cilantro.
                  Recipe Notes

                  -I found 1 cup of beef broth just about right for consistency.  Adjust to your liking.

                  -This chili is even better when served the next day as the flavours have longer to meld.

                  -Makes about 9 cups of chili and freezes very well.

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                  I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
                  Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal

                  Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal

                  Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal

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                  A square of Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal topped with fresh berries and yogurt.

                  I think breakfast is a very important start to any day. I am one of those people who does eat breakfast every single day. Yes, I think I should for nutrition but also because I’m quite hungry in the morning and if I don’t eat breakfast, no one is safe around me! That’s right, I turn into a hangry person, and it is not pretty.

                  I love these individual Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal squares because they are a good combination of chewy coconut and oatmeal with sweetness from frozen berries and maple syrup, yet they are not overly sweet. The eggs and milk provide much-needed protein to help us get through the morning and the adorable squares are a perfect size, at least for me. I just love them topped with lots of yogurt and fresh berries if I have them on hand. They can be made in advance, wrapped and frozen for up to a month. Thawed squares can be warmed gently in the microwave when you’re ready to eat.

                  Ingredients for Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal in a large glass bowl ready to be whisked together.

                  They’re super simple to make using only one bowl, and if you don’t have an individual pan like the one I have, you can bake it in a 9” x 9” pan and cut into desired squares. Either way, Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal is an easy and tasty way to start your day. Enjoy!

                  More breakfast options…

                  Baked Apple Cranberry Oatmeal

                  Orange Yogurt Smoothie

                  Ginger Pear Pancakes

                   

                  Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal baked in individual squares.

                  A square of Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal topped with fresh berries and yogurt.
                  Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    12 servings 20-25 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    28-30 minutes 20 minutes
                    Servings Prep Time
                    12 servings 20-25 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    28-30 minutes 20 minutes
                    A square of Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal topped with fresh berries and yogurt.
                    Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      12 servings 20-25 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      28-30 minutes 20 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      12 servings 20-25 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      28-30 minutes 20 minutes
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: servings
                      Instructions
                      1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
                      2. In a large bowl whisk together milk and eggs. Whisk in remaining ingredients except for the berries until fully combined. Stir in berries.
                      3. Spray a 12 square non-stick brownie pan or a 9"x 9" non-stick pan with non-stick spray.
                      4. Divide batter evenly between squares or pour into prepared 9" x 9" pan.
                      5. Bake on the center rack for 28-30 minutes if using the individual brownie pan and about 40 minutes if using the 9"x 9" pan.
                      6. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes. They will continue to firm up while cooling and you only need it pleasantly warm to serve. They will be difficult to remove from the individual brownie pan if too warm. Remove from pan and serve with yogurt, fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup if desired. If baking for meal prep and saving for later feel free to allow it to cool longer before removing from either pan.
                      Recipe Notes

                      -Use almond milk or other milk substitutes in place of the 2% milk if desired.

                      -Add a scoop of vanilla protein powder if you want more protein.

                      -The individual brownie pan is perfect for meal prep baked oatmeal squares.

                      -Allow the squares to cool completely before wrapping and freezing.  Will keep well wrapped for up to one month in the freezer.

                      -Allow frozen squares to thaw before warming gently in the microwave.

                       

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                      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
                      Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas

                      Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas

                      Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas

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                      Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas garnished with blueberries and mint sit on a white cake tray decorated with blue flowers.

                      Where the heck is spring??  As I write this it is literally -15°C.  I think global warming has skipped over us here in Alberta.  But these bright and cheery Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas are sure to brighten and warm any day.  Crisp yet chewy pavlova nests are filled with lemon curd and whipped cream filling.  They are lovely topped with fresh berries such as blueberry or raspberry and perfect for Easter or Mother’s Day. 

                      Mini pavlova nests piped onto a baking tray lined with parchment and ready to be baked for Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas.

                      Sadly, with the way the world is these days, most of us may not be having much of a family gathering at Easter.  It will most likely be a modest meal with homebound family members and chats throughout the weekend with family and friends on Facetime or Skype. And this is okay because it’s what we need to do right now to keep everyone safe. As for this beautiful dessert, perhaps it will have to wait for another special occasion. Maybe Mother’s Day, bridal shower or what the heck, how about the first day of summer! There are always reasons to celebrate, so you’ll want to bookmark this recipe.

                      Lemon curd for Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas in a small glass bowl that is resting on a blue and white cloth.

                      Here are a few helpful hints for this recipe:

                      -make sure your mixing bowl is very clean (grease will hinder a great meringue).

                      -use egg whites that are at room temperature (warm egg whites incorporate more air than cold ones).

                      -you can grind granulated sugar for about 10 seconds using a mini grinder if castor sugar is not available.

                      -stick the parchment to the baking tray with a few dabs of meringue to prevent it from moving while piping.

                      -place the tray on a damp towel to prevent the tray from moving while piping.

                      -don’t open the oven door until it has completely cooled as the warm dry air inside helps to dry out the meringues without further cooking.

                      -baked meringues will keep several days in an airtight container at room temperature.

                      -add filling to the meringue nests when ready to serve or up to a couple hours in advance. Adding it more than a couple of hours ahead will cause the meringues to soften too much.

                      Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas sit on a white cake tray in the background while one is served on a while dessert plate and garnished with blueberries and mint.

                      Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas
                      Print Recipe
                        Servings Prep Time
                        8 people 30-40 minutes
                        Cook Time Passive Time
                        80 minutes 1+ hours
                        Servings Prep Time
                        8 people 30-40 minutes
                        Cook Time Passive Time
                        80 minutes 1+ hours
                        Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas
                        Print Recipe
                          Servings Prep Time
                          8 people 30-40 minutes
                          Cook Time Passive Time
                          80 minutes 1+ hours
                          Servings Prep Time
                          8 people 30-40 minutes
                          Cook Time Passive Time
                          80 minutes 1+ hours
                          Ingredients
                          Mini Pavlovas
                          Lemon Cream
                          Servings: people
                          Instructions
                          Mini Pavlovas
                          1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking tray with parchment and mark out 8-3" circles. Flip parchment over.
                          2. Combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Whip until soft peaks are starting to form. Gradually add sugar, about a tablespoon at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl and continue to whip on high speed until stiff and glossy, about 6-7 minutes using a stand mixer.
                          3. Add vanilla and whip to combine.
                          4. Sift cornstarch over the meringue and fold to combine.
                          5. Fit a large piping bag with your desired tip, I used a Wilton 1M.
                          6. Fill the piping bag with meringue and squeeze a dab of meringue onto the corners of the parchment to stick it to the baking tray. This will help keep the parchment from moving while you pipe. Place the baking tray on a slightly damp kitchen towel to prevent the tray from moving. Fill in the traced circle, creating a base. Continue to pipe along the edge of the base for two turns, creating a basket.
                          7. Place the tray in the oven on the middle rack and immediately turn oven temperature to 225°F. Bake for 80 minutes, turn off the oven and allow meringues to remain undisturbed in the oven until completely cool. Meringues will be firm and hollow sounding with a slight bit of tackiness and chew in the bottom layer.
                          Lemon Cream
                          1. Combine all ingredients except butter in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens, about 7-8 minutes. Whisk in butter until smooth.
                          2. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before covering with plastic wrap directly on the surface. Allow to cool completely and chill until ready to use.
                          3. When ready to assemble pavlovas, which should be no more than 2 hours in advance, whip heavy cream until stiff. Fold whipped cream into lemon curd and fill meringues generously. Top with fresh blueberries and serve.
                          Recipe Notes

                          -Using egg whites at room temperature will result in more volume.

                          -If unable to use castor or superfine sugar, simply grind regular granulated sugar in a mini coffee grinder for about 10 seconds.  Even this is not true castor sugar, it breaks down the sugar enough for better absorption into the meringue.

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                          Affiliate Disclosure

                          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com