Elisabeth goes to G.A.s ("Girls in Action") every Wednesday night at church. For those of you who are not of the Southern Baptist persuasion, G.A.s is a Mission-focused group for the elementary-aged girls in our denomination. They learn about present-day missionaries and their work around the world, meet missionaries, and earn badges through participating in different activities.
This week the girls have an opportunity to earn a badge for G.A. "Chef Night". Sounded very intriguing to me - but then food always does. The girls are supposed to (help) prepare a dish from one of the countries they've studied this year, OR a healthy snack - because they've also had a health and fitness theme (Fit 4 Missions) woven throughout this year's activities.
When I asked Elisabeth what she wanted us to make, she immediately yelled out "Breakfast Bars!" Breakfast Bars are a big hit around our house.
The recipe originally came from a Quick Cooking magazine, like nine years ago. I say that like it was a hundred years ago because it seems like it was a hundred years ago. That was back when we lived in Colorado. That was before children. That was before we cared what we ate.
Times have changed, we've changed. The recipe has endured many revisions at my hands over the years. Gone is the all-purpose white flour. Gone is the brown sugar. Gone is the flaked coconut (o.k., that's not for health reasons - we just think it is icky!)
But it's evolved into a version that we love and I feel good about feeding my family.
Elisabeth and I made a double batch of breakfast bars (of course we had to make enough so that our family would get to keep some of them!). Actually, I always make a double batch when I'm making this recipe. Then we cut them up and freeze them - so we can take them out one at a time when someone wants them for the whole grain portion of their breakfast.
And even thought it wasn't breakfast time when they were done cooking, we sacrificed and tried them...you know, just to make sure that they would be good enough for the G.A.s.
Did they turn out good?
Nah...I had to twist Elisabeth's arm to get her to even try them. I think we'll have to come up with something else for her to take to G.A.s....
Breakfast Bars (adapted from a Quick Cooking recipe)
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar (I use evaporated cane juice)
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2 cup whole wheat flour (preferably freshly-milled)
½ cup flax meal (preferably freshly-milled, you can use a coffee grinder)
2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup flaked coconut (yucky! we omit this)
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips (original recipe calls for 1 cup – yikes!)
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Combine oats, flour and flax meal; gradually add to creamed mixture. Press into a greased 13x9 baking pan. In a small bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Stir in pecans, coconut and chocolate chips. Spread evenly over crust.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. ENJOY!