Our park, North Park, has a big, giant, beautiful lake at it’s center that I decided to take advantage of this morning. I invited a few local Mom’s, got us all bundled up, and prepared to fulfill my vision of super-mom-walkers chit chatting, getting a nice workout, pushing strollers, front packing babies… It was gonna be great, people. Coffee in hand, sweet kids observing the birds and the sky.
Fast forward. It’s 36 degrees outside and all my smart Mom friends decided to stay indoors. I forgot my coffee in the car. My kids are frozen solid. I’m sweating from pushing a 35 pound toddler in her stroller and carrying a 14 pound baby slung over my shoulders in a god awful freaking front pack invention that wasn’t meant for a women (boobs anyone?!). [Did I mention I forgot my coffee in the car] and Lilly had to pee. I had stupidly anointed this particular activity as family fun walk but it was anything but. We made it about 4 miles at which point everyone started crying. SCREAMING. “I’m freeeeeezing, Mommy!” “Take me back to the car!” “I HATE FAMILY FUN WALKS! THIS IS NOT FUN!” All I could think was It’s spring, damnit and we are staying the f outside. But I for real wanted to die. My kind-hearted friend offered to pick us up and I almost accepted. Should have accepted. But I’m stubborn and I was kind of crying inside about thinking of the logistics of my very pregnant friend and her toddler trying to pick me up with my two kids and a huge stroller. Sigh. We had to just keep going (no bridges over this lake and once you are half way- you have to keep going allllllllll the way).
So anyway, we’re home. Not planning any more family fun walks anytime soon. (At least Grace had a great nap?)
Thankfully, I had a delightful pick me up waiting for me in the kitchen.
These granola bars are chewy and so chocolatey but actually contain some major super foods as far as I’m concerned. They’ve got plenty of protein and fiber thanks to greek yogurt, pumpkin puree, oats and flax. Here’s the recipe:
Dark Chocolate Brownie Granola Bars
1 box of dark chocolate brownie mix (we like Ghiradelli)
2 cups old fashioned or quick oats
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1 can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup plain, non fat greek yogurt
Mix everything together in a bowl. Go slow. Be patient. It might seem too dry at first but trust me, keep mixing and mashing until everything is incorporated.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a shallow baking dish with cooking spray then spread chocolate mixture into the pan (my pan was about an inch deep and roughly 9″ x13″ in size. I sprayed a spatula with cooking spray to help me spread the batter a little bit better without having it stick all over.
Bake for 15-30 minutes depending on your oven, pan size and bar texture preference. Less time will produce a gooey-er bar, more time will produce a drier bar. If your bars are thicker, you’ll need longer. Thinner, you’ll need shorter. Catch my drift? Technical perfection. You’ll know they are done when you can smell them, but touch the tops of the bars with your finger tips. If they give slightly but bounce back and don’t seem “wet”- they’re done.
Anyway, these are fantastic. Wrap them in an airtight container and they’ll keep for a while- but you’ll eat them all before a while comes so don’t worry too much about that.
They’ll cure even a family fun walk hangover. Trust me.
Have a happy Easter weekend 😉 Hope the bunnies are nice to you.