What’s Cookin’ at Callie’s Cabin: Autumn health nut fare | TahoeDailyTribune.com

What’s Cookin’ at Callie’s Cabin: Autumn health nut fare

Cal Orey
Special to the Tribune

Granola bars are a healthful edible for pre-fall days. As a post “hippie chick,” I am no stranger to granola; and the bars (all types) and I were good friends, especially during life’s ups and downs.

Flashback to 1999 and during the Y2K hoopla. I befriended dozens of granola bar boxes just in case the world ended as we knew it. My pantry was stuffed with these survival sweets. My neighbors visited to laugh at me and my stockpile. Once 2000 rolled in and the scare was over, the countless bars (peanut butter and chocolate chip) were devoured, one by one, as I dealt with the perils of winter at Tahoe.

Now, smoothies — a sidekick to granola bars — are a different story. A smoothie is sweet beverage made from fresh fruit. It can include frozen fruit, milk and ice cream. They lure health nuts like me. Smoothies, made with a wide variety of ingredients, were a hit in the late 1960s, and I was hooked in the seventies when hitchhiking with my canine companion across America.

As we edge near fall, I feel like I could survive another Y2K scare with granola bars but I’m not sure how I’d get my smoothie fix. So, I decided to live for today and went for creating a fresh shake and batch of homemade bars.

Berry Banana Smoothie

1 cup premium all natural vanilla ice cream

1 cup strawberries and bananas, frozen chunks

1/4 cup organic, 2-percent, reduced-fat milk

2 tablespoons organic strawberry jam

Put all ingredients in blender. Mix till thick and creamy. Serve in parfait glasses. For a sweeter effect, top with whipped cream and add a straw. Serves two.

California Girl Granola Bars

1 1/4 cups quick-cooking rolled oats

1/2 cup lightly salted cashews, sliced

2/3 cup light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup dark or milk chocolate chips

1/2 cup Bisquick Pancake and Baking Mix

1 cup mix of dried cranberries, prunes or apricots

1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds

1 organic brown egg, beaten

2 tablespoons organic, 2 percent, reduced-fat milk

2 tablespoons European-style butter

1 capful pure vanilla extract

In a bowl, mix oats, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, chocolate pieces, baking mix, dried fruit, and seeds. Add egg, milk, butter, and vanilla. Stir. Fold into a square baking dish. In a 350 degrees oven bake for about 20 minutes or till golden brown and firm. Cool. Slice into rectangle bars. Serves 12.

These granola bars (put in the fridge before cutting into squares) are chewy, crumbly and sweet. Paired with a cold, homemade smoothie it is a perfect mate. Yeah, putting good-for-you foods together in the comfort of your home can be better than eating boxed food or taking a trek to get your health nut fix no matter what season it is or events are happening around town or the world.

Motto: Go back in time and treat yourself to a smoothie and granola bars. You’ll enjoy the nostalgia of it.

— Cal Orey, M.A. is an author and journalist. Her books include “The Healing Powers” series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, and Coffee) published by Kensington. (The Healing Powers of Honey and Coffee are offered by the Good Cook Book Club.) The Healing Powers of Coffee, Vinegar, Olive Oil, and Honey are sold at Walmart stores nationwide. This autumn, the author is revising and updating the 2nd edition of The Healing Powers of Olive Oil. Her website is http://www.calorey.com

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