Like many moms, the way I show my family and friends I care is through meals and the healthy (delicious!) treats I make. I have a couple of super easy, yummy recipes that I regularly prepare to surprise and delight the people who matter to me. So, in the spirit of kindness, I’m going to share the recipes for my famous DIY Instant Apple Oatmeal Packs and my Apple Cinnamon Granola Bars with you below. 

I’m not a fan of processed foods, so when I hit the supermarket, I spend most of my time in the fresh produce section – to get the ingredients to make those healthy meals and snacks for my loved ones. Fresh apples are always on our grocery list and I also like to grab a few bags of Martin’s Apple Chips – one of the few packaged snacks I buy. The best part of these dried apple chips – besides the fact that they come in giant bags at Costco – is that they only contain one ingredient – apples.

Sharing the Love

Over the years, apples have become a symbol of gratitude in our home. When our family returns from our annual apple-picking trip at the local farm, we spend the afternoon baking pies to deliver as gifts of appreciation. What better way to show thankfulness than with something made at home with love – and apples?

Clearly, I’m on the same wavelength as the folks who make Martin’s Apple Chips. They are running a  that I think you’ll want to enter! Who wouldn’t want to win a $2,350 stay at Ste. Anne’s Spa? All you have to do is first, watch this video (which will totally make you smile):

  Apple Cinnamon Granola Bars

I like having dried fruit on hand for these bars. Fresh apples will make them mushy, so dried apples are a great addition to an otherwise fruitless bar.

7 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup healthy oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
3/4 cup organic honey
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup oat bran
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup ground flax
3/4 cup chopped Martin’s Apple Chips
2 tsp cinnamon

  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and cover a large (18×13) cookie sheet (including edges) with tin foil. Mix the rolled oats with the oil until well saturated. Spread the oats evenly onto the cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, string often, until golden brown.

  While oats are baking, mix honey, brown sugar and vanilla in a small pot and cook over low heat until all the sugar is dissolved.  In a separate large bowl combine the oat bran, chia seeds, flax, Martin’s Apple Chips and cinnamon.

  When oats are done remove from oven and lower oven temperature to 300 degrees. Transfer the cooked oats into the oat bran, chia mixture and combine well. Pour the melted honey over the granola and mix well.

  Return the granola mixture to the tin foil covered cookie sheet and spread out evenly. Using the back of a large spatula or heavy flat dish, press the granola mixture firmly into the cookie sheet, making sure the oats on the entire cookie sheet have been pressed into place.

  Bake for 35-40 minutes at 300 degrees. Remove from oven and let cool – but not longer than 10 minutes or they will be too hard to cut. Transfer to a cutting surface and cut into any size bars using a large sharp knife.

  Store in the freezer and enjoy anytime. 

Makes approx 40 Apple Cinnamon Granola Bars

  Single Serve Instant Breakfast Oatmeal Packs

Including healthy ingredients in the most important meal of the day, breakfast, is all part of being kind to our bodies. Enjoy!

1/3 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp oat bran
1 tsp of chia seeds, hemp hearts, ground flax
1/4 tsp cinnamon

  Assemble the following in a bowl:

  Add any of the following dried fruits and nuts:

Dried blueberries, cranberries, cherries, raisins
Dried apricots, mangos, dates or Martin’s Apple Chips chopped into small pieces
Coconut, sunflower seeds, chopped almonds or walnuts

  Store in a resealable bag or container.

  When you are ready for breakfast, put oats in a bowl, cover the oats with boiling water and within 5 minutes you have perfect oatmeal every time.

Both of these recipes are easy to prepare and good for you. Make them for your family or make them to give as random gifts of gratitude to your friends to say “hey, I appreciate you and all you do.” I’m pretty certain they’ll be surprised and grateful!

This content was originally published here.