Energy Bites

energy bites

Energy bites. 

A quick pick-me-up when you need a nutritious and easy snack. Mix the basic ingredients and then add your own variations.

Oatmeal, peanut butter, and honey are the core ingredients. Add chocolate chips, raisins, almonds, flax seed, and anything else you’d like.

Roll into balls and put onto a tray in the refrigerator or freezer. Once frozen, you can stack them in zip-lock bags or a storage container, and they’re ready for use.

Store the energy bites in the freezer and get them out just a few minutes before you’re ready to serve. Adults and kids alike enjoy these!

energy bites

I found this recipe in the latest issue of Daughter of Promise, a magazine open for all readers and geared for Anabaptist women. For more information about the magazine, click here.

Energy Bites
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30
Bite-sized packs of protein for a quick and easy energy pick-me-up, snack, or healthy dessert.
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • ¾ cup ground flax seed
  • ¾ cup mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup honey (I use less)
  • 1¼ cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Combine dry oatmeal, flaxseed and chocolate chips in a large bowl.
  2. Add the honey, peanut butter, and vanilla
  3. Stir until the mixture comes together.
  4. Optional: add almonds, raisins, craisins, etc. as desired
  5. Form into 1 inch balls and chill until firm.


energy bites

Baked Oatmeal with Instant, Quick, or Regular Oats

There are several reasons why I love this baked oatmeal recipe.

It’s easy to make, it keeps well, and it’s just plain good. You can use regular, quick, or even instant oatmeal. Add some milk, eggs, sugar, spices, and fruit, you’re set to go. This baked oatmeal keeps for days in the refrigerator and also freezes well.

baked oatmeal

I got this recipe from my husband’s aunt Edna. Uncle Bill and Aunt Edna hosted our family when we went to Ohio in 2010 to bury Dave’s father. She had a pan of oatmeal that we served ourselves for breakfast. So when I make this recipe, I think of Aunt Edna and how her sweet hospitality helped us bear our grief.

Although the recipe calls for regular (not quick or instant) oatmeal, I have used all three kinds (not in the same recipe, of course.)  If you use the instant packs (brown sugar/cinnamon or apple/cinnamon) you don’t need to add cinnamon or apples. You can also decrease the sugar quite a bit or not add any at all. You will need to add a little more liquid (milk, eggs, or veg. oil). I usually add 1/4 – 1/2 cup more milk.

I decided to try the instant oatmeal when the WIC checks for our foster children only allowed plain instant oatmeal instead of flavored or plain bulk oatmeal. [Don’t even get me started on government policies!]  I decided I wasn’t going to lose or waste this WIC check, so I bought the specified packets of instant oatmeal and used it instead of the regular oatmeal. It took longer to open up each individual pack, but it was worth the time, especially when my gang couldn’t tell the difference. When you’ve made it a few times, you’ll know how wet/dry it should be before it is baked. I just dump some extra liquid in until it looks right.

This will last for days if you keep it covered and in the fridge. Heat a serving size in the microwave.  You can add other fruit on top after it’s heated – try bananas, blackberries or blueberries.

I’ve frozen some in Tupperware containers and that works well also. It used to be that this dish didn’t hang around my kitchen very long; but now that our nest is more often empty than full, I’ve found that freezing is a great way to keep it from spoiling.

Baked Oatmeal
Recipe type: Breakfast Oatmeal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • 1 Tbsp. margarine or butter
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 cups oatmeal (regular, quick, or instant)
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla.
  1. Melt margarine in 9 x 13-inch pan while the oven is preheating to 400.
  2. Mix oil, sugar, and eggs together until glassy
  3. Put oatmeal into a bowl.
  4. Add baking powder, cinnamon, and salt to the measured oatmeal.
  5. Measure milk and add vanilla.
  6. Mix milk and oatmeal together.
  7. Combine oil/egg mixture with oatmeal mixture
  8. Add fruit of your choice: apples, blueberries, raisins, etc.
  9. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13-inch pan
  10. Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes



Easy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin cookies

Oatmeal Raisin cookies are the ultimate favorite of my husband. This recipe comes close to the one my Grandpa Bender used to make.  ‘Loved them as a child, and love them now. I remember the taste of them on Sunday after our lunch at my grandpa’s house.  He’d been a widower for quite a few years and his grandchildren always clamored for his cookies.  This is a large recipe, so you can freeze a bunch to serve later, as this recipe makes a good six dozen cookies.

After you cream the butter and sugars, you add the eggs, one at a time.  Add vanilla and then your dry ingredients. There’s really not a lot to it, and you can make them as large or as small as you’d like.

Baking is easy; drop by teaspoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake.

I made some the other evening and put a bunch in the freezer.  Sometime this winter we’ll have a pile of young adults coming to sled ride, and these are ready to go.  That’s not really why I made them, though.  My hubby had had a rough day, and I knew he was tired.  So I whipped up a batch of these.  It was worth the time it took out of my day when I put that plate in front of him after supper. His smile (and his kiss) made me want to mix up another batch soon.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 dozen
Simple and satisfying - these oatmeal raisin cookies add some extra oomph to your taste. A simple recipe that keeps well frozen and is a delight to serve with fruit or milk.
  • 2 cups shortening
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 5½ cups minute oatmeal
  • 2 cup raisins (or more)
  • 2¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4½ cups flour
  • 1 cup nuts (optional)
  1. Cream shortening and sugars together
  2. Add eggs, one at a time
  3. Add vanilla
  4. Mix well.
  5. Add dry ingredients
  6. Stir in raisins and (optional) nuts
  7. Drop on greased cookie tray
  8. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minute

Pinterest easy oatmeal Raisin Cookies


Homemade Granola



granola i n goblet

There are so many recipes for granola out there, and you can pretty much pick and choose what you want to put in yours.  Since I don’t care for coconut and I’d like to stay away from carbs like those in Rice Krispies, I came up with my own combination that works for me.  One of the benefits of granola is that it works as a cathartic.  So if you need help being regular, this is a good recipe to use.

I added a new ingredient to this recipe and it’s new for me this time.  I found Chia Seed in the grocery and noticed that it was an Omega 3, which supports cardiovascular health.  While some studies are inconclusive, there is no doubt in my mind that this seed can be helpful in healthy nutrition.  In the photos, you’ll notice dark specks in this batch of granola (almost like tiny poppy seeds).  That is the Chia seed.  You don’t have to add any to your granola; I decided to try it because of my age and other health issues.  I know it certainly can’t hurt.  So for this recipe, I am listing this ingredient as optional.

I like eating granola on top of other cereal (it really fills me up) and also on top of yogurt with fruit.   There are other ways it can be used as well. You can also use it in place of bread crumbs for stuffing, use it as a breading for chicken (blend in a blender first), eat it with fruit as a snack, or eat it as a cereal with fruit and milk.  You can also use it as a topping for baked apple pie!  I’ve eaten it on top of oatmeal for a real cathartic boost.

Here are some suggestions:

  • in place of bread crumbs for stuffing
  • as a breading for chicken (blend in a blender first)
  • with fruit as a snack
  • as a cereal with fruit and milk
  • as a topping for baked apple pie
  • on top of oatmeal for a real cathartic boost.

Other fruits that could be added to this recipe are raisins and cranberries.  You can always just add these fruits to the recipe once it is complete.  That way, whoever uses the granola can choose his own choice of fruit.

granola blender

I put my almonds and sesame seeds in a blender.  If the flax seed I have is not ground, I add that in the blender also.  Next I add the oat bran, wheat germ, and the seeds together, mixing them really well.  Then all I need to do is mix the pre-measured oatmeal with this mixture.

granola ingredients in 2 containers

oatmeal on the left, mixtures on the right


granola mixing together

mixing all the dry ingredients together

Making the sauce is easy.  I put all the ingredients into a kettle and heat until the butter is melted.  I love my new (for Christmas) Pioneer Woman cookware. It is really lightweight and is dishwasher and oven safe. It doesn’t stick so it’s easy to clean as well. [No, I’m not getting paid for this advertisement.  I have searched high and low for a lightweight, easy to clean, easy to use, dishwasher safe and oven proof cookware, and I finally found it.  I know a good thing when I use it.]

granola sauce

Mix the sauce with the dry ingredients.  I pour my sauce over the dry mixture; then I add a littlee dry mixture to the kettle so I am sure to get all the sauce mixed in.

granola mixing wet and dry

Spread the granola onto a tray and sprinkle with cinnamon (unless you’d rather skip the cinnamon).  Put the trays into the oven and bake.

Remember that the dark seeds you see in the granola are Chia seed. If you skip this ingredient, it will look different.

Because the granola has to be stirred every 15 minutes, I use that time to see how much I can accomplish in each 15-minute segment! (Clean a bathroom, dust a room, empty the dishwasher, take a shower, drink some coffee, etc.)

granola in open container

I like to store my granola in a Lock & Lock container.  I love these containers because they have square corners and don’t waste space.  I like being able to see what is in the container and how much is left so I can plan my next batch of granola.  It gives a tight seal, and I’ve stored granola like this for at least two months at a time, even in the humid summer. Plus, the lid is easy to lock and to remove.

granola in container

So now, here is the recipe.

Homemade Granola
Recipe type: Grains
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 gallon
An easy topping for yogurt, ice cream, salad, or cereal, this recipe is simple to make and easy to store.
  • 8 cups oatmeal
  • 2 cups oat bran
  • 2 cups wheat germ
  • 2 cups flax seed (ground)
  • 2 cups almonds and sesame seeds, chopped in a blender and mixed in any combination
  • Cinnamon
  • Optional: Chia seeds, cranberries, and/or raisins
  • Sauce: 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 1½ cups butter
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla
  1. Measure oatmeal
  2. Mix other dry ingredients together
  3. Combine oatmeal with other dry ingredients
  4. For sauce, heat ingredients until melted
  5. Mix sauce with dry ingredients
  6. Put onto two cookie sheets and sprinkle with cinnamon (optional)
  7. Bake at 250 for 1½ hours, stirring every 15 minutes
  8. Store in air-tight container