Sweet recipes: Back-to-school must-haves

Dried fruit and nut granola bars
Dried fruit and nut granola bars

It is hard to believe that summer break is coming to an end. With so many obligations to worry about as we approach the start of a new school year, it’s important to focus on our home and pantry. Stocking up on simple pantry staples will keep your meals healthy, balanced and quick.

1. Oats
Homemade granola bars are one of the many recipes for which oats will come in handy. Mixed with assorted dried fruit, coconut and chocolate chips you will have a quick on-the-go breakfast or snack.

2. Whole grain pasta
One of the most versatile dry ingredients is great for busy day dinners and left over lunches. Garnish with fresh pesto, cheese, homemade tomato sauce or fresh veggies.

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3. Nut butters and spreads
Easy to spread on pancakes, tortillas, or apple and banana slices for a satisfying snack or the perfect addition to any smoothie.

4. Honey
A great substitute for sugar and sweeteners, honey is also the perfect ingredient to start your morning routine. Squeeze half a lemon and 1 tbsp honey into hot water, for a caffeine-free boost. It might even kick your coffee cravings.

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Dried fruit and nut granola bars

Grocery List
2-1/2 cups old fashion rolled oats
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried pineapple, chopped
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped

Directions:
Combine oats and slivered almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly toasted.
Combine butter, honey, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until butter and sugar are melted.
Pour butter mixture over the toasted almonds and oats; add all the dried fruit.
Spread mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread evenly.
Refrigerate until firm and ready to be cut.
Cut granola into 12 bars and store in airtight container or wrap individually.

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