I am a sucker for supermarket checkout magazines. Seriously. Whoever came up with that brilliant marketing plan, must have known all about me. Put shiny pictures of beautiful food in front of me and there’s a good chance that magazine will go on the conveyor belt along with the eggs and milk.
My most recent acquisition is a Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications (Those are my favorites!!!) entitled “Skinny One-Pan Recipes.” It was calling my name. It could have happened. You don’t know. You weren’t there! I distinctly heard it say: “Sara! I’m perfect for you. You are trying to eat better and see!! Sheet Pan Suppers under 400 calories! Healthy and delicious weeknight skillets! Buy me! Take me home!” Plus, the cover picture was full of gorgeous roasted vegetables and…well… yeah. You’re welcome marketing team!
You’d think with the wonderful healthy recipes inside this magazine, I’d be sharing a new dinner or something. Please. You know me better than that! I turned straight to the desserts. Hello, beautiful! Right there on page 134 was this recipe for Granola, Cereal and Fruit bars. Not only did it look delicious, it gave me the perfect excuse to clean out the last little bits of Valentines/Holiday ingredients in my pantry!
Made in an 8×8 pan, these granola fruit bars call for just 2/3 cup mixed dried fruit, which is exactly the amount of mixed fruit I had left in the bag from our Christmas Stollen! My granola fruit bars include a combination of dried pineapple, raisins, currants, cranberries and dates. I tossed in a bit of shredded coconut and 1/2 cup whole almonds because I had those leftover from another recipe too!
The original recipe directions call for melting the butter and marshmallows in the microwave. I’m not a fan of this method, so I did mine on the stovetop, the same way I’d make regular crispy treats. You can do whichever you prefer! It doesn’t take long to assemble these bars at all. Less than 15 minutes!
I wish I’d had a little more dried fruit and nuts to sprinkle on top of these bars, because I think that would make them even better. No worries though I’ll do it next time!
Any dried fruits would work very well in this recipe. Use whatever you have on hand and be creative!
As for the magazine, I’m still going through it! I’m sure you’ll see a few healthy dinners here soon. There are Savory Stromboli Cups (Made in a muffin pan!) and a slow-cooker recipe for Chicken with Baby Potatoes and Pesto I’m anxious to try! Until then, dig through your pantry and make these as a fun after-school treat or to pack in your lunch for work. You won’t regret it!
Granola, Cereal, and Fruit Bars
- 3 cups tiny marshmallows
- 2 Tablespoons butter softened
- 3 cups crisp rice cereal
- 2/3 cup tropical blend or regular mixed dried fruit bits snipped if necessary
- 1/2 cup granola
- 1/2 cup whole almonds
- Line an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges. Butter foil.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and marshmallows together, stirring until smooth.
- Remove from heat and stir in all remaining ingredients.
- Transfer mixed to prepared pan. Use buttered waxed paper to press mix into the pan. If desired, sprinkle the top with any additional dried fruit, nuts or granola.
- Let stand 1 hour, or until set.
- Using foil, lift bars out of the pan. Cut into bars.
- Makes 16 bars.
- TO STORE: Layer bars between waxed paper in an airtight container. Store at room temperature up to 3 days.
Do you like recipe books at the checkout too? What are some of the ones that have followed you home?