The last week of school before a much-needed “Spring” break. (I use the term “Spring” loosely since it’s so cold still!). It’s a tough week for everyone – students and teachers (and I am betting parents too!). What better way to keep almost-spring energy in check than to get kids in the kitchen – in this case, the science lab, baking up a batch of Jennifer Tyler Lee’s “Power (granola) Bars” – with chocolate!
The back story to this is that the boys have been asking for a while “When is the ingredient of the week going to be chocolate?”. They have loved working with a different #52NewFoods ingredient each week this term (Kale, Quinoa, Radicchio, Avocado, Edamame, Kumquats) but wondered about “something sweet”. I had already taken a peek at a few other recipes in the 52 New Foods book and marked the “Power Bar” recipe as a potential “last session of the term” recipe and then told the boys I had an idea that *might* include chocolate if they could prove that they were good listeners all term (this was especially important as it’s the biggest group of boys I have had in a while and listening to instructions is so important – more so when it’s a big group!). Each week, whenever anyone wasn’t being a good listener, somebody (usually one of the boys!) would say “chocolate” and better listening followed immediately!
The chocolate ended up not really being the focus of the session, in the end, as there was a LOT of measuring and mixing to do!
We ended up making four complete recipes of the bars and thank goodness – because there was a “granola incident” as it’s now known (where an entire tray of unbaked granola bars fell on the floor just moments from being put in the oven….) – but each boy still ended up taking two giant bars home with him – the next day….
We had an interesting discussion about the different ways we could customise the bars if the boys made them at home and talked a lot about what would and wouldn’t “work” (so, no fresh fruit but any dried fruit etc…). The boys had some great (and some, uh, interesting, ideas!). I also took the time to ask them what they had enjoyed this term from all the new foods we had tried. The boys’ answers?
The salad bar.
Chocolate Avocado Pudding.
Kale and Ricotta Gnocchi.
Well then. Out of the mouths of babes as they say. Looking at that list, we did well, I think!
And then we took the granola bars out of the oven with 3 minutes to pickup.
And realised that there was no way they would be ready to cut – they need to sit for a while to firm up before you can cut them…
So I sent the boys away empty handed (but with bellies full of chocolate chips!). One of the only times I haven’t managed to get a recipe complete in the hour… But the next day…
Hmmm, out high convection oven burned some of our chocolate chips but hey, didn’t stop these being devoured (literally some of them didn’t even leave the school building!). And the boys loved them. And a few of them told me “I’m SO making these at home.”
I’d say that’s a #win, wouldn’t you?
Get the recipe for the homemade granola bars on the #52NewFoods site and in The 52 New Foods Challenge cookbook.
Want to see 52 New Foods in action? Check out the 52 New Foods Junior Chef Classes at your local Williams Sonoma (call your local store for details!)
Please note: The product links from Amazon, Amazon.ca and The Book Depository are affiliate links meaning if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price which goes towards maintaining eat. live. travel. write. Thank you in advance!
Disclosure: I received a copy of the 52 New Foods Challenge cookbook for the purposes of taking part in the #52NewFoods Challenge through Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Ambassador Community. I was asked to create one original recipe for the challenge. I did not receive any further compensation for writing this post nor any other promotion of the book I might be involved with.