DIY in the Kitchen

The Reluctant Cook, Part II

For those of you who read my original post, The Reluctant Cook, you know that I loathe cooking. I have always said that if I won the lottery, the first thing I would do is hire a personal chef. But I cook often and I vary what I cook. But I still tend to buy snack foods. Look, I’m a Health Coach but I’m also a Mom with two kids. Who eat, a lot. And sometimes when you are on the run and you are out of bananas, apples, carrots, celery, and raisins, it’s easier to grab a granola bar.

But it’s the granola bar that has sent me over the edge. Between the two kids and the husband who grabs a bar at the end of his ride, I go through a box every two days. This is expensive and wasteful. And it bothers me. A lot.

So I’ve become a DIY (do it yourself-er). I went online and Googled gluten free granola bars. About 8 trillion hits came up. So I started looking. Do you have any idea how simple it is to make a granola bars? I didn’t either. But believe me, they are easy. And yummy. One batch lasted me 4 or 5 days. I knew every ingredient in them and while they weren’t shelf stable for a year, they were healthy, nourishing and awesome.

However, the granola bar was the beginning of a slippery slope. I’ve become obsessed with doing it myself. Why buy bread to make sandwiches when you can just make it? Don’t like wheat flour? Try almond or quinoa flour. The flavorings are different and fun.

Now I scour Pinterest to see what others are making. I’ve started contemplating making my own Mayonnaise. And the other day, I decided I could make Kim Chi. Just as soon as I find a decent Korean grocer for the seasonings.

Do you have a favorite snack food? Are you tired of buying bread every week for your kid’s lunch? Frustrated by the waste of all that packaging? Challenge yourself!  Do a search for your favorite snack food plus recipes and see if you have it in your to become a Do It Yourself(er). Here are two recipes to get you started:

Gluten free baked oatmeal snack bars

Baked Oatmeal Snack Bars


  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts [or any nuts you like]
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (any you like – raisins, cranberries, dates, figs)
  • 1/4 cup seeds (any you like – sunflower, pumpkin, flax, sesame)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1.25 cups skim milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Mix dry ingredients.
  3. Mix wet ingredients.
  4. Pour wet into dry. Stir to combine.
  5. Pour into a 9×9 baking dish either coated in cooking spray or lined with parchment.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes.
  7. Cut into 9 squares.

Makes 9 servings . Each bar is appx. 170 calories, 3 grams fiber and 5 grams protein. [Cut into 12 squares reduces calories to about 125 calories per square]

While delicious, the only sweetness in these comes from the dried fruit. Add in 1/4 – 1/2 cup brown sugar if you like.

The variations are endless: cranberries, coconut, all kinds of dried fruit, nuts, etc.

(note, these are not crunchy, they are more cake like)

(Recipe and image from  Kath Eats Real Food)

Simple (& delicious) bread

Simple Bread

  • 2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  1. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, then add agave and vinegar
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry
  4. Scoop batter into a well greased 6.5 x 4 inch baby loaf pan
  5. Bake at 300° for 45-55 minutes on bottom rack of oven; until a knife comes out clean
  6. Cool and serve

Makes 1 loaf (about 12 slices)

(Recipe and image from Elana’s Pantry)





Filed Under: BlogsRecipes


About the Author: Courtney Abrams is a Health Coach and Founder of Roslyn Wellness. Trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she helps clients work within the realities of their day to day lives to find ways to make small and manageable changes to their health that can maintained over time. Her clients include people trying to lose weight, beat sugar, increase their energy, cook simple healthful food and reduce stress to name a few. She also shares a passion for food policy and educating people about the foods they are eating and the governmental role behind much of it. You can learn more about Courtney and Roslyn Wellness at


  1. […] Just start out simply with basic, easy meals. You can go from there. […]

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