There’s one 3 letter word that gets me all riled up: GMO
(I’m sweating already).
It stands for Genetically Modified Organisim, but you probably already know that. In college, I wrote a 30 page thesis on the subject detailing the detriments of messing around with our food DNA, not to mention the chemicals that go along with it. Care for some tomatoes? They’re made with trout genes. This was passionately typed on one of those clunky dinosaur computers with dial up. Yes, dial up. Can you hear it?
Anyway, mention GMO and my temperature spikes.
On Mother’s Day, as we sat (in traffic) on our way to lunch, my mom told me all about this Netflix documentary she watched recently.
It’s called: Gmo Omg.
She described one scene in particular, so powerful, I haven’t been able to shake it since.
A father and his children are standing in front of a corn field. He used to play there when he was a kid. But now, he wouldn’t dare let his own two children run wild and free amongst the golden husks. Unless… they were dressed head-to-toe in hazmat suits! And that’s exactly what he did- he made them wear protective gear to drive the point home. Hazmat suits.
Corn happens to be one of the top GMO crops in the U.S.
So, basically, according to the documentary: poison.
How about that, huh?
(Thank goodness we had champagne at lunch).
But this is reality. And it makes me think about my kids.
What kind of world are we leaving for them?
So, the next day, I made homemade snacks. For them. And to make myself feel better.
These are chocolate chip granola bars…
When you slice into them, they’re supposed to look like this…
I had inadvertently grabbed a container of old fashioned rolled oats instead of quick oats and as a result, the bars fell apart (instant oats absorb more liquid than thick rolled oats). They crumbled into a gazillion pieces and I didn’t bother making another batch. We repurposed the chocolatey rubble into granola sprinkled over thick, Greek yogurt. But in case you’re wondering, I’ve included the (successful) version of this recipe at the bottom of the post. They taste just like the chewy Quaker Oats granola bars without the junk.
This failed attempt got me thinking.
As much as I’d like to keep my kids in a bubble forever, protecting their innocence from this mean and unfair GMO world, preferably with homemade granola bars that actually hold together- it’s just not realistic. I have to teach my kids about making their own healthy choices.
I’ve partnered with FreshKids, an independent company that believes in cultivating a healthy and happy world for kids (woo hoo!).
They’ve also created an all natural, kid-friendly snack line:
– Non GMO Ingredients
– No high fructose corn syrup
– No trans fat
– No partially hydrogenated oils
– No artificial colors and flavors
– No artificial sweeteners
And… they’re available in NYC schools! (in stores this summer, too).
Do I need to repeat that?
Real pretzels, popcorn and hummus. For our kids!!!
So, when I can’t make things from scratch because hey- life gets in the way, I find piece of mind knowing that I have support from those who are like-minded. Both in school and at home.
That’s how I balance.
And now, for the giveaway! You are going to love this.
FreshKids has put together a special getaway package to help rejuvenate and find balance in your life: a Spa & Wine Adventure Trip for Two!
FreshKids invites you to show us how you find balance – and by doing so, you’ll have a chance to win a 2-day trip for two in the FreshKids countryside!
Details: enjoy a 2-night stay at the luxurious Salmander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia. Located in the heart of Virginia wine and horse country, an hour west of Washington, DC, and close to major airports and railway. Submerse yourself in pampering, relaxation, yoga and exercise. Explore surrounding wineries and vineyards. Take healthy cooking classes and dine farm-to-table. Be adventurous by riding a zip-line or a horse. You can bring your girlfriend, kids (babysitting available), or dog (paws are welcome).
You just need to get there, and FreshKids will take care of the rest. They will be your personal concierge and put together a relaxing, rejuvenating and remarkable stay – FreshKids style.
To Enter :
(1) Post a picture on Instagram that celebrates balancing healthy and happy with everyday life.
(2) Tag the picture #HOWIBALANCE
(3) Follow FreshKids on Instagram (@WEAREFRESHKIDS) + The Clever Carrot (@TheCleverCarrot)
A winner will be announced on June 1, 2015. Find additional rules and restrictions here.
- 2 cups quick oats*
- 2 cups puffed rice cereal (I used Rice Krispies)
- 1 tbsp ground flax meal
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- ¼ cup honey
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- Grab an 8x8 cake pan and line with a piece of parchment paper, leaving some to hang over the sides for easy removal.
- Place the quick oats, puffed rice cereal and flax meal into a large bowl.
- Melt the coconut oil, honey and brown sugar in a small pot. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 1-2 minutes. This is a crucial step; if the honey and sugar are not completely dissolved the bars will not stick together properly. Don't rush it. Set aside to cool for 1 minute so that it doesn't melt your chocolate chips.
- Pour the honey mixture into your bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until well combined and then scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. It should look sticky.
- Mix in the mini chocolate chips.
- Tip the mixture into your lined pan. Tear off another small sheet of parchment paper and place on top. Press down with your hands to flatten everything together.
- Refrigerate your granola for about 1-2 hours or until firmly set. When ready to slice, lift the base out via your parchment paper 'handles' and slice into bars (or squares).
- To store, wrap up the entire cake pan or place cut bars in an airtight container in the fridge.