Family owned grocery stores can’t be “normal” to survive since Bob and Randy’s grandparents, Jake and Irene Harmon, opened a fruit stand 80 years ago.
I joined a focus group held at a local Harmon’s store, to find out how they managed to grow and develop their own unique niche in this tough market.
Bob and Randy love to tell people that “they aren’t normal” in serving the needs of their customers.
Some of the things I learned why they “aren’t normal” is that they:
1. Provide fresh, local produce and specialty items.
2. Grind and make their own sausages in-store.
3. Sell only all-natural meat and poultry that’s not plumped with salt water, additives or hormones.
4. Make fresh soups and bakery developed by their own chefs and artisans.
Losing our love handles by Valentine’s Day, has become an annual resolution. I wanted something healthy to snack on, rather than the usual sugar filled cookies and bars. One of the gifts for joining their focus group, was a container of fresh almond butter.
This very healthy Almond Butter Granola Bar recipe has no added sugar for sweetening and about 130 calories per bar. As a bonus, I found them to be very filling.
Without the extra sweet sugar boost, they may seem a little bland. So other ways to jazz up this recipe would be to drizzle some chocolate on top, mix in more dried fruit or perhaps adding a tablespoon of brown sugar.
Just remember to adjust the amount of calories accordingly (sorry, but no cheating).
- ½ cup almond butter
- 2 bananas, mashed
- ½ cup whole almonds
- ¼ cup dried apricots
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup dried cherries
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, etc.)
- 1 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 1 cup Crispy Rice or rolled oats
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 160C/350F.
- Line wide loaf tin with parchment paper.
- In a small pot, heat almond butter and mashed bananas.
- Stir gently until well combined.
- Set aside.
- In a food processor, coarse chop the almonds, apricots, cranberries, cherries, and raisins.
- Transfer to a bowl.
- Mix in seeds, rice or oats, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Fold in the almond butter mixture.
- Press the batter into prepared loaf tin.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Let cool before cutting into bars/squares.
- Store in airtight container.
More healthy Granola Bar recipes can be found From the Kitchen of Cookin’ Canuck.