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Oven-Worthy Granola Bars

Oven-Worthy Granola Bars

Gluten Free Granola Bars

You look fabulous today. It’s not the debt ceiling deal, is it? Your hair looks great. Maybe that’s it.

Whatever it is, you look mahvelous.

So what’s new, pussycat?

Thank you for the recipe ideas the other day. Keep ’em comin’, o.k.? I need all the help I can get. Soon I will be sharing even more recipes-and-a-chat in another corner of the Internet, & I hope you’ll come with me. Will you come with me, when I go there, and tell where you it is that I’m going? I’ll still be here, but I’ll be “there,” too. You can follow me. I’ll stop at yellow lights, and be sure to use my turn signal early and often. I won’t switch lanes unless I have to. Promise. I’m lost without you. You know that. Maybe I don’t tell you enough, but…

I love you.

So my husband thinks that, lately, the blog has gotten a little too personal. What do you think?

Specifically, he means this post, and this post. This is surprising for a couple reasons.

First, who even knew he read my blog? He usually claims to have “skimmed.” Blah blah blah.

Second, as far as blogs go, I think I’m pretty discreet. Seriously. Have you seen what else is out there on the Internet? I think I hold back while holding forth. You don’t care what I had for breakfast. I’m fairly certain you had breakfast, too. Breakfast is like birthdays, and birthdays are like some singular part of one’s anatomy in the posterior region. Everybody has one.

At this point, I barely even remember what I had for breakfast. I don’t even care what I had for breakfast.Why would you?

I got bored, and may or may not have nodded off. What were we talking about?

Oh, right. Boring blogs.

So I try not to bore you. I use myself as a guinea pig. I write, walk away {maybe eat breakfast}, come back and read. If I nod off, I rewrite. If I make myself laugh, I hit publish. It’s like that.

And I try very hard not to overshare {ew}. Just so you know, I do struggle with what to share here on the blog. I’m old enough not to be a digital native, you know? In college, if I wanted to type a paper, I had to either head to the “computer lab” on campus, or borrow a friend’s word processor. And the word processor had little margin for error, since its screen displayed a grand total of 15 characters. Not words. Not letters. Characters. It made Twitter look downright voluble. If you made a mistake, you’d best catch it right quick.

So “sharing” on the Internet is not, well, native to me. I’m a Stranger in a Strange Land. I tend to think that my everyday life is pretty humdrum (probably because it, in fact, is humdrum). Just take a listen:

I have 3 kids, and a husband. And 2 dogs. A cat, even. I was laid off from a lucrative part time attorney job in March 2009. I struggled with what to do next. I think everyone who gets laid off should start a blog. Totally. Pick out what subject is most interesting to you in the world. The topic that, when it comes up at a dinner party, you want to talk about more and more and more while everyone else just wants to gather their freaking coats, kids, and go home. Then start a blog about it. You never know when it might be mentioned in an article in the New York Times, and a literary agent might contact you with the good news that she thinks it would make a great book.

You never know.

I don’t save enough for my kids’ retirement or my schooling, and I feel guilty about it. I drive a minivan (now that’s embarrassing). I don’t compost because I don’t like worms, although I have heard that you can do it without worms (yeah, right – prove it). But every time I throw something away, a nasty little voice inside my head says “don’t throw it away; there is no away.” I have that recurring dream where I’m not wearing any pants, and apparently I’m miles away from a freaking Gap and can’t get any. Like that would ever happen. The Gap is everywhere. I wish I could raise chickens because I would get the ones with blue behind their ears so they would lay blue eggs. We had chicken paella last night for dinner. It rocked. I should be grateful that our town has a pool nearby, but instead I complain bitterly all Summer long that it needs more shade and smells increasingly like pee as the season wears on. {Ew.}

See? Boring. Still reading?

What else could you possibly want to know?

Except how to make super easy worth-turning-on-your-oven Granola Bars. That I can show you. And maybe it’ll even be a little bit interesting.

Oven-Worthy Granola Bars
Recipe Type: Snack
Author: Nicole @ Gluten-Free on a Shoestring.com
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 16
Chewy granola bars
  • 3 cups quick-cooking certified gluten-free oats (or pulse rolled oats in a food processor a bit)
  • 3 cups up-to-you combination of nuts, dried berries and/or seeds (I used equal parts dried blueberries, diced dried plums, slivered toasted almonds, and chopped pecans)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses (optional)
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the bottom and sides of the bottom of an 8-inch by 8-inch square pan with unsalted butter or shortening. Place one sheet of parchment paper long enough to overhang the edges of the pan, and grease the parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the oats, nuts, berries and/or seeds, optional cinnamon and optional cocoa powder until well combined.
  3. Add the optional molasses and the sweetened condensed milk, and mix until well combined and until the milk appears to be holding everything together.
  4. Spread the mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan, and press with wet hands as hard as you can on the mixture so that it compresses into the bottom and corners of the pan.
  5. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.
  6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then use parchment to lift from pan. Cut into 16 pieces with a sharp, wet serrated knife.
  7. Cool bars completely, and store at room temperature in an airtight container.

I am sure there are nondairy substitutes for sweetened condensed milk. I remember some readers mentioning them in the comments section of the recent Hello Dolly recipe here on the blog.


Love you. Mean it.
xoxo Nicole

If you liked this recipe, you'll love my new book!

Gluten-Free on a Shoestring [Second Edition]:

125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap

Amazon.com Barnes & Noble IndieBound.com

Comments are closed.

  • Emily
    October 12, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    How would this work with agave instead of molasses? Maybe just a bit to sweeten it up, I don’t think I need to buy molasses.

    And if I pulse “old fashioned oats’ would it work? I’m not sure of proper oat terminology..

    Just got your cookbook in the mail, loving the combination with the blog! PS to everything – the cookbook is even better!!

    • Nicole
      October 12, 2011 at 10:43 AM

      Hi, Emily,
      If you use agave, I would use less since it’s much sweeter than molasses. It won’t have the same depth of flavor, but it will still be good.
      Yes, you can try pulsing old fashioned oats in a food processor a bit. You can also try toasting old fashioned oats in a dry cast iron skillet (or on a pan in the oven) for a few minutes so that they’re not as “chewy.”
      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the cookbook. Thank you for telling me – it means a lot!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Jennica
    September 20, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Oh, I just made these to stuff in my suitcase for a trade show I am going to this weekend, and of course, I had to have a taste…Oh YUMMMM! You are a Genius! XOXO

    • Nicole
      September 21, 2011 at 9:40 PM

      Hi, Jennica,
      It’s so nice to hear from you! These granola bars are perfect for suitcase-stuffing and trade-show-attending! They’re on the go, just like you! So glad you enjoyed. Hope the trade show went swimmingly.
      xoxo Nicole

  • August 30, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    thanks so much for this simple but stunning muslie bar recipe – the kids love it and make a much better lunch box filler than the junkie expensive store bought ones
    I just have to not eat many – as they do pack a punch in the calourie counter – but hey, I just walk a little longer when I overindulge!

    • Nicole
      September 1, 2011 at 10:40 AM

      Hi, Cathy-Lee,
      So glad you’re able to make use of the recipe. It is great for lunch boxes, and great for an emergency on-the-go snack. They do have a lot of calories, but they also keep you satisfied for a long time. I figure it all evens out. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Emily
    August 21, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    Hi Nicole, this recipe sounds delicious, but I was wondering if you have any idea how many calories would this be? Please let me know, thank you!

    • Nicole
      August 21, 2011 at 9:09 PM

      Hi, Emily,
      I honestly have no idea how many calories are in this recipe, but I know that there are many recipe calorie calculators on the web (you just put in the recipe, and it calculates the calories). I can’t recommend one over another, but I would just google “recipe calorie calculator,” and feed the recipe into 2 separate calculators. If the results are mostly consistent, then I’d say you have a winner!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Darlene
    August 3, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    Cornish Pasties!! There’s a recipe I could use. I could have swore/sworn (I’m sure neither are grammatically correct) that I saw some kind of spinach recipe with a crust somewhere but now I can’t find it. Could be I’m delirious from all that pita bread I ate (and am still eating). But Cornish Pasties would be great. And I’m not referring to something an exotic dancer from Cornwall might wear. I’m talking meat, potatoes, onions, gravy, all in a neat little pie with our initials fork poked on the top.

    • Nicole
      August 3, 2011 at 7:22 AM

      Hi, Darlene,
      Cornish Pasties sound like little sticky things hens might wear to cover up their nipples. You know – for modesty’s sake.
      I have no excuse for my delirium. You can at least blame yours on the pita bread.
      xoxo Nicole

    • Darlene
      August 3, 2011 at 2:44 PM

      “Aaaw, chicken nipples!” = Something you say when you realize you used cinnamon instead of paprika in a recipe.

    • Nicole
      August 3, 2011 at 2:46 PM

      A word to the wise chicken: Even though ground cinnamon is very similar in color to ground cumin, they are very. different. spices. Just thought I’d throw that out there. Not that I’ve ever confused the two. Except that I have. And it was disgusting.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Anneke
    August 2, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    Just made these this morning — yum! Did the two pans, baked them about 15 minutes, seemed to work fine. What do you think about peanut butter? Or would you just use peanuts? Can you tell I’m in a hurry — no lengthy comment today!

    • Nicole
      August 2, 2011 at 4:10 PM

      Hi, Anneke,
      When you slow down, would you write your name out for me phonetically? In my brain, I ruin a perfectly good name.
      I think I like peanut butter. I would use it sparingly, though, since it will perform a similar function to the sweetened condensed milk. Since you’ve made this once, and know what it means to look and feel like, go by that. If it seems to sticky, add a bit more oats by the tablespoonful. This is much less chemistry, much more assembly-line work. This widget goes in here, that one goes in there. That sort of thing. So it makes perfect sense to modify and balance, guided by feel and look.
      Now go! You’re in a rush. :)
      xoxo Nicole

    • Anneke
      August 3, 2011 at 11:37 AM

      Hey Nicole — Thanks for the PB advice, I’ll try it next time. Anneke is a Dutch name, which leads to all sorts of problems (no offense to the Dutch!). It sounds the same as the Scandanavian Annika, I usually tell people it rhymes with Monica. It is a conversation starter, for sure! I hate to wear nametags, or use my name in restaurants, because it gets mangled all the time. Thanks for asking — will you be able to switch over from however you have been saying it? Have a great day! Anneke

    • Nicole
      August 3, 2011 at 11:39 AM

      I was so close, Anneke!
      Instead of Monica, in my pea brain it rhymed with … well, with Monikee.
      It has been replaced in my brain, proper. Thanks. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • August 2, 2011 at 12:32 AM

    P.S. My version just came out of the oven. What’s that you say about letting them cool completely? Oh, that’s just before storing them. Gotcha. I ended up using an additional baking dish, and my granola bars were not as thick, and perhaps not as well-stuck together (we’ll see how they are when they cool). The addition of tiny chocolate chips may help with the stickiness factor (I omitted the cocoa powder and molasses.) I’m glad I used dried cherries and cranberries for tartness to counteract the sweetness. There is definitely sweetness, though. I may have to freeze most of them, as they are potent. Thanks for this recipe!

    • Nicole
      August 2, 2011 at 9:53 AM

      Glad you enjoyed them, Farida! It’s a really flexible recipe.
      xoxo Nicole

  • August 1, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    Dear Nichole,
    This comment is so long I have to break it up by sections.

    1. I appreciate the personal details of your life. I can see why your husband may think some are too personal, but that can be easily remedied: just run things by the people in question first. Oh, except for the meanie at summer camp. That meanie who laughed at your daughter doesn’t get a say in the matter.

    2. I am sending my husband out for sweetened, condensed milk, so I can make these granola bars tonight. Tonight!

    3. Did I mention that even though the trial 3 month gluten-free diet is up, my daughter still prefers gf food most of the time? I am emphatic about her not telling people that she’s “mostly” gf because that dilutes the public perspective for people who HAVE to be gf and can’t have “just a little bit of gluten.” Gluten is not creamer.

    4. I’m with Wendy, Sarah D, et al. Bring on the coconut.

    5. Your daughter’s Blankie reminds me of my daughter’s Pillow Blanket. I made it from a twin-sheet set that I slept upon in college, grad school, and beyond. I gave her the pillowcase when we realized she needed a pillow to get to sleep, and figured that a blanket that smelled kinda like me would be handy, too. Little did I realize that the various beautiful blankets she received throughout her babyhood would all be eschewed for the beloved Pillow Blanket.

    6. Have you ever read Owen, by Kevin Henkes? In light of blankies and Pillow Blankets, I think you’ll appreciate it.


    • Nicole
      August 2, 2011 at 9:52 AM

      Hi, Farida,
      1. Oh, I never post kid things (like a picture of blankie) without securing kid permission first (except for the meanie — no rights for the meanie). My husband — well, he’s another story. There just simply isn’t much to tell, so when I post about him, it is usually about how he wears things so close to the vest! Honestly, with all the bloggers out there who tell every detail of their lives, showing what they ate for breakfast and how they spent every minute of their lives … oh god. But people read it! I don’t get that. Not one bit.
      3. “Gluten is not a creamer” is both undeniably true and classic. Just a splash of gluten, thanks. I’m trying to cut down.
      5. Pillow Blanket sounds a lot like my little one’s Blankie Grey. The reason her blankie is a shirt of mine is that she used to shove her fist under my shirtsleeve & shove it in her own face when I was rocking her to sleep, so when she started crying when I put her down in her crib, I just slipped out of the shirt, and she was silent. Problem solved. 5 years later, we’re right back where we started from. :)
      6. Nope. Never read it. Will check it out.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Jayne Hickey
    August 1, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    There’s more Nicole, Bo-Bo had a companion, Lello Pillow. Sort of like “rabbit” and “bear”, it was, you guessed it, a little yellow pillow. True story. Bo-Bo got left in a truck stop bathroom in Illinois over 4th of July one year – thank god I had charged my gas and had a receipt so I could call once we got to Milwaukee – where we were headed when we left Bo-Bo in the John – and I paid to have it Fed Ex’d! I’m no fool – well worth the funds, I wasn’t going to have my vacation ruined by Bo-Bo or lack there of! My sister on the other hand had B and B went with her when she got married and slept wadded up under the sheets at the foot of the bed, probably til she had her own child! I’ll check when I’m there next week, might still be there! Security is good, blankets that smell like butts are good – when you’re a kid and need a little something to get you through all that life throws at you. Maybe if I had a Blanket, I’d be ready to tackle all that the world keeps throwing at me! Course smelling like butt wouldn’t work for me, now, but lavender would be nice and calming.
    Better Batter has shipped but hasn’t arrived yet. I leave Friday for vacation so I really hope it shows up before then! I’m ready to bake like a…..baker?….when I get home! School starts in Maine August 31st and yes, it will be toasty in the schools. Some have a/c in parts but for the most part not –
    Okay, I feel like I could talk all day with you but this is an open forum so I’ll wrap it up!

  • Ashley
    August 1, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    Tell me about it Nicole!
    I have Celiac but no one else in my family does so growing up my mom always said it was too expensive to cook for the whole family and made special dishes that nobody else could eat but me and she doesn’t know how to cook for one so I would have to eat it over and over, Ugh! and not only that she sorta gave me a complex and I felt indebted and guilty that my food was so expensive until I went to college started buying and cooking my own food and figured out I was spending less than most other people my age because I cook from scrath and like to sniff out deals, I’m Thrifty okay :) Now thanks to your amazing Cookbook and Blog I’ve actually made meals the whole family will eat when I go home without my dad and brother complaining that it tastes different and instead they ask for second helpings. I’m Totally turning on the oven for some yummy granola bars!

    P.s. I slept with my blanky until I went away to college 18 Years! But I liked wthe smell better when my blanky had just been washed not the other way around Eew…

    • Nicole
      August 1, 2011 at 6:21 PM

      Hi, Ashley,
      You poor thing! I know what it’s like to be made to feel guilty for something that is neither your fault, nor your responsibility as a child. And it’s one of the cruelest things you can do to another person. It can take years of therapy (well, in my case!) to finally understand that you don’t owe your parents a thing for raising you. My children owe me nothing, except the basic respect that every person owes every other. It sounds like you really have found a home here at Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, and I couldn’t be happier that you found the book and the site. Stick around. There’s plenty more where the book and blog came from. :)
      A stinky blankie is so gross. Ew indeed! Poor Blankie Grey. At least he’s clean now (for the moment). Glad to know you prefer a clean blankie.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Jennica
    August 1, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    Ok really…I think husbands need to get lives if they think what we all write is too personal, we are Moms, it’s what we do! ;) No offense, Nicole’s Hubby, we all think you are awesome too for actually caring enough to read this stuff! The blankie cracks me up, and here’s why…my daughter, now 8, has Puppers. He is one of those oversized TY dogs, who at one time sold at the store for $5, and now sells on Amazon for like $100. Anyway, I digress, he STINKS! I can’t stand to be around him. This is what 5+ years of little girl drool does to a stuftie, and it NEVER comes out in the wash! I try, really, I do. I have soaked it, I have used that Oxy-clean stuff, used Tide, All, Arm and Hammer, you name it…I still think that dog stinks! My daughter, on the other hand, LOVES the way it smells, and when I wash it, gets upset with me! The only time I am allowed to wash it with her blessing is when something is spilled on the poor thing. I can’t tell you how many times I have performed surgery on it. It has had open heart, open brain, it’s ear is practically in need of a prosthetic…you get the idea. So, I can relate to Blankie in my overshare here.
    Oh, and on a Blog note…I cannot WAIT to try these granola bars! I love granola, and miss it so and these bars look absolutely amazing! My daughter will love them in school lunches too. Ugh! Have to start thinking about that again on the 22nd (she’s not GF though, so that’s a little easier).


    • Nicole
      August 1, 2011 at 1:07 PM

      Hi, Jennica,
      LOL (for real – I don’t mess around with LOLing all over the place) about Puppers. I see that your daughter is about as creative with naming stuffed pets as my children are. They have had a stuffed bear named “Bear,” a stuffed rabbit named (you guessed it) “Rabbit.” And I love how you talk about “him” as an actual person. It sounds like he’s a stinky person at that. The drool and stink clearly live deep inside Puppers, in that place that you’ll never reach, no matter how hard you try. My brain is buzzing, trying to come up with a novel cleaning idea, but it’s all in vain. Puppers is a stinker. I’m suddenly thrilled that Blankie is but a few threads of nylon. He comes out of the washing machine smelling (to me) like heaven (to my little one like “dirt” — actually dirt would smell better).
      About the granola bars, if you are telling me that you make GF food for some, and non-GF food for others, I need a nap just thinking about it. If you eat in my house, you eat GF. Full stop! Good thing these granola bars are loved equally by all. Even Puppers.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Lisa Staaf
    August 1, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    Could these be put in a 9×13 so they are thinner? It seems in this house that I can make healthier versions of what we see in the stores, but they have to “look” similar for anyone to try.

    My daughter’s blankie is 24 years old now. She lives about 2 hours north of me and refuses to wash it at the laundromat so when she comes home, blankie comes with and gets a special wash at Mom’s house. Both of my daughters would say the same thing about the smell… it was always better before the blankie had a bath than after it was cleaned up!


    • Nicole
      August 1, 2011 at 12:32 PM

      Hi, Lisa,
      Absolutely yes! Good question. They would work well in a 9 inch by 13 inch pan. Just cut the baking time quite a bit, maybe even in half. Better yet, if you have two square pans, split the mixture between those. The bars will cook more evenly in smaller pans.
      Crazy about your daughter’s blankie! So this is turning into a really inspirational post for my now 5 year old daughter to read when she gets older, rather than a source of why-did-I-tell-Mom-yes-she-could-post-this humiliation! Love it.
      xoxo Nicole

  • August 1, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    Note: the *granola bar jig* is something between the roger rabbit…and the Hustle. Enjoy.

  • August 1, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Ah!!!!!! I’ve been HUNTING for a relatively simple granola bar recipe and NOW I’ve GOT IT!!!!!! Thank you soooooooooo much for posting this! I can’t WAIT to try it! *dances the granola bar jig*

  • Jayne Hickey
    August 1, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    I so love that your daughter’s blanket was once your shirt. My son had his blanket, which he called Bo-Bo for so long it was nothing but strings when he retired it. He too claimed it smelled bad when I washed it. I think the scent is called, familiarity, safeness,home.
    I love your Blog and think it’s the perfect balance of personal and informational. I love hearing about your life because it makes you human and granola bars – well, giddy up!
    Cannot wait to give these a try – would be nice to stop buying $4 gf granola bars for snack.
    Hope the pool is using their test strips and not slacking off now that summer is coming to a sad close – August 1, the kids actually go back to school THIS month!


    • Nicole
      August 1, 2011 at 12:25 PM

      Hi, Jayne,
      It’s always lovely to hear from you.
      So funny that your son’s Bo-Bo (by the way, I’m laughing like a mental patient (and I say that with L-O-V-E) at the name) was nothing but threads. Does he still have the threads? My daughter’s blankie is called “Blankie Grey.” At some point, there was another red flat Elmo blankie, but it long since has gone the way of the dodo. Blankie Grey molts threads from time to time. He’s a pair of nylons at this point! I know you’re right, that it smells like safe home to them, but to us it just smelled like someone’s rear end (and I’m being kind).
      Thanks for the feedback about personal/information balance. Where else can I post a picture of Blankie Grey floating in the breeze (keeping in mind that I am anti-Facebook)? ;)
      I can’t believe that school begins in Aug. Isn’t it hot in school then? We have no air conditioning in most schools in the States. It’s so … outdated. And it’s still hot when we get started up, too. It’s always global warming type hot these days.
      I hope you got your Better Batter shipment, Jayne, and that you’re getting ready to bake bake bake!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Sarah D
    August 1, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    My kids would love these! I’m thinking I need to pick up some dried fruit, coconut and definitely use the cocoa powder. Perhaps it also needs chocolate drizzle? Can you tell I love chocolate? Give me some the fairly healthy and I’ll cover it in chocolate and take away much of the nutritional value. :)

    • Nicole
      August 1, 2011 at 11:45 AM

      Hi, Sarah,
      The cocoa powder gives the bars a really nice, subtle flavor. A chocolate drizzle would be just-what-the-doctor-ordered. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • HI! Would you be a “guest” writer for our new blog? We would love to have something great from you on there!

  • Wendy
    August 1, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    Loving it. Totally seeing this with almonds, cranberries, and a little coconut. Would cocunut work?

    • Nicole
      August 1, 2011 at 11:19 AM

      Hi, Wendy,
      Oh my goodness would it ever! Coconut would be great with this. My very wrong husband doesn’t like coconut. But as you can see from the previous sentence, he is so very wrong. You are so very right.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Anneke
    August 1, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    Now, this is exciting! I hate (really, really hate) buying expensive granola bars for the lunch boxes. I will take the leap into granola bar cooking with this!
    BTW, I compost without worms, very successfully. Well, I can’t guarantee that there aren’t worms in my compost, but I don’t put them there. I have a very simple 3×3 foot concrete block structure (some blocks are turned on their sides for airflow) and we just throw everything in there (no meat, no corn cobs, not too much yard waste). After that, I ignore it. My husband might possibly turn it once in awhile, I’m not sure, then he shovels the good stuff onto the garden once a year. easy peasy! You can do it, too! Anneke

    • Nicole
      August 1, 2011 at 11:03 AM

      Hi, Anneke,
      I know. It is exciting. Homemade easy granola bars are a huge cost saver. These have become a staple in my house speedy quick.
      See – you talked about composting like everyone talks about composting: painting with a broad brush. I know that there is more information necessary. No meat, no corn cobs, not too much yard waste. What is “too much”? What else is “no”? Where do I get the container? What do I do with the stuff in there when it starts to get cold? See what I mean? Confusing!
      xoxo Nicole

    • Anneke
      August 1, 2011 at 12:13 PM

      Okay, here is more detail. I bought enough of the gray rectangle cement blocks to do about 3×3. I could count them, but that would require going outside in the rain. I know people who have used those large wooden pallets, too. Find a flat spot in a back corner, maybe near the garage, not so far from the house that you won’t walk out there to dump, but not too close either, as bees, bugs and small animals like to visit. Set up the blocks in a square, turning at least one or two on each layer so the holes face out for air circulation. Make one side accessible and easy to remove the block so you can dig it out later.
      Really, the only other no is animal waste. Honest. We put in coffee filters, tea bags, egg shells, all melon rinds, everything. If it looks biggish, cut it up (like the melon rinds), but it really will break down. I wouldn’t lie to you! As for the yard waste, I don’t put in grass clippings, sticks or leaves (because my dad said so) but I do put in weeds that I pull from around the yard, probably not more than about a 5-gal bucket full at any one time.
      I put compost out all winter (this is MN, it gets cold), I think my husband, who is the one who slogs out there in the winter, might pull some snow off the top to make space, but it will all just sit there in the cold. Underneath it is working hard! I think he tends to empty it and put it on the garden in the fall, so there is more room for the winter, because it does break down more slowly. Any more questions, just ask! Anneke

    • Nicole
      August 1, 2011 at 1:11 PM

      Hi, Anneke,
      Thank you so much for the more specific information. I’m having some trouble imagining what you have created. It’s just a space in the ground, surrounded by cinder blocks? No container beyond that? That never even occurred to me! I had figured I would have to get a big drum, turn it, blah blah blah. Hmmmm… now you have me really thinking. Thanks!
      xoxo Nicole

    • Anneke
      August 1, 2011 at 3:36 PM

      If I can figure out how (and remember to do it!), I will post a picture on Facebook.

    • Nicole
      August 1, 2011 at 4:00 PM

      Thanks, Anneke! It’s easy to post a picture on Facebook. You’ll see. :)
      xoxo Nicole

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