Sunday, 28 October 2012

Granola Bars

It is important to have things to look forward to in life. I find that more and more, these things that I look forward to are most often related to what I am going to eat. I am hoping that it is not because the rest of my life is not exciting enough... but because eating delicious food is LIKE THE BEST THING EVER. It may seem quite simple, but I actually get really excited about granola bars. Like a lot! Like small children get excited about candy, bikes, swingsets and petting zoos. Oh wait... I also get very excited about all of these things... but granola bars are right up there!

Naturally, with my profound love for the simple yet oh so satisfying granola bar, I have always wanted to try my hand at making my own. I saw a recipe for homemade granola bars from one of my favorite food blogs: Spoon Fork Bacon and knew I had to try! 
The result: delectably crunchy-chewy granola goodness that makes me even MORE excited for snack time! How can you not get excited when the words "snack time" are mentioned?!
Call me crazy, whateva. I'm the one with the granola bars.

Granola Bars
This recipe is super adaptable and you can add in or take away ingredients to make them the way you like. In this granola bar scenario, the star players are Almonds and Cranberries.
Recipe adapted from here
*NOTE* Along with making my own little changes here and there, I halved the original recipe. This made the putting-it-in-the-pan part a tad awkward, but it still worked out. I am giving the quantities for half the recipe, as this is what I have tried. But obviously you could easily double it, and fill the pan!

  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 coconut oil, sunflower oil or olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
Mix Ins! (This is the (fun) part where you can choose the star of your granola show. You can put in whatever you like or have on hand, as long as it totals to be 1 cup. Here is what I did:)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds

Okay! Let's make granola bars. Start by preheating your oven to 350 (325 for hot ovens) and line a rimmed baking tray device with parchment. Lightly grease the parchment so your granola does not stick.
In a bowl, combine the oats, wheat germ, flax and chia seeds if using.
In a small saucepan, stir to combine the syrup, oil, honey and brown sugar over medium low heat, just until everything comes together and the sugar dissolves. Add a small pinch of salt.
To the bowl with the oats, add the syrup along with your mix-ins.
Pour out your mixture into your prepared pan, spreading it out to your desired thickness. 
Because I was making a small batch, my granola did not spread to all the edges of the pan. This is okay, just firmly pack the granola together in the best bar shape you can make :)
Pop it in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until it is toasty golden brown on the top.
Let the granola bars cool before you cut into them, as they need time to set. Once cooled, cut into bars and enjoy!

PS a crumbled up granola bar on top of fresh fruit and yogurt is an excellent, excellent idea.

<3 Lari

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