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Granola Bars

PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:59 am
by tjx
Homemade Granola Bars
By Denise Garoutte

2½ cups rolled oats (old-fashioned or instant)
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup slivered almonds
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 cup raisins
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

While your oven is preheating to 300°F, spread the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, wheat germ and almonds evenly on a 9" x 12" baking sheet. Bake these dry ingredients for 20 minutes, stirring them occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat the butter (or margarine), brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan, allowing the brew to simmer until the oat mixture is ready to come out of the oven. (If you or yours like really crispy granola, bake the dry ingredients an additional few minutes.) As soon as the oat mixture is out, add the raisins, stirring them into the other ingredients.
Now remove the honey from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, then pour the hot liquid over the oat mixture and stir until all the dry ingredients are coated.
Next, press the granola firmly into the bottom of a greased 8" x 8" pan and place it in the still-warm oven to bake (at the same 300°F as before) for 20 minutes. (An 8" x 8" pan makes bars about an inch thick; if you want thinner bars, use a slightly larger pan.)
When you remove the granola from the oven, allow it to cool only slightly before cutting it into squares, but wait until it's completely cool before removing the bars from the pan.

While the following suggestions for altering the basic granola recipe certainly aren't the only acceptable modifications, at least they've all been tried and proven delicious.
Add diced figs, dates, apples, apricots or other dried fruit when you stir in the raisins.
Add 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter to the honey mixture. Substitute a cup of rolled wheat or rye for one of the 2-1/2 cups of oats.
Add 1/2 cup poppy seeds, soy grits, seven-grain cereal or bran to the oat mixture.
Use carob chips or peanuts (or your favorite nut) in the dry ingredients, either in addition to or in place of the almonds. Use a little molasses in place of part of the honey.
You can also experiment with various other flavorings. For instance, try adding cinnamon with diced dried apples, or a little shredded orange peel with orange juice (but be careful to use no more than half a cup of juice, since too much liquid will make the bars fall apart).

The cost of making these nutrition- and flavor-packed granola bars is less than half that of their store-bought counterparts. But what I like even better than their low cost and high food value is that they're truly delicious — as any snack food (nutritious or otherwise) must be in order to succeed.


PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:01 am
by tjx
These are good snacks for traveling. Nice to make and freeze ahead.

Our kids liked them when they were little, so they must not be too bad! :thumbsup: