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Granola bars are great right?  I mean, they have oats in them so they MUST be good for us!

Okay, maybe not so much.

I have always had a love-hate relationship with granola bars.  Whether putting them in a lunchbox, or packing them for a hike or post-run snack, they seemed like a more virtuous choice than cookies or—gasp—a candy bar, but the reality is, most commercial granola bars are really just dessert.  Not always a very good one either.

Now for the good news!  Granola bars are uber-simple to make (especially if you have a stand-mixer), they store well (with NO preservatives!), and there is an infinite variety of things that you can hide in—oops!—I mean add to them to boost their nutritional value!

I make these, and then wrap them individually in wax paper* for lunches, snacks, breakfast—hey, why not!  There’s oats in ‘em, so wash one down with milk and you’re good to go!

Hmm, maybe you shouldn’t take my word on that one.  I’m the girl who thinks drinking a glass of milk with chocolate cake qualifies that as breakfast too.

Have a beautiful day, and thanks for coming to see me!  If you make these, let me know what things you add to them.  I make these a lot, and I’m always wanting to change them up a bit.

Enjoy!
Lorrie

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Home-Made Granola Bars
adapted from a recipe by Jackie Sappington at the Country Cat Dinner House and Bar

4 ½ C rolled oats
¾ C whole-wheat pastry flour
2 T wheat germ
2 T flax seed meal
1/3 C unsweetened dried shredded coconut
1/3 C packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
¾ C unsalted butter
1/3 cup almond butter
1/3 C brown rice syrup
1/3 C honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
½  C raisins
½ C chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with a piece of buttered parchment paper, leaving enough overlap to easily pick the sheet up when you’re ready to slice the bars.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the oats, flour, sugar, soda, salt (if using), wheat germ, flax seed meal, and coconut.
Add in the butter, almond butter, rice syrup, honey, and vanilla, and mix until all the ingredients are well-blended.  Add the raisins and chocolate chips. Okay, now add more chocolate chips because you know you want to.

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Press the mixture evenly onto the cookie sheet, forming a sort of rectangle about ¾ of an inch thick, and then bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Let them cool for around 10 minutes or so, then cut them into whatever size bars you like.  You can wrap them individually when they’re completely cool, or just store them in an airtight container for a week.  I wrap them each, then store them in a larger container in the freezer.  If I forget that they are in there (yeah, like that’s gonna happen) they’ll keep for 3 months.

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*I like to use wax paper for disposable wrapping instead of plastic wrap because it breaks down quickly in the landfill.

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