I'm hooked on granola bars. Anything in bar form, really. Bar cookies and cheesecakes are particular favorites of mine. But granola bars - oh, I could eat them like candy. Which is bad. Very bad. Because many of the ones you buy at the store are full of sugar and low in fiber, which goes against the whole draw of granola bars in general; they should be energy food! Good for your body, good for your mind. Now, there are a few brands out there which are excellent sources of protein, fiber, and good-for-you fats: Larabar, Trio, and Kashi are good choices. But man are they expensive! So this weekend, when I was rummaging around trying to pack my lunches for the week, I had a brilliant idea: why not make my own?
Now, I have made granola bars before from my favorite cookbook back in Michigan and they were delicious - but I didn't have that recipe and I only had a limited amount of ingredients. Why? Because I depend on the kindness of others to take me shopping since I don't have a car and due to this crazy-mad grad program, none of us have had any time for a leisurely trip to the supermarket. Not to worry - I think the best creations come from the stuff you have on hand. There is a certain security in knowing you can make something out of nothing.
After typing "granola bars" into Google, I clicked on the first link I found which turned out to be perfect for me - I had almost everything. I got the recipe here but made a few modifications which I HIGHLY suggest. They take these bars to the next level of yum.
What you need:
What You Do:
Tips from the Chef:
- When doing #2 above, pour the oil into the batter first, then the honey - this makes the honey super easy to pour out and doesn't leave you with a sticky mess.
- When performing #3 above, coat your hands with Pam spray or butter - this will assure the batter doesn't stick to you!
- I let the bars cook about 40 minutes because I wanted them to be a little more golden brown.
- Allow these to cool completely before storage or they will get soggy. Wrap individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place into a plastic freezer bag - now you're all set to go! A quick and healthy snack you can just grab and head out the door with. And it feels so good knowing exactly what you put in them and how good they are for you, right?
- Other tasty combos might be chocolate - with anything :) Cranberries and white chocolate, chopped dates or apricots, toasted nuts, or coconut. Whatever you like. You might add a bit of rosewater to give an extra something special if you decide on the cardamon and honey profile.
Like I said, I am completely hooked on granola bars. And now that I've found an awesome recipe, I intend to play with the multitude of flavor profiles at my disposal.
Got any favs? Send them my way!