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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Easy Peasy Granola Bars


Today I began the "Great Magazine Purge."

Please tell me that I'm not the only one who has stacks of magazines. Like, stackkkkkks.



This is one stack. Ignore that Women's Health Magazine. Apparently reading the article on how to get sexy abs and butt is not the same as doing the work.

Whatever.

I hate to part with them though. You never know when you're going to need a recipe and it's waiting for you, expectantly, in one of the magazines. And when you go to get that magazine, you discover that you've given that magazine away and now you are stuck. Sure, the recipe is somewhere online, but there's something about having the printed, original in front of you.


One of the magazines that I have stacks of is Eating Well. It's one of my favorite cooking magazines. God bless my aunt who gives me a subscription every Christmas. I {HEART} it. As I was slowly going the January/February 2010 Eating Well magazine, these granola bars stood out to me. I had just picked up a bag of gluten free rolled oats so that I could make my brother some granola bars. This recipe just happens to use old fashioned oats. I looked at the clock to see if I had enough time to make them, I looked at the mess I had made, and I suddenly decided it would be more fun to make these granola bars. And so I trotted downstairs to the kitchen to make a batch.



They were easy to make. Ridiculously easy. Like, so easy that it's crazy to buy pre-made granola bars any more. Plus, these taste so much better, I know exactly what's in them, and they can easily be adapted to gluten free diets. I lightly adjusted the recipe in the magazine. Change up the liquid sugar, the nuts, the dried fruit, and the extract if you want. I bet maple and pecans would be great. Or macadamia, agave, and coconut would be delicious too.

For the record, my coworker ate one of the bars that I had made and then ate the one he packed for a snack, and he said (with a very full mouth), "Yourth are tho muh bettuh." Translation: these granola bars are awesomelicious.


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Easy Peasy Granola Bars
recipe adapted from Eating Well

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (or gluten free oats)
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup unsweetened puffed cereal (rice, wheat, millet, kamut, etc.)
1 cup dried fruit (I did 1/3 currants, golden raisins, and cranberries)
1/4 cup creamy almond butter
1/4 cup organic raw cane sugar (or brown sugar, white sugar, etc)
1/4 cup agave (or honey, brown rice syrup, maple, etc.)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch-square pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Spread oats, almonds, and sunflower seeds on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the oats are lightly toasted and the nuts are fragrant, shaking the pan halfway through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add cereal, currants, cranberries, and raisins; toss to combine.

Combine almond butter, sugar, agave, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low, stirring frequently, until the mixture bubbles lightly, 2 to 5 minutes.

Immediately pour the almond butter mixture over the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon or spatula until no dry spots remain. Transfer to the prepared pan. Lightly coat a small square of foil with cooking spray and use it to press the mixture down firmly to make an even layer. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes; cut into 12 bars.


Cut into 12 bars: 4 Weight Watchers Points Plus
Cut into 16 bars: 3 Weight Watchers Points Plus

4 comments:

  1. I'm intrigued by these bars....they set in the refrigerator??? Going to have to try them, maybe this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  2. For reals! The agave and sugar make a bit of syrup that binds everything together. You can store them in the fridge or at room temperature, which is how I'm storing mine. They have the texture of a Quaker granola bar. Make sure to use a sharp knife to cut them, not a serrated knife. A serrated knife will hack the nuts and fruit and make for unsightly bars. Trust me on that one :-D

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ok, so I made these on Saturday. Straight from the time in the fridge I was all jazz hands and happy face.

    But then after they had time to sit in a covered container, they started getting soft. I mean really soft...and kind of moist. Or more moist than they were on Saturday. I tried uncovering the container but that didn't help either.

    So now I don't have jazz hands or happy face because I can't keep the bars firm and not soggy...but I do have nearly an entire jar of almond butter calling my name.

    PS, hope you are feeling better soon.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What?? NOOOOOO!! I made mine again and they turned out fine. Wondering if the liquid mixture didn't cook long enough? Booo-hooo. I'll have to make some and drop them off to restore the happy face.

    ReplyDelete

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