Homemade Granola Bars

Friday, March 18, 2011

Let me start by saying, YUM! I've tried making homemade granola before without much luck. Seems like the stuff always gets burned before the recommended cook time is up or something else goes wrong.

I saw a picture on Inspired Chunky Mama's blog recently of a granola bar recipe she'd made, and it got me started thinking about trying the homemade granola bar again. I'm not much of a breakfast person; I usually don't have any appetite whatsoever for the first couple of hours of my day (and then, of course, when my appetite does finally show up I am STARVING). Those that know me know that I have a bit of an issue with bananas (well, not so much with the fruit itself, but rather the distance it has to travel to show up on your kitchen counters at home - over 1500 miles if they came in a straight line from South America). Yes, I'm a hypocrite: I enjoy chocolate from time to time and coffee regularly. I suppose I make my choices. I decided not to follow that recipe (though it looked delightful).

I went by Eats and picked up a few ingredients I thought would be good: some very expensive organic dried blueberries, some dried apple rings, raw slivered almonds, and flaxseed.

I came home and found this recipe that seemed to be a pretty good match for what I had picked up and had on hand. I toasted the oats and nuts - I used a mix of finely diced walnuts and pecan pieces that I had in the pantry for the 1 cup of nuts, and added the 1/4 c. slivered almonds in to toast also. While those were toasting I mixed up 1/2 cup of local honey, a few dashes of cinnamon, and the egg. On the side I chopped up the dried apple rings and combined them with the scant 1/8 cup of (did I mention, very expensive?!) dried blueberries.

Once I pulled out the oats and nuts, I mixed that along with the dried fruit into the honey mix, and threw in a tablespoon or two of the flaxseeds. After I mixed it all together it didn't seem to be very sweet, so I added a small amount of Splenda (maybe 1 or 2 teaspoons). Note that I did NOT include the 1/2 c. of brown sugar that the recipe calls for. I realized then that all that sweet might need a bit of salty (only because I was using UNSALTED nuts - if you use salted nuts I would not add any salt), so I threw in a few pinches of kosher salt. I laid a sheet of parchment paper in the cookie sheet and pressed the mix in as evenly as I could.

As I mentioned before, I have a tendency to wind up with burnt granola, so I set my timer for a :15 cook time (instead of the prescribed :20); sure enough when I checked on it at the :15 mark it was ready to come out. I let it cool and it cut up perfectly into beautiful granola bars. As I was cutting it up, there was of course one piece that just didn't quite make the cut (it crumbled a *tiny* bit), so I had to eat it on the spot. So good - and really very easy!!


LMichelle said...

These look really good! Have you tried the Splenda brown sugar yet? I use it in my oatmeal and use a lot less of that than real brown sugar - about half a tablespoon compared to the two or more tablespoons of real brown sugar I used to use. (I have a sweet tooth....) Anyway, that would probably be quite tasty in those granola bars!

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