Thursday, December 1, 2011

Quick and easy harvest granola bars

I have another favorite granola bar recipe, nice and chewy with cranberries or whatever I decide at the time.  They're great granola bars and I do still love them.  But I think they may have been eclipsed on the basis of speed alone.  These nifty little bars come together in practically no time at all.  And they have the added benefit of being gluten free if you are careful to choose the GF certified oatmeal.  They got huge thumbs up from R and thumbs up from two school friends and their mom who happened to be available for testing at after school pickup.  And since the mom said she didn't normally like granola bars much, her surprised look of approval was gratifying.  ☺  I have orders to include these in the backpack for snack time at school.  I will happily do so as there is not a single store bought granola bar I have found that is completely okay for R to have.  I'll bet daddy will love these too.  One tip about the "glue" that holds them together.  The longer you cook it, the firmer the bars will end up being.  So you can tailor that to your liking.  I left mine on low while I was measuring out some of the dry ingredients so mine are pretty firm and chewy.  They will mellow by tomorrow, but if you want them softer, cook for less time.  You can also store them in the fridge to make them more firm, or in a jar on the counter to be a little softer.  (Oh, fair warning, Sunsweet brand adds high fructose corn syrup to all its dried fruits - BOO, HISS.  Phooey on them.  Get a different brand like Mariani (regular corn syrup) or even better - something like Kirkland brand (regular sugar).)

Harvest Berry Granola Bars
makes an 8x8 pan full

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
¼ cup raw or sprouted (crispy) pumpkin seeds
¼ cup raw or crispy sunflower seeds
1 tbsp golden flaxseed meal
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 cup unsweetened puffed millet cereal
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried blueberries
¼ cup creamy style almond butter
¼ cup honey
¼ cup muscovado sugar (or brown sugar)
¾ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp sea salt

Lightly oil an 8" baking dish and preheat oven to 350ºF.

Spread oats, pumpkin seeds (if raw), sunflower seeds (if raw), and sesame seeds on a rimmed cookie sheet and toast until lightly browned and fragrant, about 8-10 minutes.  (If your pumpkin and sunflower seeds are already soaked and dried or "sprouted", you don't have to toast them and will retain more nutrition if you don't.)  Combine the toasted mixture with the seeds, dried berries and cereal in a bowl.

Mix together the almond butter, honey, sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium saucepan.  Heat over low to medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is blended and slightly bubbly, about 2-5 minutes.  The more you cook it, the harder the finished bars will be.  (It's like making candy.)

 Pour all the dry ingredients into the saucepan and mix with a wooden spoon until evenly coated.  Scrape into the prepared pan and firmly press down with oiled hands.  Refrigerate until firm, 20-30 minutes.  Cut into bars and store.

Adapted from In Praise of Leftovers

1 comment:

  1. These are gorgeous granola bars. Sometimes they just don't look tempting, but yours sound and look delicious!


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