Foodie Blogroll

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chewy Granola Bars - Make them your way!

Granola bars are an easy snack and my husband likes to grab one for his drive to work in the morning. It is easy enough to pick up some pre-made granola bars of many flavors and finishes. The nice thing about making your own is...again like I said on making your own granola you can control what goes into them. I use as much organic products as I can...organic sugar, raw local organic sugar, my own homemade vanilla, the oats and spices are as well. I actually like my grandma's granola over any store bought and have not purchased pre-made granola in quite some time now.



As for granola bars I like them chewy rather than hard and crunchy, but I like to toast the ingredients first...







...and that is the only time they will be in the oven. Toast in a med hot oven around 325 degrees F until lightly golden be careful not to burn it. The nuts were done separately...just because it worked better that way.

This is the first recipe that I tried:

adapted from - Joyful Abode

•2 cups oats
•3/4 cup wheat germ
•3/4 cup sunflower seeds
•1/4 cup sliced almonds
•1 cup puffed rice
•2/3 cup brown sugar
•1/2 cup honey
•4 tablespoons butter
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1/2 teaspoon sea salt
•4 oz dried cranberries




Toast the dry ingredients except sugar and dried fruit. After toasted place in a large bowl, add the dried fruit. I didn't add too much fruit because my daughter doesn't like most dried fruits...so I really skimped on it in this batch.



In a sauce pan heat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar and bring to a simmer...and the brown sugar is dissolved...






Be sure to stir constantly...



...you don't want to get it too thick...you want nice chewy bars.

Meanwhile, prepare a glass baking dish for your granola by lining it with waxed paper lightly sprayed with a nonstick spray. I used a 9x9 and the bars were a little thicker, use the size that will make the bars the size you want.






Mix everything really well... add the fruit at this time, this is what holds the bars together.





Press the mix into the prepared pan




Fold the wax paper over the top and keep pressing...push down good, they held together really good. Let the bars cool before cutting them.








I let them rest all night because I made them late at night, and that was a mistake. The paper stuck some to the bottom and I had to painstakingly peel it off. These came out pretty large.








I wrapped them individually so he could take them with him. They turned out pretty good, but they were too sweet for me. It was good to make them without the high fructose corn syrup, and were pretty much all organic though.


I made another batch and changed it up bit so it wouldn't be as sweet for me... and they were chai spice flavored!!





I added some:

Michigan dried cherries
coconut
pumpkin seeds
sesame seeds
chopped almonds along with the sunflower seeds
chai spice
I used barely a half cup brown sugar (didn't pack it) used less butter and add a little coconut oil to make up for it you could use canola or any oil you like.

I will add the chai spice mix recipe on an up and coming post soon!




It didn't hold together quite as well as the first ones, but I liked it a lot better!!







all you have to do is just be careful when you cut them...








What would you add to granola bars? Chocolate?


This has been add to:

Sweet as Sugar Cookies'
Sweets for a Saturday link-up!

Bizzy B. Bakes, Bake with Bizzy




Over the Fourth of July weekend we went out to a friends house that had a new born horse or I should say colt...








...she was just 4 days old, and full of personality...a real spite-fire!


her mane was unbelievably soft, and she was so curious about everything! So cute!








We have had some beautiful sunsets with the afternoon clouds that come in.







...it make for a very pleasant evening, with a nice cool breeze...






...and no hot dogs for us thank you very much (not a hot dog fan here)...we had the best pork BBQ on a hot dog bun! Yum!