Saturday, February 08, 2014

Homemade Granola Bars

I must be on a healthy granola kick!! Here's another great recipe I found on the web. Oh so yum!
    

homemadegranolabar1I wanted to make a hearty and healthy snack that was easy to make.  I decided on granola bars because they are healthy and portable.  I read tons of recipes but couldn’t find one that had ingredients that I liked until I stumbled upon Ina Garten‘s recipe.  I substituted and cut out a few ingredients but overall, all the ingredients were natural.  I liked that Ina’s recipe calls for honey instead of molasses.  These granola bars were so addictive!  I ate one for breakfast everyday for a week and had to start giving them away to some friends because I was in danger of eating the entire pan by myself.  They were perfectly chewy.  They didn’t have a distinct flavor like cranberry or apricot but I was ok with that.  On a side note, you really have to let the granola bars sit for 2 – 3 hours after they bake for the granola bars to come together.  If you don’t, they will fall a part.  Now that I found this recipe, there’s really no going back to the store bought granola bars.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup toasted ground flax seed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
homemadegranolabar21. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper. Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
homemadegranolabar32. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the ground flax seed. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
homemadegranolabar43. Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oat mixture.
homemadegranolabar54. Add the apricots and cranberries.
homemadegranolabar65. Stir well.
homemadegranolabar76. Pour the mixture into a prepared pan. Lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown.
homemadegranolabar87. Cool for 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Favorite Trail Mix



This is a easy and tasty mix for the hikers or taking a road trip!

Ingredients:
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup broken cashews
1 cup carob chips
1 cup coconut strips (pared)
1 cup raisins (dehydrated grapes)
1 cup diced apples
1 cup diced apricots
1 cup diced peaches
1 cup diced pears
1 cup slivered almonds



Directions: Simply combine the above dried ingredients for a nutritional snack at home, in the office and car, or on the trail. Also makes a great gift idea.