Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Good granola bars

I've been trying unsuccessfully to find the perfect granola bar recipe. They usually end up too bland or too dry. This is a fabulous, healthy recipe that would be easy to modify to suit your changing tastes. You could easily switch the type of nut, add chocolate chips, use a different type of dried fruit or even use ground flax seed in place of the wheat germ. This is a recipe that I will keep handy and use often.

Good Granola Bars

2½ cups rolled oats (old-fashioned or instant)
1 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened)

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds (I omitted these)
1/2 cup wheat germ (I used dry hot oat bran cereal)
1/2 cup slivered almonds (I used chopped pecans)
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 cup raisins (I used golden raisins)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

While your oven is preheating to 300°F, spread the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, wheat germ and almonds evenly on a 9" x 12" baking sheet. Bake these dry ingredients for 20 minutes, stirring them occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat the butter (or margarine), brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan, allowing the brew to simmer until the oat mixture is ready to come out of the oven. (If you or yours like really crispy granola, bake the dry ingredients an additional few minutes.) As soon as the oat mixture is out, add the raisins, stirring them into the other ingredients.

Now remove the honey from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, then pour the hot liquid over the oat mixture and stir until all the dry ingredients are coated.

Next, press the granola firmly into the bottom of a greased 8" x 8" pan (I used a 9x13) and place it in the still-warm oven to bake (at the same 300°F as before) for 20 minutes. (An 8" x 8" pan makes bars about an inch thick; if you want thinner bars, use a slightly larger pan.) Allow to cool slightly, then cut bars- but do not remove from pan until completely cooled.

Reference: Mother Earth News, Denise Garouette

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