Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Easy Granola Bars II

Store bought granola bars are one of those foods that have a ton of unknown ingredients. I make my own so that I know what's in them. Not only is it common sense that processed foods are harmful to our health, it's been scientifically proven since the start of industrialized food (around the 1930s.) I just made a batch of these for a family airplane trip. I was happy to give Mikey something homemade while traveling.

1 cup rolled oats (soaked and dried)

1/2 cup toasted wheat germ

1/4 cup spelt flour

1 cup almonds (soaked and dried)

1 1/2 cups dried fruit (apricots, dates, and raisins)

1 tablespoon flax seed

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

Homemade granola bars are surprisingly easy to make.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I butter two 2.75 quart baking dishes because that's what I own, but one larger baking dish would be less washing afterward. I want the mixture to be about an inch thick.

Toast wheat germ in a frying pan until golden brown. While that is toasting, put all the ingredients except the syrup, vanilla, and eggs into a food processor. I use whatever dried fruit that I have on hand. I normally always have apricots, dates, and raisins. I also use whatever nuts that I have on hand. I just soaked and dried a ton of almonds so I used almonds in this recipe. Add the wheat germ and pulse the food processor until the ingredients are corsly crumbled.

Then add the syrup, vanilla, and eggs. Pulse a few more times until incorporated into the mix. Pour into the baking dish(es) and spread evenly. Cook uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the bars are hard and bounce back when poked with a finger. Cut the bars into squares or rectangles and store in the refrigerator. No need to double this recipe, it makes 12 to 16 bars depending on how I cut them.


Lynnie said...

This is my experience with soaking oats. I have made quite a few batches of Granola in my days and I have never soaked the oats. But this time I thought I would give it a try, because I really do believe that soaking is a benefit to your digestion. But after making these bars and then making some granola with the remaining oats I found that I liked my granola better when I didn't soak the oats. I will confess I don't always follow the recipe exactly, but close enough. I just felt that soaking, drying, then mixing and cooking it all again, was sort of defeating my purpose of less is better. The granola was harder to chew and the bars I think would be better made from raw oatmeal..Just my humble opinion. And much quicker time frame, in and out of the kitchen when you don't have to dry the oats slowly in the oven...But I do love soaking my Irish oats with a little yogurt and water overnight,for a nice hot bowl of oatmeal in the morning, now that is well worth it...Delicious....Wonderful Blog, keep up the great recipes and very informative information so that we can all share these recipes with those near and dear to us.

Thais said...

According the Weston Price Foundation soaking and drying oats and nuts is a more nutritious way to prepare them, but alas, it isn't for everyone. It is an extra step without a glamorous outcome. You have the knowledge and that's what is important. Plus, you soak your oatmeal so who cares if you don't soak your oats for your granola or granola bars. Your making your own granola bars and granola; that is wonderful! Everyone has to find a middle ground. We can't do everything. But at least we can acknowledge that we know what's best and then choose to do it another way. I don't soak my flour and some people do. If I didn't soak my oats the night before and I want oatmeal in the morning, I just cook the oats like most of Americans, dry. I know it's not the healthiest way but we have to keep an open mind and not get pigeon holed into any one idea. I think that it's better to just cook. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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