Eating / Lent

Homemade granola bars

A few weeks ago I made granola, which has led me to my next breakfast food experiment… granola bars. If you’ve been reading my blog lately, I’m sure you can guess where I found the recipe. If you guessed the ‘Smitten Kitchen blog‘ – ding ding ding – you are correct and evidently you know me well. I can’t help it. I love the recipes on the blog and in the cookbook and so many recipes are lent friendly and don’t include sugar (which I’ve given up until Easter).

So the recipe today is simple called Granola Bars and can be found at this link. The ingredients were simple and included a lot of items I had left over from making granola. There were a few exceptions that required a trip to the grocery store, in particular I needed honey. I’m getting more comfortable with improvising so I decreased the honey a bit and added a bit of maple syrup as well as grated lemon rind and cinnamon.

I’m trying to get better at taking food process photos….  so here are the results of my increased efforts.

1) Put the oats, coconut and almonds in a 350 degree oven for 12 minutes.

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2) Mix the wheat germ, warm oat mixture, honey and vanilla in a large bowl.

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3) Add the chopped dried fruit (I went with apricots, cranberries and figs) and mix well.

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4) Line your dish with parchment paper and then pat the mixture down until it is as packed as you can get it. I cut the excess parchment off to avoid burning in the oven. Just make sure to leave enough parchment so that you can grab it to remove the bars when you’re ready.

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5) Cook in a 300 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 2 hours until firm.

6) Remove from pan and cut into bars.

Just a comment on the honey… the recipe calls for 2/3 cup. Don’t skimp or substitute.  I thought it sounded like a lot so I reduced the amount slightly and adding a bit of maple syrup for flavour. Well I just tried to the cut the bars and they started to crumble, so I put them back in the container. I’ll try to cut them again later. Either it’s because of the honey, I didn’t press them down enough, or I didn’t let them sit long enough. Oh well, they are still delicious. I will try this this recipe again and this time follow the instructions a bit more carefully and see how it goes.

Next on my granola bar list… I’m going to try Sara’s Granola Bars on the Food 52 blog. Here’s a link to the recipe. If you beat me to it, let me know how they turned out.

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