Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Granola Bars




I'm going hiking tomorrow and this is the perfect thing for me to bring.  I need to eat pretty often and bringing a backpack full of food makes me feel like a heffer and I don't want to carry it anyway.  These are compact, full of super good stuff to keep me going and are low enough in sugar per bar that I won't be taking a nap on a rock somewhere.  They are super yummy and I've had to remove them so I don't keep eating them and regret it. This recipe is tailored specifically for my benefit, so if you make it feel free to remove or add what you would like.  Here's how it's done.




First things first, toast your hazelnuts.  Put them in a dry pan on medium heat until the skins crack like you see there.  Once they crack, put them on a dish towel and give them a good rub to remove the skins.  Toast the sesame seeds too while you're at it.


 Put the hazelnuts in a bag and take a hammer to them.  You could use less violent methods, but this one was quite therapeutic for me.


Combine your dry ingredients, as well as the nuts and fruit.  Then combine your wet ingredients separately and add them to the dry.  Mix really well to fully coat everything.


 If you want thicker bars like mine, smoosh all of the granola mixture into a greased 9x13 pan.  If you want thinner, less chewy bars, press the mixture into a rimmed cookie sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Let them cool completely.  Remove from the pan and cut or break into bars.  Resist the urge to eat the entire pan.



They are so, so good.



Granola Bars - My Adapted Recipe
1 1/2 Cups Muesli
1 Cup Quick Oats
3/4 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Dry Milk Powder
1/4 Cup Vanilla Protein Powder
1/2 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Raisins
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
1/2 Cup Hazelnuts, Toasted and Crushed
1/4 Cup Sesame Seeds, Toasted
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Low Carb Honey 
1 Egg
1 1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract

Preheat oven to 350F/175C

Line a 9x13 baking dish or cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray.

Toast hazelnuts and sesame seeds.

In a large bowl, stir together oats, muesli, flour, dry milk, protein powder, brown sugar, raisins, cranberries, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, salt and pumpkin spice.  In a smaller bowl, blend oil, honey, egg and almond extract.  Pour into the flour mixture and mix until evenly coated.

Press into prepared dish, really pack it down.

Baked 25 to 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden.  Cool completely in pan before turning out onto a cutting board and cutting into bars.




Original Recipe from Allrecipes.com
2 Cups Quick Oats
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Raisins
1/2 Cup Wheat Germ
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Honey
1 Egg
2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 350F/175C

Line a 9x13 baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, raisins, wheat germ, salt, cinnamon and walnuts.  In a smaller bowl, blend oil, honey, egg and vanilla.  Pour into the flour mixture and mix until evenly coated.

Baked 25 to 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden.  Cool completely in pan before turning out onto a cutting board and cutting into bars.
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