My first attempt at making granola bars was a few weeks ago. It went so-so - hence why I never blogged about it. The granola turned out and tasted fantastic, but it didn't really work as "bars". I pressed them, let them set, and then removed them from the pan to cut them, at which point, it all fell apart. I was a little disappointed, but it was tasty homemade granola, so I enjoyed it as is, and decided I would try again...sometime...
Time got away from me a little bit, I had other endeavors I wanted to try and honestly, I kind of forgot about them, and got into the habit of buying Herbal Oats granola bars from the farmer's market or The Root Cellar to have for work. Then last week, I picked up a granola bar from the local Uprise Bakery (where we usually get our beloved ciabatta from), and it was the best granola bar I had ever had - seriously - so good. So I saved the label with the ingredients listed on it so I could try again, this time using Uprise's combination of seeds, nuts, and other goodies.
I am happy to say that they not only set and held together, they taste almost just like the granola bars from Uprise. These are a lot cheaper than the $2.50 a pop Uprise granola bars, and I was able to use some local ingredients to make them. And we all know that local ingredients make everything better, right? :-)
I have been enjoying these for my breakfasts at work and Brett has been enjoying them at home - though it seems he is also eating them as snacks too. And Brett isn't a huge nut/seed fan, so his eating them for snacks says a lot about how good they are. I think I might start making my own granola bars for work breakfasts - at least until some California clementines become available. Between the months of November and February, Brett and I almost turn into clementines. I kid you not when I say I was bringing 6-10 to work with me a day and eating them all last year at this time. Now I know clementines are small, but that is a lot of fruit! No wonder I didn't get sick very often last winter!
There I go, off on a tangent again. You would figure I talk people's ears off - Brett yes - but pretty much everyone else gets a fairly mute Jennifer. I guess when I am typing my long-winded nature really shows through. If I wasn't so shy and didn't have such "out there" opinions, I would likely talk it up more, but alas, that is not the case, so you all get to deal with my long-winded typing.
The local booty legend:
no asterisk = grocery store
+ = The Root Cellar
++ = The Peace Nook
* = farmer's market
** = CSA
*** = Container or Community Garden
**** = the non-profit buying club, Blue Planet or Purcell Mountain Farms
"Everything" Granola Bars
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup chopped pecans *
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 ground flax seeds
1/2 cup regular rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup honey *
1 cup smooth natural peanut butter +
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400.
Layer all the nuts and oats except the sesame seeds on a baking sheet.
Toast for 5 minutes. Shake pan and add sesame seeds.
Toast another 3-5 minutes, keep an eye on them so they don't burn.
Meanwhile, combine honey, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt over low heat in a small sauce pan.
In a large bowl, combine the dry and wet mixtures.
Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper.
Spread mixture in pan and press down firmly to get the granola to stick together.
Cool completely and cut into squares (ours made about 12).
Store in an air tight container for 3-5 days.
These rocked and have made excellent breakfasts. Yum!
'Til next time.