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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Making Granola Bars from Scratch

Well, my garden is about 75% planted as I have my rows of romaine, spinach, and cabbage planted. I have also added a few tomato plants and peppers. The only items that remain to be planted are the watermelon and sugar snap pea seedlings. Mother Nature has been cooperative with the right doses of rain and sun and my rabbit fencing seems to be keeping my new planted vegetables safe. Now, on to my latest kitchen endeavor; making granola bars from scratch.


I enjoy a good granola bar as a mid morning or mid afternoon snack when the old sugar levels get low and I need a “pick me up”. I usually consume the processed commercial Nature’s Valley granola or the Quaker Oats variety. They are good but are so processed and a bit “not so fresh”. I have a pretty good homemade granola bar recipe I will share on this blog. Making your own granola bars is a breeze and the sky is the limit when it comes to ingredients. The common ingredients in all granola mixtures is the toasted oats , nuts, wheat germ, vanilla, butter and just about whatever else you want to throw in there. Some tasty opt ins include m&ms, dried fruits such as cherries or apricots, and sunflower seeds. Sometimes when preparing homemade granola the ingredient list all depends on what I have readily available in the pantry at that given time.

I even enjoy crumbing up a few bars to use as a yogurt or oatmeal topper.



Easy Homemade Granola Bars


Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup chopped peanuts
½ cup wheat germ
½ cup raisins or dried cranberries
½ cup honey
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Place rolled oats, almonds, peanuts, and wheat germ on cookie sheet or tray and toast for twenty minutes. (You will want to shuffle the oat mixture around a few times during toasting to avoid sticking).
3. Remove tray from oven and set aside to cool.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients until well blended.
5. Add in the toasted oat and nut mixture and mix well so all granola is coated.
6. Transfer mixture into an 8 x 12 inch greased baking dish spreading mixture evenly.
7. Bake at 325 degrees for about twenty minutes.
8. Let cool for about 15 minutes then cut into bars and store in air tight container.

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