Thursday, July 8, 2010

Granola Bars!

Its recipe time!!  Remember back in the day when I was looking for a recipe for granola bars and my friend Libby came up with one?  I have since made these bars twice and the second time I remembered to take pictures!!  The recipe is from The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger.  I actually own this book and really like it...but the recipe can be found online here.  I'm not going to re-print the ingredients and measurements because of copyright issues, but just click the link.  Oh, and add a half teaspoon of salt to the list. 

Here is how I made them:

Get out Recipe Book and pre-heat oven.  Do this when its 93 degrees out.  Kidding...though it has been around 90 both nights I have made these...I do not recommend it.

The recipe calls for pretty much putting everything in the food processor.  You can see my food processor in the upper left hand corner of the picture below...teeny, right? 

So basically I food process all of the dry ingredients first, dump them in a mixing bowl, and then do all of the chunky and wet ingredients next ... how gross does chunky and wet sound?  By 'chunky and wet' I mean almonds, dried fruits, eggs etc.  Then I combine everything in the mixing bowl by hand and dump it into the baking dish.  This whole process takes me about 10 minutes, if that.  Libby actually does all this chopping by hand, which  is another option.  I then flatten and press the mixture evenly with my hands till it fits the pan.  It will not seem like you have enough mixture, but you do.  These will be the thickness of a single crunchy nature valley bar.

That lime you see has nothing to do with the bars.  That has to do with ginger vodka or wine spritzers.  Totally unrelated.  But helpful if you are baking energy bars at 9:00pm on a Saturday night in a 90 degree kitchen.

Next you bake the squares for about 20 minutes and then let them cool.  You have got to let them cool - no rushing this. The bars are sticky and moist and will break apart if you do not let them cool.  Got it?  Good.  If it is 90 degrees in your kitchen this may take an hour or more... ... practice patience while you wait. 

Once cooled, you can cut them into 24 bars...err...squares.  I like to wrap them individually in plastic wrap and keep them in a zipper bag in the freezer for grab and go fun.  The wrapping is the most pain in the butt part of this whole process.

Thats weird...the lime moved.  I must have been trying to class this shot up a bit.

Are you stunned with the cleanliness of that counter??? Yeesh.  But I think this is a good example of the texture of the bar as I make them...Ellie suggests you food process all the ingredients into a paste.  That just doesn't appeal to me, so I leave the ingredients chunky...which was actually Libby's suggestion as well.  For 24 servings, these bars weigh in at about 130 calories and I find them very satisfying.  They can also be dangerous if you go hunting for nighttime snacks and happen to smear chocolate almond butter on which case, the calories pretty much double...but so does your enjoyment.

The bars are chewy and crunchy and not too sweet.  In fact, if you like a sweeter bar you may want to consider swapping half the maple syrup for honey or agave nectar.  Just a thought...though I like them as is.


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