Saturday, December 15, 2012
Home-made Chewy Granola Bars
I've been on a quest recently, to try for healthier alternatives in meals and baking, and to incorporate more whole grains in the diet for me&hub. In my recent shopping, I've acquired seeds (quinoa, flax seed, sunflower seeds), nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews), dried fruits (cranberries, figs, dates). Sugar alternatives came in the form of honey & molasses, and butter in avocado or yogurt. With my love for carbs, I highly doubt that I can rid myself of wheat to go gluten free... so I try by at least replacing half the flour with whole wheat and rye.
With all my new ingredients, I thought it's a suitable time to start on that home-made granola bar that's been bookmarked for ages. It's what I hope to be a much healthier alternative to store-bought packages, filled with plenty nuts&seeds, fruits and with no sugar, but honey for sweetness and that beautiful aroma.
Recipe, source from here:
1 cup of chopped nuts (Cashew and Walnuts)
1/4 cup of seeds (Sunflower and Flax Seeds)
1 cup of dried fruits (cranberries, dates and sun dried tomato)
1 cup of pureed fruit (2 large bananas)
3/4 cup of honey
2.5 cups of organic rolled oats
Mix the honey and banana together, stir in the oats. Add all other dry ingredients, mix well. Line a 9-inch square/rectangular pan with baking paper, pour the mixture in and pack it tightly together.
Bake in pre-heated oven at 180C for 25-30 minutes. Remove, cool completely before cutting. Refrigerate for up to 1 week. Above yields a soft chewy texture. Bake it longer if you would like to achieve a crispy bar.
The sweet aroma of honey filled the house as it was baking. This set the fragrance for the bar so use a good quality honey that you would not stop eating!
The cashews was still not as crunchy as I would like them so it may be good to toast the cashew lightly, for say 10 minutes, before mixing into the bars. On the other hand, walnuts toast very fast so use only raw walnuts. Will try with toasted almonds in my next attempt.
The above recipe can be replicated with any ingredients of choice. Do visit http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2011/03/01/fig-date-almond-granola-bars/ for a very good and clear explanation on the mix-and-match combinations.
I could not stop pinching bits of it as I was cutting them into bars. 18 yummy snack bars for the week ahead!