I know, I know—I’m a little carried away with this healthy eating thing. But you can’t knock it if you haven’t tried it. So I’m trying it. And so far, I’m liking it a lot! Maybe it’s because I’m nearing the 30-pound mark—lost, not gained, for a change.
Yesterday I read Liz Wood’s blogpost about “thick, chewy granola bars,” and I knew they’d be my next adventure in eating. I adapted her recipe (attributed to Smitten Kitchen) to accommodate what I’m allowed to eat these days. This time I didn’t drive the 27-mile round trip to get organic ingredients (though we keep organic butter and eggs on hand), rationalizing my purchase at the store mere blocks from home would qualify as “eating local.”
The result is quite a bit crumblier than Liz’s, but, oh, my, are they tasty! The thick, chewy granola bars are safely stored away in individual sandwich bags in the freezer—but I’m pretty sure I won’t forget.
So if you’re up for a healthy eating adventure, here’s my altered recipe:
Thick, Chewy Granola Bars
Ingredients: 1 2/3 c rolled oats; 1/2 c honey; 1/3 c oat flour; 1/2 t salt; 1/4 t ground cinnamon; 2 to 3 c dried fruits and nuts*; 1/3 c almond butter; 1 t vanilla extract; 6 T melted organic butter; 1/4 c maple syrup; 1 T water
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8.5 x 8.5 x 2.5 pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. Lightly grease the parchment paper and the exposed pan, or coat with a non-stick spray.
Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter or oil, liquid sweeteners and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry (and almond butter) until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing firmly.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until they’re brown around the edges.
Cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack. Cut into squares. To store, wrap the bars individually in plastic or stack them in an air-tight container. They freeze well.
*Fruit/nut suggestions: dried cranberries, apricots, pecans, sunflower seeds, coconut, walnuts, sesame seeds, pepitas, dried apples, chocolate chips, wheat germ, dried cherries, pecans, almond slivers.