Sunday, October 18, 2009

Granola Bars


I love to eat. And I am always thinking about food. Eating, cooking, baking, reading about, and buying food are some of my favorite activities. Whether I'm in class or at work, on any given day, my mind is filled with food thoughts: What can I make for dinner? I must go to the library to take out some more cookbooks! I wonder what I should do with that fennel I just got from my CSA? When will I have time to read more in my Harold McGee book? Sometimes, my thoughts are simply: Must Eat Now. And since I love to snack, I feel the urge to munch quite often!

So one of the things I'm always trying to figure out is what can I eat a lot of, during the day, that will fill me up for a little longer, but not substitute a meal. Finding healthy snacks can be tricky. On principle, I do not like the idea of buying (or eating) energy bars; they are expensive and I tend to go by the rule, if I cannot fathom how the thing is produced, I will try not to eat it. It's hard to stick by these "rules" when you are super busy during the week--hey, a girl's gotta eat, right? Well, this week I will be testing out a new healthy snack: homemade granola bars. I made them yesterday, and I think they will last me about a week. I am hoping they will be just what I need to keep my snack craving at bay. And they are amazingly delicious, too.

Granola Bars
3 c oats, toasted in the oven at 375, for just about 5-8 min
1 c dried cranberries
2/3 c crushed almonds (I used lightly salted roasted almonds)
1 T sesame seeds
1/4 c sunflower seeds
scant 1/4 T canola oil
1/4 c honey
2 T brown rice syrup (or 1 T honey)
2 T brown sugar

1. Mix oats, cranberries, almonds, and seeds together. I use the bowl of the mixer, as it makes mixing in the sticky sweeteners much easier.
2. On a low speed (or by hand), mix in remaining ingredients. Mix well until everything is well-coated with the wet and sticky ingredients.
3. Pour granola bar mixture into lightly oiled pan; I used an 8x8 glass dish.
4. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
5. When completely cooled, cut into bars.

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