Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Healthy Homemade Granola Bars

Well it's that time of year again that my flea market friend, Janet and I are hitting the road. We're off to the Brimfield Antique and Flea Market to see what great finds we can discover!
I packed the usual fruits, trying to think healthy...high carb, sugar laden treats are everywhere there so thinking protein packed and low sugar is always a good thing to pack along!
These healthy granola bars are sweetened with organic blue agave and brown rice syrup so you don't need to have any of the refined sugars in it. There's no butter used either. You can add any kinds of dried fruits and nuts you like, in addition to maybe coconut, sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds ( my favorite!).
Since I always have raisins and dried cranberies on hand, that's what I used, in addition to almond, pecans and walnut. I also added some Salba, which is a tiny seed that looks like sesame seeds but it's rich in omega-3, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. And that's alot of good stuff packed into one tiny seed!
So give them a try. Keep a few in your purse or car for those times you're hungry but just to busy to stop and eat. See you in a few days!
Place the oats, flour, fruits and nuts into a large bowl.

You can use any fruits and nuts you like.

Mix it all together...

Then in a small bowl, mix the wet, syrupy ingredients with the spices.

Pour the wet into the dry mixture and stir to coat.

Pour the sticky mixture into your prepared pan and gently press down with dampened fingers to spread it out.

Bake it for about 25 minutes, let it cool, then take it out of the pan and cut into the sizes you want.

Healthy Homemade Granola Bars

1 2/3 cups old fashioned rolled oats, pulsed in the food processor a few times to break down into smaller pieces. Or just use quick cooking oats.
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup raw agave syrup
1/2 tsp. salt ( omit if using salted nuts)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg, pinch of ginger, pinch of allspice ( all optional but I added because I like those flavors)
2 - 3 cups of dried fruits and nuts ( can use just about any nut or dried fruit you like along with pumpkin or sunflower seeds, which I used both)
Preheat oven to 325. Line a 13" x 9" pan with parchment paper, allowing more on 2 sides for overhang. (* Note- I used aluminum foil but it didn't work as well as the parchment would have).
Then spray the parchment lightly with vegetable spray.
1. In a large bowl, combine and stir together all the dry ingredients, fruits, nuts and seeds , if using.
2. In a small bowl, combine and stir together the agave, brown rice syrup and spices, if using.
3. Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and stir to coat it evenly.
4. Turn this mixture out into your prepared pan and using dampened fingers, spread out and press to make it all evenly distributed.
5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or til the edges are slightly browned.
6. Let it cool in the pan for approx. 20 minutes. Longer if it's still warm as I found it was much easier to get out and cut when cooler.
7. Once cooled, cut into sizes you like. I made mine rectangle shaped.
8. Wrap individual pieces in plastic wrap. I'm sure they will last a week or 2 wrapped this way.

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