Monday, July 25, 2011

Granola Bars

We finally had a small break from the heat! It rained a little, late this afternoon and cooled it down enough for me to venture outside with my camera for a little bit. It was great timing, because tonight I made these.
I experimented with this recipe last week and was disappointed with how crumbly they turned out, but the taste was great. I tweaked it a little this time and it came out much better- I could actually cut them into bars this time! Here are all the ingredients I used.
I mixed them together, and pressed them into a pan. Note: Do NOT follow my example of using wax paper- parchment paper works much better, but I was out! The wax paper stuck to the bottom of the bars and I had to carefully peel it off piece by piece.
Then cut them into delicious bars.
Here's the recipe, so you can do it too!

Granola Bars
(Print Recipe)
Adapted from Ina Garten

2 cups oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup pepita seeds
1 1/2 cups dried fruit, well chopped (I used mango and cranberries)
3/4 cup rice krispie cereal
1/4 cup flax meal
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup maple/agave blend (or just pure agave or pure maple syrup)
1/3 cup almond butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Toss the oatmeal, almonds, pepita seeds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the flax meal and cereal.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Place the almond butter, maple/agave blend, almond extract, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the chopped dried fruit and stir well.
Pour the mixture into a parchment lined 8x12 baking pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Press the mixture well! Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares or bars. Serve at room temperature.
1. Make sure your dried fruit is chopped well to help everything stick together. I put mine in the food processor to make it easier on myself. 
2. Also make sure you stir the wet mixture very well with the dry mixture before pouring into the pan. Use your hands if you find that works better (I did). 
3. Make sure you use slightly wet hands to press this mixture into the pan and pack as tightly as possible.
4. Most important hint- Let cool completely before cutting. I put mine in the fridge for 30 minutes and then the freezer for 30 minutes, so I didn't have to wait 3 hours for them to cool. I am too impatient to wait that long!
I cut mine into 12 large bars. I think I may cut them in half to make smaller squares.

I'm not sure how many recipes I will have to share this week. As I have stated before, I am a menu planner. Lately I have been trying several new recipes every week- usually 4 or 5! This week, for some reason, menu planning was a struggle... I was not inspired to try many new things. I ended up deciding to make mostly tried and true recipes. Here is my attempt at organization (I have been doing this since I started the whole menu planning thing). 
I always post upcoming appointments here, along with our menu, and a running shopping list of pantry staples that we run out of. As you can see from our menu, most of our meals are recipes I have shared on here before. I may have to find something else to blog about this week! Don't let this fool you, as I said, this is a small attempt on organization... I am not nearly as organized as I would like to be! Actually, there are still granola crumbs on the counter right now as I type this, I am not good at cleaning up messes right away either- Nate can attest to that. I have better things to do! Like blog about the mess I just created. And Pinterest pretty pictures of organization, photography, and well-lit spotless kitchens. A girl can dream, right? 

Besides granola bars, this is what I have been snacking on lately. I know you are surprised to see pictures of fruit on this blog. I never take pictures of fruit.
They were $1.99 a pound! I couldn't resist.
Check out the condensation. Even though there was a slight cool down, there is always the lovely humidity here.
I'm going to go clean up those granola bar crumbs now. Really, I am. I will not be on Pinterest first.


  1. Haha--u funny--I MUST blog today before I lose all my readers..omg....I've been packing for Ohio and whatnot lately. and going on Pinterest....good granola bar recipe!

  2. I'd give you some for your trip if I was gonna see you before you left! Good roadtrip snacks!

  3. I really do need to start planning my meals more. Love the granola bars! Are Pepita seeds just raw pumpkin seeds?

  4. yes, that's exactly what they are!

  5. I always say I should make my own granola bars, but never do... I might have to give it a try!