"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures."~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing"~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy."~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Chewy Granola Bars

Chewy Granola Bars:I think I finally found a recipe that I like for the chewiest granola bars ever! You don't have to bake these granola bars. I can easily have a healthier alternative to the store bought ones that are packed with high fructose corn syrup....so, I prefer making my own. Granted these are not sugar-free, but they are great because you can use honey and really any ingredients you like. You can omit the nuts if you have a nut allergy. You can add only dried fruits ... The fun part of about this recipe is that you can experiment with what you like.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Gather your ingredients:
2-2 1/2 cups oats (I used 2 )
3/4 cup wheat germ/rice crispies or omit if you like (I omitted since I didn't have on hand)
1 cup sunflower seeds/almonds/walnuts/cashews/ or a mixture
1/2 shredded coconut (unsweetened if possible)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
4 Tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract (I also added almond flavoring)
1/2 tsp Kosher salt (I omit this)
approximately 8 oz. dried fruit cranberries/raisins/apricots/cherries/or a mixture
Mix nuts and oats. Toast them in the oven for 5-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes so that they don’t get burned.... better if they are lightly toasted than biting into a granola that has burned nuts!
Meanwhile, prepare a glass baking dish (about 11 x 13 inches) for your granola by lining it with waxed paper lightly sprayed with a nonstick spray. I used plastic wrap and it works very well. You can use a smaller pan as well if you like them a bit thicker.
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Put the brown sugar, honey, butter, vanilla, and salt into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until you see it getting thick and carmel color.
Add the carmel mixture (which should be quite sticky at this point) to the dry ingredients.
Mix everything REALLY WELL because you want to make sure the “glue” gets all over everything.
Dump your granola mixture into your prepared baking dish.
Spread out the mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula. You may need to oil you hands a bit if you want to spread it evenly without sticking.

Now fold over the sides of the waxed paper or add a sheet on top(or plastic wrap as in my case), and PRESS HARD all over the granola. You want to compact it together so that your bars won’t fall apart when you cut them.
Wait 2-3 hours or until the granola has totally cooled. (I don't have patience and I put it in the fridge for a bit so I can speed up the process and wrap/store them.)
Then, open the waxed paper.
And carefully turn the granola onto a large cutting board, peeling away the rest of the paper.
Now, firmly pressing down with a big knife (not sawing), cut your granola into whatever size bars you’d like.
I wrapped ours individually in plastic wrap, so you can grab one for a snack on the go.