Friday, May 7, 2010

Easy Made Granola Bars - Simple Saturday

There are times when it feels impossible to make healthy choices. It's usually due to lack of time, space, or money: food at the airport costs more than my ticket, car rides with kids being bombarded with fast-food signs = a recipe for frustration, and it's hard to put a plate of whole wheat pasta in my backpack (I've tried.) Here's a good way to combat the "what to eat when I'm traveling/working/need a snack/running around with the kids/want just a nibble/can't get my teenager to sit down long enough/don't want to spend a ton/wish it was homemade/don't have a lot of time" issue.
Easy Made Granola Bars
Sometimes I forget just how easy, inexpensive and fast it is to MAKE my own health bar. Plus, I get to pick my own most loved (or convenient) ingredients and I can vary them according to who I'm sharing them with (allergies, children or adults, etc.) These Easy Made Granola Bars keep really well, especially if you have the time to seal them in bags with a Food Saver kind of device, or just in Ziploc bags in the fridge or freezer. Cut them to the size that works for you, and vary it up as needed. I keep a bag of mini sizes in the fridge for munchies, and more substantial bar sizes are vacuum sealed for my teenager to grab and run.

2 cups Rolled Oats (not the instant kind, but quick cook Quaker is fine)
1/3 - 1/2 cup Brown Rice Syrup (or a good quality maple syrup, or honey)
1/4 cup Safflower or Canola oil

1 cup of mixed Goodies*** see choice examples below***

(optional dash of salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon, or vanilla

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until just moist. Press hard and compactly into an 8x8 inch baking pan (using plastic over your hand makes this easier).
Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Let cool completely. Cut into bars or squares as preferred and package as needed (any crumbs and clumps can be sprinkled over yogurt, mmmm.)

**: (recommended to choose 3-4 items to make up a cup of Goodies)

Chopped Nuts (Pecans, Walnuts, Cashews, Almonds, Hazelnuts, etc.)
Chopped or small Dried Fruits (raisins, cranberries, cherries, apricots, figs, etc.)
Coconut shredded Seeds (Pumpkin, sunflower, Pepita, flax, sesame, etc.) also: a sprinkle of cocoa nibs, crushed caramel brittle, or freeze dried fruit nibs


Cowgirl Chef said...

Love making my own granola, but haven't yet tried to make bars. These look amazing - I'm going to try your recipe and hope that they come out as pretty as yours!

Jessy said...

Thank you so much for such an easy recipe! I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one running around crazy some days! This recipe looks like a keeper!

Michelle said...

Great recipe! Definitely going to try these! Thank you!

Lyrically speaking said...

Yummmmmmmmmmy, I love granolas, your pictures speaks for itself, delectable

Cathy @ ShowFoodChef said...

CowGirlChef - always a pleasure to see your comments and thanks. Let me know if ya try them.

Jessy - love hearing from you. The crazy part might be my every day, :D
Hope you try these.

Michelle - thanks so much. Send me word when ya try them and what were your goodies.

Lyrically Speaking - thanks for checking these out and the photo compliments are greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I made these tonight! They are perfect!

Jeff said...

Made this recipe this weekend. Best use of 30min. I put dried cherry's from TJ's and amazing. So yummy and I know what is in there. Thanks!!

Money Funk said...

Made these with honey and it didn't hold together. :( but am going to try again with a different mixture. Maybe a little bit of molasses.anyhow, I am going to make granola crumbles for my oatmeal. Not all is lost. ;)