Eat Well: So Granola

The following post was written by my mom, WWW and aunt Nancy (mother of three boys, two of whom are twins b.t. dubs). Take it away ladies!
IMAG0143Homemade granola bars c/o aunt Nancy

When I was in high school, the lunchroom served the most addictive peanut butter bars known to human kind.  I have craved those bars for years and recently found the recipe online. It turns out they are filled with fat (I’m sure they used shortening back then) and sugar and are NOT what I would call an “Eat Well” snack. I cringe at the thought of how many bars I consumed during my high school years.

Finding snacks that are both delicious and healthy is always a challenge.  My wonderful sister-in-law, Nancy, came up with this yummy recipe and wrote a guest blog to share with you all.  Take it away, Nancy!

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My family is snack-happy.  Hubby works at home and trolls the kitchen all day and my teenage son is always hungry. While I love to cook and there’s usually some of last night’s dinner hanging around the fridge, snack food is also in order. 

Confronting the choices at the store can be a problem.  I have an aversion to any prepared food with a long list of ingredients.  All those who-knows-what-it-is fillers freak me out a bit so when my son’s tennis team decided to provide snacks at all at-home matches, I worked on creating an easy, healthy alternative.

Aunt Nancy’s Granola Bars

2 cups rolled oats (we like the “extra thick”)
1 cup flour (either gluten free mix or all purpose)
½ c brown sugar
¾ c dried currants
¼ c ground flaxseed
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts, or a mixture
½ c  oil (or ¼ c oil + ¼ c applesauce)
½ c honey
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x13 baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray with vegetable oil spray.
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In a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, currants, flaxseed, salt cinnamon and nuts. 
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In a separate bowl, stir oil, honey, egg and vanilla. 
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Pour into the oat mixture and mix by hand until evenly moistened. 
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Press into prepared pan and use damp fingers to press into the corners of the pan.
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Bake 25-30 minutes until the edges are golden. 
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Cool completely in pan before turning out onto cutting board and cutting into bars.    These can be individually wrapped and frozen. 
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Note: I've made this recipe with both traditional white flour, and my gluten free flour mixture.  Both work well.  Also, to make it a bit lower in fat, you can substitute sugar free applesauce for ½ the oil in the recipe. I prefer the full fat result, but it’s good both ways.

Enjoy!

Love,

WWW and NCW

17 comments:

Arnebya | 12:25 PM

This is definitely something I will try! My 2 yr old LOVES granola bars (and, you're right; even the "healthier" ones seem to have an unending list of this and that (and now polysorbate 80 is stuck in my head from some ice cream commercial I saw as a child. Guess their marketing worked)). How would added fruit (cranberries, for instance, although, wait...cranberries aren't actually a fruit, are they?) affect the recipe?

NOELLE ALOUD | 1:51 PM

I am going to make these RIGHT NOW—while crossing my fingers that Ener-G egg replacer will work. Maybe a "flax egg" instead?

Rebecca @ Sink or Swim | 2:29 PM

I have been making no-bake granola bites for my daughter's lunch, they are crazy adaptable with whatever fruit/nut/mix in that you want. They use peanut butter & honey as a binder, so good!

seanna davidson | 2:47 PM

I'm looking forward to trying this recipe. In the past I've found that homemade recipes dn't hold together well though, and I end up with more granola, than granola bar. Do these stay in formation well? Thanks so much for sharing.

Mama Smith | 4:06 PM

Yum, I've been wanting to try granola bars for a while so I'm excited to give this a whirl. Thanks!

Anonymous | 5:26 PM

Just tried the recipe with my two kids tonight. We swapped the nuts for pumpkin and sunflower seeds because of nut allergies and used dried cranberries because that is what I had. They were delicious!! Thanks!
Esther

dna | 6:01 PM

SO trying these. Walking to the kitchen while typing...

Melissa and crew | 10:31 PM

I've been reading your blog for almost a week now.... I'm one of those ppl that tends to read a blog from the beginning and not from the end down... I've only gotten to 2007 and I love you! I don't know where your story went from there but I know on the BF/baby daddy thing I was just like you... only a little older... I found out when I was 23 yrs old that I was pregnant with a guy I barely knew. At first I was terrified but I knew I would never give my baby up... I knew I would always be his mom... Almost two years after I had my wonderful baby boy (he's twenty months old now) I question myself... Not because I regret having him (I'd NEVER do that) but because I don't think his dad ( who is seven years older than me btw) doesn't ever want to be around him.... ( I CAN'T STAND THAT)... Anyway... I'm sorry to burden you with this shit but I don't really have anyone to talk to.... not without them judgung me atleast.

Michelle | 5:50 AM

Going to make these this weekend! I know that my daughter is going to love them... One suggestion... Can you put a print button for the recipes? Thanks!!

Dranrab | 12:41 PM

Can't wait to try this!

Have you guys tried making any green smoothies (and had any luck with them being tasty)? I keep reading recipes that call for Dandelion weeds and what not and can't figure out if they mean grocery stores sell weeds or pick them from the yard? I searched and found an older almond smoothie recipe too. Just an idea! :)

I'm Nate's Mom | 5:33 AM

I make granola bars using another recipe that calls for ground oats instead of regular flour and uses no eggs. The great thing about granola is that you can substitute whatever you like for the fruits and nuts. For people having trouble with crumbly bars, I recently discovered that if you grind up some dates to make a paste and add them in with the liquid ingredients, you'll get a nice chewy bar. Of course, they're pretty sweet, so you might want to cut back the sugar.

seanna davidson | 10:24 AM

@dranrab i've been making green smoothies and really enjoying them. i put a few handfuls of spinach, 1/2C of blueberries, 1 tbsp of ground flax seed, 1 tbsp of chia and some pomegranate juice with some water. they are pretty tasty!

@i'mnatesmom thanks for the tip!

Dranrab | 11:33 AM

Yay thanks!

Wendy Woolf | 12:57 PM

Dranrab....I have been fooling around with green smoothies and will be doing a post on them soon.

Elise | 2:01 PM

Just made these using Shauna Ahern's gluten free whole grain flour mix and they turned out great!

Jennifer P | 7:47 PM

awesome! I just resisted buying a box at costco b/c I wanted to make some, and here's a great recipe right in my google reader!

Jessica McConnel | 3:27 PM

yum yum yum - loved these!