Tuesday, May 1, 2012

granola bar recipe update

I've been making these amazing granola bars for something like nine months now, and it's time to do an updated post as I feel I've now perfected them.  I'm completely in love with them.  They're a pretty important staple around my house, and they even contributed to some pretty significant weight loss this year.  In fact, I gained back a few pounds after running out of them.  So I made another batch yesterday!!  I'm going to strive to NOT run out again.

big container of mandatory granola bars!!

So here are the improvements I've made to my original recipe:
  1. Instead of pecans, I prefer sliced almonds.  Not only are they lower in calories/fat/saturated fat and higher in fiber/protein/calcium/iron, they're also cheaper and pre-sliced (how I buy them at Sam's, anyway).  When toasted with the oatmeal and coconut, the almonds impart the most wonderful caramel-y flavor to the bar.  Heavenly.  I love pecans, but I won't go back to them in this recipe.
  2. In step 1, when adding the sunflower seeds, I also add the raisins.  No need to add raisins after the sticky mixture.  Save a step!!
  3. I exclusively use butter.  No Crisco, no margarine.  I've made this change in my household in general in order to put less fake food into our bodies, and this bar benefits from that as well.
  4. A 9x13 pan just doesn't cut it for me.  The 11x15 size yields more bars -- thinner bars, yes, but perfect for our preference.  They are by no means thin bars!!  Still very hearty and chewy.
  5. Definitely turn the oven down to 300F after toasting the coconut/oatmeal/nut mixture!!  Baking the bars at the lower temperature gives them a wonderful chewiness and dries them out less... meaning they won't fall apart as much during cutting and eating.
  6. ALWAYS refrigerate before cutting, and use the biggest knife you have.  The firmer the bar, the cleaner the slice.  The longer the knife, the easier to press.
Above all... make these!  Make them today!!  And don't let yourself run out.  If you're anything like me, that will only make you cranky.  Enjoy!

3 comments:

  1. Awesome. I've been waiting to find the perfect granola bar. All mine seem to fall apart/burn/basically not be perfect. Thanks for doing all the hard work for me:)

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  2. Okay so I've already made and cut and eaten some of these babies. They are delicious. I had to make a few changes - used roughly chopped almonds and left some whole (I was holding a fussy baby, what can I say?!), and didn't have sunflower seeds so I used chia seeds, brewer's yeast and extra raisins. They turned out super yummy...I love a good treat that is also really healthy!

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    1. I'm glad you mentioned brewer's yeast. I actually don't have any of THAT on hand, but I remembered in reading your comment that I wanted to see how ground flax seed would do here. I think it's going to be fine! I just threw in maybe 1/3 cup... it's baking now. :)

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