Health Nut Granola Bars
Why I Love This Recipe
I am thrilled to be sharing this recipe with you all, I know you'll absolutely love it!! This recipe was a bit of a labor of love at first, while was testing different methods, and ingredients. However, in the end I devised the perfect granola 'power' bar recipe! I used to work at a health club, and was always bringing in baked goods for everyone. I'm an avid baker, and love to share my newest creations, so it seemed natural to bring my treats to work. The problem was, a lot of the patrons, were ambivalent about indulging in cookies, bars and brownies on a regular basis, so I set out on a mission to create healthy delicious treats. Hence I created these Granola bars. They have everything but the kitchen sink in them, and are absolutely customizable to personal preferences. They come together very easily, have no 'artificial' anything, and use lots of natural, healthful ingredients. On top of all that, they are delicious, and so addictive! Better than any store bought granola or energy bar I've ever had. I great pre or post workout treat, breakfast snack or midday pick-me-up!
Ingredients You'll Need
1 C old fashioned rolled pats
*1 ½ C Whole puffed brown rice (find this in the cereal, or health food aisle)
1 C whole wheat pastry flour
2 T. sesame seeds (or sunflower seeds may be yummy)
1 tsp baking powder
1-2 tsp cinnamon (or to taste, I personally love the spice, so I opted for more)
3 T canola oil
⅔ C brown rice syrup
*½ C dried fruit (any combo of dried cranberries, raisins, currants, dried chopped apricots, or dates)
½ C slivered almonds 1/2 C toasted walnuts 1/2 toasted pistachios 1/2 cup toasted coconut
Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a 9 inch square baking pan with foil, and lightly spritz with cooking spray. You could use a slightly larger pan, and just get thinner bars, just make sure to not bake as long. Spread all the nuts and coconut onto a sheet pan, and toast in the oven for 7-9 minutes, check every couple of minutes, so they don't burn. When well toasted, remove the pan, and let cool while you mix the other ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, puffed rice, seeds, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In separate bowl, whisk egg, oil and rice syrup until well blended. Combine dry and wet, and stir in fruit, nuts, and coconut. Spread the mixture into prepared pan, and even out as much as possible. I also reserve 1 Tablespoon of sesame seeds and sprinkle those on top. It makes them extra pretty You could use a spatula, or back of a wooden spoon (I just ended up using my hands… cook's best tool)
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until lightly brown and firm to touch. Let cool completely, and then turn out onto a cutting board to cut into bars, or squares. Use a sharp knife, or serrated one and cut slowly, so the bars don't fracture into a bunch of pieces. Theses keep well for several days in an airtight container.
*One small note, if you want to change the recipe slightly, then double the amount of oats, and omit the puffed brown rice. I didn't want them to be that dense, so opted to only use 1 cup oats and used about another 1 ½ cups puffed rice. It makes the recipe go a little further, and gives the bars a more satisfying crunch once baked . So if you don't have puffed whole brown rice, just use 2 cups oats.