Ever since the arrival of my son, I’ve been working very hard to reduce the amount of processed food that enters into this house. I see nothing wrong with him enjoying a cookie or other treat, but I have the hardest time thinking about his little growing body ingesting all those chemicals and preservatives found in most packaged foods. I’m certainly not perfect (and have moments where I fall off the wagon while yelling “pizza for everyone!”) but ensuring his health has also had a very positive effect on the way that I eat and how I perceive food. However, I am the biggest sucker for granola bars! I love them chewy, crispy, nutty, fruity, sweet or salty. Basically, I’ve never met a granola bar that I didn’t like! But I am really beginning to think that they might just be candy masquerading as a “healthy treat”. Time to figure out how to make my own so I really know what’s going on! This is just the first recipe that I was playing with…there might be more to come because as I was making these I was already thinking about other ways to play with the flavor (a little cocoa powder, coconut, roasted peanuts? hmmmmmmm!?!)
- 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup dried fruit ( I used cranberries, raisins, and diced apple)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup natural almond butter, unsalted
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 large egg white
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
In a small saucepan, combine oil, brown sugar,almond butter, and water. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat and stir in salt and cinnamon.
Set aside almond butter mixture to cool slightly. While almond butter is cooling combine oats, dried fruit, and sliced almonds in a medium sized bowl.
Whisk or stir egg white into cooled almond butter mixture.
Pour almond butter mixture over oats and stir well.
Line an 8×8 pan with two crisscrossed strips of parchment paper leaving an overhang on all sides. Pour oat mixture into the pan.
Spread oat mixture evenly in pan and pat down.
Bake at 300° until top is firm and browned, about 35 – 40 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan on a wire rack.
Lift granola out of pan using the parchment paper as handles. Cool completely and cut into bars.
By the way…these are to die for! They turned out so much yummier than I expected. They are sweet enough to satisfy my sweet tooth, and filling enough that I can manage to just eat one without wanting half the pan. They are not going to last long though, I can promise you that much!
And, instead of just telling you…I’m going to show you how good these are! Oh yeah, I’m spelling things with my food. Feeling pretty enthusiastic right about now!