Sunday, February 23, 2014

Granola Bars

We were wanting some healthy and vegan snack to grab in a hurry. I've tried several granola bar recipes but they never "stick" together. This recipe is based on one by Alton Brown from the FoodNetwork Channel. I had to make a few substitutions to make it vegan and I didn't have wheat germ so I used chia and hemp seeds instead. These turned out really well, held together better than others, but are still a little crumbly. But they were declared "make agains".

  • 8 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats, about 2 cups
  • 1 1/2 ounces raw sunflower seeds, about 1/2 cup
  • 3 ounces sliced almonds, about 1 cup
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • about 1/2 cup honey and/or agave 
  • 1 3/4 ounces dark brown sugar, about 1/4 cup packed
  • 1 -ounce vegan margarine, plus extra for pan
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 1/2 ounces chopped dried fruit, about 2 cups (I used craisins, cherries and blueberries)
Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine the agave, brown sugar, margarine, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. 
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.