Tuesday, March 27, 2012

granola bars

homemade goodness
Today I spent a good amount of money after work at bulk barn...it's amazing how long I can linger up and down those aisles! At work we've been talking about making our own granola bars and I suddenly had a craving to do so - and it is definitely well worth it!  Make it your own by substituting your favourite dried fruits, nuts, seeds, etc.  The base is rolled oats, something sticky and sweet to bind it all, and some canola oil.

what you need:
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/3 cup pitted dates
  • 1/3 cup pitted prunes
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
what to do:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line a large baking dish (9" x 13") with parchment paper.
  2. Roughly chop almonds.  
  3. On a large cookie sheet, spread out pumpkin seeds, almonds, and rolled oats.  Toast lightly for 10 minutes in centre rack.
  4. In a food processor (or chop by hand) - pulse prunes and dates with a little bit of the canola oil.  It should become a very rough, chunky paste.
  5. Combine the rest of the canola oil, brown sugar, honey, and maple syrup in a small saucepan on medium low heat.  Stir and remove from heat when sugar dissolves.
  6. In a large bowl, combine rolled oats and nuts, pulsed date/prune mixture, warmed wet ingredients, and the rest of the ingredients (except for cinnamon).  Mix thoroughly.
  7. Spread the granola mixture into lined baking dish.  Wet your fingers with some cold water and press mixture, leveling evenly.  Sprinkle cinnamon all over.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool (2 hours at least) before cutting into desired sizes.  Enjoy!
*can be kept in airtight container in fridge for several days, or freeze to keep fresh longer. 

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