I thought about trying to do a Pioneer woman type cooking post today. I love her recipe site. I love how pretty everything looks while she is cooking.
It was a nice thought. But, two things interfered with that plan. One, I'm a messy cook. This was the neatest picture I could get. And this is so not how it usually looks when I'm cooking.
Two, the Gabe factor...
Yes, that is my colander he is standing on and yes, I do wash all of my pans, colanders and plastic storage containers before I use them.
I will post the recipe, though. Todd, Gabe and I love these granola bars. Grant not so much, but he is 10. :)
One recipe yields about 24 granola bars depending on how big you cut them. I haven't done the math, but I have a feeling that if I did they would come out to be significantly less expensive than the organic granola bars I usually buy, even though I use almost all organic ingredients when I make them. I typically use organic oatmeal, but I had this left over from Christmas baking so I wanted to use that before I bought more.
2 cups of oats
3/4 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup sliced almonds (you can also used crushed peanuts)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
4 TBS butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
approximately 8oz dried fruit- I like to use a combination of apricots, dried cranberries, dried apples and dates. You can add any kind of nuts or fruit to tailor them to your family's tastes.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. You will only need the oven for the toasting phase.
Mix the nuts, oats, wheat germ and sunflower seeds in a baking dish with sides. toast them in the oven for 10-12 minutes, stirring every few minutes so them don't get burned.
Prepare a glass baking dish- 11" x 13" for your granola by lightly spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
Put the brown sugar, honey, butter, vanilla and salt into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.
By now your grains should be toasted. So, mix the grains, the sugar mixture and the dried fruit together. Mix really well so the sugar covers all the grains and fruits since this is the glue that will hold it all together.
Dump the granola mixture into your prepared pan. Using a piece of sprayed waxed paper, press down firmly on the granola until it is nice and compact. This will help keep the bars together when you cut them.
Wait for several hours and then turn them out on to a large cutting board. Cut into bars.
I wrap mine individually in snack size zip lock bags so they are ready to go for lunches and snacks.