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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

homemade granola bars

last week jab asked me to make him lunch for work, not only to save money (he eats out everyday!) but also to be healthier. i don't know that the logisitcs would work out since we don't live together, he'd have to stop by every day after work to pick up lunch for the next day, but food that had been prepared the night before. plus, he doesn't really do leftovers, so i'd have to figure out a menu that calls for small quantities and items that he'll actually eat and not be tempted to go out to lunch. but we're giving it a go this week. there are some changes brewing for me in the near future that might put a damper on my cooking and crafting time but i could give an honest try to make him lunch at least a few times a week. it's a start.

my first item is more of a snack or breakfast treat: granola bars. my cookbooks were fairly meager with recipes so i asked my friend Jen if she had any recipes handy. she did. so with her suggestions and what i had gleaned from my own granola bar consumption, i came up with something i am quite pleased with.

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Homemade Granola Bars
adapted from Jen Johnson and what i had handy in the pantry

2 cups old fashions oats
handful of coconut flakes
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup of honey
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter
handful of raisins

preheat oven to 350 degrees. in a pan, spread out the oats, coconut flakes, and both nuts. toast in the oven for about 15 minutes, stirring every so often so it's evenly browned. in a saucepan, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar and peanut butter until fully incorporated. add the toasted ingredients to the sauce pan and mix thoroughly. put in the raisins at this point. in a pyrex dish, spray with oil (or you can use butter). once done, transfer the granola mixture to the pan, packing it all in neatly and tightly. bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, until golden brown. remove from oven and allow to cool. when it's cooled down enough, with a sharp knife, cut into bars. fin.

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what i learned:
i either have too much or zero patience. the first time i made these, friday night (or really, saturday morning), i kept them in the oven too long and they came out hard. when i made them yesterday, i yanked them out sooner than maybe i should've cus they weren't golden brown, just slightly tan. also, i didn't wait for it cool completely, i went in to cut and they kinda crumbled on me. but they taste damn good. jab doesn't like the raisins, even tho i tell him they're good for him (the high fiber content etc). and i don't know how i'd be able to keep chocolate chips intact, they'd melt in the oven.

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any suggestions on what else i can make for jab's lunch and/or snack? what do you snack on or chow down on for breakfast?

current soundtrack: Joshua Radin, Today.

last note: please don't forget about the special month of October. not only is it autumn and soon to be halloween, but it's also breast cancer awareness month. Saving Boobies has the details on what you can do to make a difference.



13 comments:

  1. They look fabulous! Glad I could help out and that it ended well. :)

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  2. I love these! What a perfect way to start out the morning!

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  3. These look fantastic. What a great idea for a recipe!

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  4. i've been looking for a good granola bar recipe, and these look great - thanks!

    question: what size pan - did i miss that? and how many bars would you say it makes?

    thanks again!

    -ann

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  5. Those look yummy. I made an oven pancake for the hubby and me. You can make it the night before, its easy to make, and is more filling than cold cereal. The recipe I have also uses cooked rice, so its a great way to use up leftovers.

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  6. jen - :)

    melody/sweet & saucy - these are great to snack on in the morning wiht a cup of a joe. i also like snacking on them in the afternoon with tea and then at night after dinner. i'm a little obsessed with them right now.

    kristen - thank you! and it was fast to make... well the cooling down process was a bit of a bummer but still!

    ann - i didn't mention it. i used the standard size, the regular casserole size. i am terrible, i don't even know the size and i'm not home to measure. it was too big so i had to halve it, meaning i packed the granola as tight as i could into half of the dish. i don't have a smaller dish (thought of going with a round pan...) and i didn't want to make 4 cups worth, which probably would've been the right amount for the pyrex. i'd say i cut about a dozen bars, but they're smaller, about half an inch thick and a middle finger length long. (my makeshift measurements are so ghetto, i'm sorry!) let me know if you have any other questions!

    hoopla - your recipe sounds great! would you mind sharing?

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  7. Your bars look yummy. My hubby takes lunch along EVERY day. I just give him leftovers. If he doesn't like them, can he do salads? You could grill up some chicken and give him colorful salads and sandwiches. Otherwise, he may have to start liking leftovers!

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  8. Dried Cranberries might be a nice touch.

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  9. I'm another one who has been looking for a granola bar recipe. I'm so glad you posted this! Bookmarking it for sure! :)

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  10. wow! homemade granola bars! this has got to be about 10x more fun than buying them in the grocery store!

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  11. I'd be happy to share the recipe with you! I just emailed it to your gmail account and hope the recipe is tasty and satisfactory in general.

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  12. wow! homemade granola bars! this has got to be about 10x more fun than buying them in the grocery store!

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  13. I'm another one who has been looking for a granola bar recipe. I'm so glad you posted this! Bookmarking it for sure! :)

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