Thursday, January 17, 2013

Coconut-Almond-Cranberry-Chocolate Granola Bars

This is a recipe tweaked from Joy Wilson's cookbook. I got her book and was obsessed with it because of the beautiful pictures and the sweets. But once I saw this granola bar I realized how well-rounded it was. Not only does it have DELICIOUS deserts (that maybe aren't so low in calories) she also has some very California-ish healthy meals.

I wouldn't use this granola bar as a snack, it's more of a breakfast thang because it does have about 300 calories.

What's great about a granola bar is that you can omit or add ingredients to your liking. Here's my version:


-1 and 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
-1/2 cup oat flour (I'll explain soon)
-1/2 cup brown sugar, packed!
-2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
-1 cup shredded coconut (I use sweetened but choose whatever you like)
-1/2 cup dried cranberries
-1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
-1/2 cup slivered almonds (which, I actually forgot to put in this batch)
-1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (or 6 tablespoons) honey
-1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

Ok, so, OAT FLOUR!! All you gotta do is put a bunch of old fashioned oats in a food processor, grind it until it looks like flour! Then you can store all that in an airtight container and take that flour out as you need it. Pay attention though, you're not taking 1/2 cup of oats and grinding that. You're using 1/2 cup of the oat flour. The two are different measurements.
With the butter, you can melt it in a pan on the stove or in the microwave. If you use the microwave, melt them in 10 second increments so you don't burn the butter or have a butter explosion. It should look like this:

Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch-square baking dish with foil so that some of the foil hangs over the edges. It'll help you pull it out of the pan. I like to flip my pan and fit the aluminum that way, and then put it inside the pan. Go ahead and spray it with some non-stick spray or butter.

In a large bowl combine oats, oat flour, brown sugar, flaxseed meal, salt, cinnamon, ginger, coconut, cranberries, chocolate chips and almonds.
In the same small bowl you melted the butter, whisk together that melted butter and honey. Pour that over the flour mixture and toss together with a fork.

Dump oat mixture into the prepared square pan. Wash your hands (duh) and oil up your fingers. This will help them from sticking to the bars that you will now squish down into all sides of the pan. You really wanna make sure it's all packed in there.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until browned around the edges. Do not take it out now!!!! Seriously. Don't. I'm watching you...

Let the whole entire pan cool on a wire rack or just on your counter for 30 minutes. Then, place the pan in the fridge for an hour. Now you're ready to slice. If you don't do this, the bars will crumble everywhere as you cut.

Use that overhanging foil to pull them out of the pan. Use a large and sharp knife to cut the block into 12 bars. Cut it twice vertically and thrice horizontally. Easy as pie. Or granola baaar-ee-i.... I don't know, I can't rhyme that. Wrap each one in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container.

I make this because my boyfriend is not a morning person. He will not wake up earlier to have a yummy, hot breakfast. What he WILL do, is go into the gas station store and buy some overpriced granola bar and eat that in the car. So this is the Eric granola bar. You could toss in there peanut butter chips, or mint and chocolate chips! WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIPS, O-M-G. Any dried fruit, or any seed/nut you like. Infinite possibilities.

Tell me what your granola bar would be!

307 calories, 14g fat, 8g saturated fat, 1g monosaturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 115mg sodium, 43mg potassium, 44g carbs, 4g fiber, 31g sugar, 4g protein, 2% vitamin A, 3% calcium, 9% iron.

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