Friday, August 6, 2010

Granola Bars - makes about 16 (2 inch) squares

I came upon this recipe about 2 years ago when I started a running group.  My trainer would pocket these granola bars and eat them during and after her run.  Thinking that it might make me run as long and strong as her, I inquired as to where I could get such a treat.  I was shocked to find out that these are homemade, organic and super easy to make.  Not only are they great for a pre-run/after-run snack, they're great for sustaining the grumbling between meals.  They're super healthy and can even pass with kids.  I sent my daughter with a Ziplock bag of two bars for rock climbing camp and she returned with promising her coaches that I'd make them a batch.  They loved it so much I think they ate all 16 bars within 10 minutes.  I've given them as snack for teachers, friends and family and they're inhaled in one bite.  If you're asking if they've made me endure longer during my runs, well, no. But, if there where a race to see who could polish off their bar the fastest, I'd win, (as would those who try them) hands down.


8 oz old-fashioned organic rolled oats, about 2 cups
1 1/2 ounces organic raw sunflower seeds, about 1/2 cup
3 oz sliced orgainc almonds, about 1 cup
1 1/2 ounces organic wheat germ, about 1/2 cup
6 oz organic honey, about 1/2 cup
1 3/4 oz organic dark brown sugar, about 1/4 cup packed
1 tbs olive oil, plus more for pan
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
6 1/2 oz chopped dried fruit, any combination of apricots, cherries, blueberrys
1/2 organic chocolate chips (optional)

Lightly dampen a paper towel with olive oil and grease a 9-inch glass backing dish and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 350.

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 honey, brown sugar, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat.  Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.

Once the mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees.  Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit and stir to combine.  Add chocolate chips and mix well.  Turn the 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.

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