My friend Katie - mother of FOUR! by the way - slipped me this recipe (click link or see below) for home made granola bars while visiting last winter.
|My homemade creations entering le oven|
|Mmmmm ... golden, toasted heaven!|
These granola bars are so good. Just by tasting them you can tell they are much more healthy than the store-boughts, not to mention there is a sense of pride when you pull out home made bars for your kids ... and even better on a play date ;)
P.S. "Katie" also mentioned that she triples the recipe when she makes it and freezes what she doesn't need.
(Canadian Family Winter 2012)
2½ cups quick-cooking oats (not instant)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup chopped raw almonds, pecans or pistachios
½ cup chopped dried cranberries
½ cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
⅓ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup ground flaxseed
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
¾ cup canned pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ cup liquid honey
¼ cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1.Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, letting the paper overhang on two opposite sides (so you can use it as a sling to pick up the granola bars after baking).
2.Combine first 9 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, honey, butter and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients. Mix using a wooden spoon until dry ingredients are coated with pumpkin mixture. Make sure there aren’t any dry oats in the bottom of the bowl! Stir, stir, stir!
3.Pour the wet granola mixture into the prepared pan and spread it evenly to the edges. Using your hand, press down firmly on the granola so that it’s tightly packed in the pan.
4.Bake on middle oven rack for about 25 minutes, until top turns a light golden brown and feels dry to touch. Remove pan from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Lift cooled slab of granola from pan by holding on to parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the granola into 16 bars, about 1½ x 4 inches each. (Tip: Press down with the knife to cut the bars and avoid a sawing motion.) Wrap bars tightly in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container, either at room temperature or in the fridge.