Homemade granola bars


Homemade granola bars

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You can pick and choose favourite ingredients while omitting excess sugars, fat, additives, and allergens such as peanuts. These bars are packed with almonds and studded with raisins and dried cranberries, adding protein and natural sweetness. Apricots or dates can be substituted for the raisins and dried cranberries.

Ingredients (makes about 24 bars)

  • 1¾ cups old-fashioned oats
  • ¾ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup unsweetened grated coconut
  • ¼ cup raw wheat germ
  • 1⁄3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1⁄3 cup unsalted almond butter (see recipe)
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Oil a 23 by 30-cm baking pan. Line with baking paper. Toss the oats, almonds, coconut and wheat germ in a bowl. Pour onto a rimmed baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake until fragrant and lightly toasted, eight to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a bowl. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C.

Gently heat the syrup and honey in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until runny. Remove from the heat and whisk in the almond butter, oil, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Pour over the oats, mixing to thoroughly combine. Stir in the dried fruit. Pour into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.

Bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove and let cool completely in the pan until firm, at least two hours. Cut into squares or rectangles. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Did you know: Almond meal is coarser than almond flour and may contain the skins, so before substituting almond meal for almond flour, consider their differences. Almond meal can be used in a wide array of baked goods. It can replace up to one-half the volume of flour called for in a baking recipe, and can be used for breading meat, seafood and vegetables.

Recipes from Almonds Recipes, History, Culture by Barbara Bryant and Betsy Fentress

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