Making Lemon…. Ehm, Granola Out of Granola Bars.

 

Yesterday, my friend Val and I found ourselves with a half hour to kill before an abs and glutes workout that nearly killed us.  On a whim, we decided to try our hand at making granola bars.  Within a matter of minutes, we were well on our way to a very delicious first attempt at granola-bar making.  Since it was a hey-why-not-try-this-kind of situation, we did not go to the store and get all the ingredients that any one recipe called for. Instead, we scoured the pantry and I just checked a few recipes online to see what the basic ingredients were that seemed to come up recipe after recipe while Val started with the prep work. They were pretty simply rolled oats, nuts, dried fruits, brown sugar and honey. Luckily, this is a well-stocked little household, so we had everything on hand (resourcefulness win!). Here’s what we used:

2 cups rolled oats (super inexpensive and can easily be bought in bulk)
½ cup flaxseed meal
½ cup nuts –we had pecans and almonds on hand
½ cup dried cherries and cranberries
½ cup dried apricots
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup honey

While Val chopped and prepped the nuts and fruit (she had to unshell the pecans, dice the apricots and chop the nuts), I set the oven to pre-heat at 350 F, toasted the oats and flax seed in a skillet on medium high heat, stirring to make sure the flavors came out but did not burn.  On a second pan, I combined the sugar and honey and stirred on a lower heat setting until the sugar was dissolved. The whole thing took maybe 5 minutes. I’m sure you could toast the oats longer, but we had a workout to get to.  Once that was all done, we found a 9X12 pan and mixed all of the ingredients together and spread them evenly, pressing down slightly.  We then popped that sucker in the over, set the timer for 20 minutes, and told Johnny to make sure it didn’t burn.  Bam! We went off to get our butts kicked and left Johnny to shoulder the responsibility.  After 30 minutes of grueling pain that I thought would never end, the fitness instructor mercifully released us and we went back to check on our bars.  The smell as we walked in the door was encouraging. Johnny had not forgotten, thankfully.  As we checked on our whimsical experiment, we realized that, unfortunately, the granola layer we had created was a bit too thin and kept breaking off and crumbling when we tried to get it out of the pan. It tasted quite delicious, though. The nutty flavors were a lot stronger than in regular granola bars, I think from the flax seed meal, and the crispiness was pretty fun.  Soooooo, ever resourceful as we are, we decided that instead of making granola bars, we had just made granola. We crumbled everything up, stuck in in a mason jar, and I swear I had the best breakfast in the world this morning when I combined it with almond milk.  It was super delicious, really quick, fun, easy, and made a big mason jarful (probably makes more when you’re not starving following a workout that nearly killed you. Sheesh.). Next time, I’m going to use a smaller pan to create a thicker layer (2 inches or so) and use flax seeds instead of meal, and maybe try adding in some other ingredients (ehm, ehm, mini chocolate chips, ehm, ehm).  Other than that, though, the recipe is a keeper and I am once again amazed at how flippin’ easy it is to do this stuff yourself.  I’m not planning on buying granola or the bars anytime soon if all it takes is a half hour to create the yummiest home-made stuff on the planet! Salute!

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2 Responses to Making Lemon…. Ehm, Granola Out of Granola Bars.

  1. This sounds divine! We can’t wait to try it.

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