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Friday, 19 April 2013

Food: granola bars

Further to the success of my fruit nuggets, I thought I'd have a go at making some more portable energy foods. I decided upon granola bars. I love granola. It's full of oats, fruit and honey. I usually eat shop bought granola with yoghurt and a little honey as a tasty breakfast alternative.

The granola bars below are great for breakfast on the go, and for providing a long term energy fix during the day. Ok, they're not super healthy owing to the inclusion of butter and sugar. However, the granola bars' butter and sugar content compares very favourably with most other cakes/biscuits. Plus you have the added benefit of slow burn oats and healthy dried fruits. The dried fruits add a natural sweetness to the bars so less sugar is needed.

The recipe below makes deliciously chewy granola bars. Feel free to use any combination of dried fruits, nuts and seeds - the end result will be absolutely delicious, I promise! The recipe below is just a guide so you use the correct quantities.

Granola bars

granola bars
Serves 14

200g porridge oats
100g butter
100g dried figs/dates/apricots
50g sesame seeds
50g chopped almonds
50ml runny honey
100g pumpkin or sunflower seeds
100g light brown sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius. Place the nuts, seeds and oats on an ovenproof tray and toast in the oven for 10 minutes.

toasted oats, seeds and nuts
2. Chop the fruit up finely.

chopped figs, apricots and dates
3. Melt the butter, sugar and honey together gently in a saucepan.

sugar, honey and butter being melted together
4. Combine the two sets of ingredients together in a large bowl, add the fruit and stir.
5. Line a brownie tin with greaseproof paper and press the granola mixture into it. Level out and press down to ensure the granola stick together.
granola bars - pre-bake
6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

granola bars - post-bake
7. Allow the granola to cool in the tin before slicing into bars (this is the trick to preventing them from falling apart when they're sliced.)

Note: To make your own granola, follow steps 1-4. Then place on an oven proof tray (no need to press the mixture down to form bars) and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool fully before storing in an airtight jar for up to a month.

granola bars

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