Wednesday, April 28, 2010

granola bars

I have found it hard to make a tasty but easy granola bar. I think I've finally found a recipe I like, and wanted to share, since so many of my taste testers liked it too. :-)


4 cups rolled oats
3 cups almond flour (we get ours at Trader Joe's under the name "Almond Meal")
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins, chocolate chips, or chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup honey
1 cup coconut oil
2 egg yolks
4 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease (2) 9 x 13 inch baking pans
2. Melt the coconut oil if needed. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, almond flour, cinnamon, salt & optional ingredients (raisins, choc chips or walnuts). Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg yolks, oil & vanilla. Mix well with your hands or use a stand mixer for the whole process.
3. Pat the mixture evenly into your two prepared pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Do not overbake! Cool thoroughly before cutting into bars.

A note to my taste testers this weekend: I was able to cut the sugar entirely & just go with the honey and still have sweet results. It's not too sweet anymore, so I really wouldn't suggest cutting down the honey at all, unless you're super sensitive to sweets. If you want the granola bar sweeter, add 1/2 cup of sugar to achieve a more store-bought kind of taste, like what I brought with me.

A note about gluten-free oats: I tagged this post with the GF label because oats are one of those controversial GF items - are they or aren't they? I've heard that they are usually contaminated during processing & I've heard an alternate theory that if they are grown too close to wheat, they will be contaminated with gluten from the wheat (cross-pollination I guess?). At any rate, there are GF oats widely available, so as far as I'm concerned, this recipe still fits the label.

And finally, a note about the eggs: my recipe contains only the egg yolks because my youngest daughter can't have egg whites. The original recipe I worked off of called for 2 whole eggs, so there's no reason for non-sensitive people to waste their egg whites. In fact, your bars will probably hold together even better than mine. :-)