How has your breakfast routine been?
If it has been anything like mine, the last few weeks have been ... just sad.
I was on vacation last week, so I had a bit of time to reflect on just how terrible my morning routine has become. I wish I could blame it on "getting the kids to school" but the only kid I have has 4 legs and the cutest black tail. SO, looks like I'm going to have to go with the whole "I'm a real person with flaws" excuse again.
Having a week off allowed me to dive into making GRANOLA BARS! Granola bars have been on my "to-make" list for an embarrassingly long time. I snagged a base recipe from an issue of Eating Well magazine. My favorite part about these bars is that they are made from a framework. An outline. A general structure. It really allows me to make them with:
A) whatever I'm feeling at the time and ...
B) whatever I have on-hand.
Now that's my kind of recipe!
Let's call this the Granola Bar Blueprint. You'll need some of the following options...
Grains- Oats, puffed brown rice, rolled rye, puffed millet, puffed quinoa
Nuts- Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts
Seeds- pepitas, chia, sunflower
Dried fruit- apricots, wild blueberries, cranberries, apples, coconut shreds, golden raisins ( my fav )
Sweet syrups - brown rice syrup, real maple syrup, molasses, barley malt syrup
Nut butters- peanut, almond, sunflower, chickpea butters
Seasonings - cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice, pumpkin pie spice??
Salt- sea salt!
And if you are feeling it... dark chocolate! Check the label, best if you can get dairy and soy free chocolate. Less additives, more of the good stuff.
Equipment, you'll need a bowl, rubber spatula, and a pan with edges like a 9x13 lined with parchment paper (it's like wax paper without the wax... cuz who really wants to eat wax?)
The Homemade Granola Bar Blueprint
4 cups of dried grains
2 cups combined nuts, seeds & seasonings
2/3 cup sweet syrups
1/2 cup nut butter
Combine dry ingredients along with the salt.
Warm the syrup and nut butters and gently combine in a separate bowl
Add syrup mixture to dry ingredients
Coat evenly, then flatten into a parchment paper lined 9 x 13 pan
Bake at 350 for 22-25 minutes, the longer the crunchier.
Let cool for at least 10 minutes, then cut. I suggest pressing them down with parchment paper, this helps them to condense into bars. Although, if they fall apart... you have granola!
Makes about 24 bars.
I was super happy with my experimental combination:
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup puffed rice
1/2 cup almonds, roasted, salted, smashed
1/2 cup cashews, roasted, salted, smashed
1/4 cup coconut shreds, unsweetened
1/8 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup golden raisins
2/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 peanut butter
I'm thinking my next batch will contain a bit of pumpkin, because why not!?
What combos have you all tried? Share your ideas with me Alex@andraeats.com