In an effort to make the granola bars I made last week I little healthier (and so we can take some to Pa Pop when we see him next weekend) I made them again but with some healthier changes.
1/2 cup granulated sugar (actually used a little less)
1/3 cup oat flour (this time I used 1/3 cup oat flour…last time I took 1/3 cup of regular oats and blended them up – resulting in much less than 1/3 cup oat flour)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts (total of 10 to 15 ounces) – this time I used the following:
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup chopped unsalted peanuts
- 1/4 cup flax seed (milled)
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon water
In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, oil, liquid sweeteners and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry until the mixture is evenly crumbly.
Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan. (A piece of plastic wrap can help with this, as you press down on the back of it.)
Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges — don’t be afraid to get a little color on the tops too. They’ll still seem soft and almost underbaked when you press into the center of the pan but do not worry, they’ll set completely once completely cool.
Once cool, a serrated knife (or bench knife) to cut the bars into squares.
* Since I used a 9×13 pan the bars were quite a bit thinner resulting in crumbled granola bars. Some came out intact, but most of it’s just granola now. 😦
* Since I added extra dry ingredients this time (more than the 2 cups of just walnuts and chocolate chips I used last time….and using more oat flour) the bars are not as moist as they were before. This is FINE because again I was going for a healthier version.
* I added wheat germ and flax seeds, which are both good for you.
* I’ll definitely make them again. Next time I’ll use a little less dry ingredients and I might go back to the full 1/4 cup of honey – for sweetness. Oh, and I had dried apples that I want to do next time…with raisins.