07 June 2007

Death by Granola Bar (Potentially)

While driving to work, hunger strikes.
What should I eat?
Oh yes….there is a homemade granola bar in my lunchbag.
I can totally reach my lunchbag, which is in the backseat.
I lied.
I can’t reach it.
Stretch…..stretch a little further….was that a red light I just ran?
Ah, now I have the lunchbag.
Oh no, the zipper is stuck.
Need both hands.
Look, a curve in the road ahead. This will work out rather well, considering my car’s alignment is off and we will naturally follow the road if I remove my hands from the wheel.
Take hands off wheel, fix zipper, oh no, curve is curvier than I expected.
Wheeeeeeeeee, hey, now I’m in the other lane, surprise! Good thing there weren’t any cars next to me, and now I have my granola bar and I am happy and not dead and not hungry.

Homemade Granola Bars
My new favorite snack (besides eating store-bought icing from the tub). Every bite tastes delightfully different, depending on the particular combination of the various little goodies in each piece.
This is a huge double batch, so it makes enough for two people to have at least one granola bar every day for two weeks. (I suppose I could have done the math for you but then if I was wrong you would get mad at me because your recipe didn’t make enough granola bars but this way I can just say oh you must have eaten them too fast you are such a pig)

3 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned or instant)
1 ½ cups pecans, chopped
¼ cup flax seeds
½ cup sesame seeds

2 generous cups puffed brown rice cereal
2 cups dried fruit, chopped (I used apricots, cranberries, cherries and raisins)

1 cup honey or brown rice syrup
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup pomegranate molasses or 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
¼ cup brown sugar (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spread first 4 ingredients on 2 baking pans and toast for about 15 minutes, or until you can smell the aromas from the toasted nuts.
When oat mixture is toasted, mix in the fruits and the rice cereal.

Meanwhile, heat the honey (or brown rice syrup), salt, sugar (if using), molasses (if using), and butter (if using) in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until ingredients are well combined. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Add the mixture to the oats and mix well.

Spread the mixture evenly into 2 greased/buttered pans. How thick? Your choice.
Press firmly so that everything sticks together.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until the granola turns golden.

When you take the granola out of the oven, only let it cool a little bit before you slice into bars. Wait until the bars are completely cool before you remove them from the pan.

Wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container. Mine have lasted 2 weeks, so yours might last longer if you don’t eat them all first.