Friday, September 3, 2010

Homemade Granola Bar Makeover

I found this recipe for healthy homemade granola bars. How health is it when it uses refined brown sugar, all-purpose flour and vegetable oil? Gross, gross and gross. I was going on a little weekend vacation with my cousin and her baby and I wanted to bring homemade granola bars along for a snack. My goal was to re-vamp the recipe using non-refined ingredients and eliminate the eggs since my cousin's son is allergic to them. Flax seed meal is a great egg substitute for baking; One tablespoon of ground flax meal mixed with two tablespoons of water is the equivalent of one egg.

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup sucanat
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 cup whole wheat flour or spelt flour
1 cup raisins, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, shredded coconut, raw cocoa nibs (any combination of things to equal 1 cup - I used a bit of everything!)
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1 tbsp ground flax seed meal mixed with 2 tbsp water
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a square or rectangle baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sucanat, wheat germ, cinnamon, wheat flour, raisins, cranberries, cocoa nibs, shredded coconut and salt. Make a well in the centre, and pour in the honey, flax, coconut oil and vanilla. If it is very dry, add a bit of water, a tablespoon at a time. Mix well using your hands if needed. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. After cutting, let cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

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