Monday, August 23, 2010

Granola Rounds

I love granola bars.  Let me clarify: I love good granola bars.  And good granola bars are usually pretty pricey.  Enter homemade granola bars!  Except these are not so much bars as they are round... But have no fear, what they lack in way of angles is by no means related to how they taste.  Because they taste totally awesome :)

  • 2 c. oats
  • 1 c. raw almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 c. shell-less sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 c. ground flax seed OR wheat germ
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 c. agave nectar
  • 1/4 c. natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1 c. dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Toss oats, nuts and flax/wheat germ in bowl; transfer to large, ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes, stirring every five or so minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan, add brown sugar, agave, apple sauce, peanut butter and salt and heat over low heat until all ingredients are well combined.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  3. Lower oven temp to 300.  Pour dry oat mixture back into bowl; add cranberries and sugar mixture and mix until everything is well coated.
  4. Using 1/3 c. measuring cup, spoon wet oat mixture into muffin tins and pack tight (I use the bottom of the measuring cup and my fingers).  How full you pack your muffin tins will determine how thick your granola rounds turn out... I only pack mine half full, which leaves me with some leftover granola that I just bake on the baking sheet, alongside the granola rounds.  Or, pack them full and you'll have no leftovers, only thick granola rounds.
  5. Bake at 300 for 15-20 minutes, depending on how thick your rounds are and how chewy/crunchy you want them.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool COMPLETELY before devouring.
These are perfect for snacks or meals on the go...  Full of fiber and protein to give you the energy you need, minus the sugar crash and cavities you can certainly do without.  Now that's what I call well-rounded (oh yes I did)!  *B

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