Monday, October 15, 2012

Recipe time!! The best granola bars EVER.

If I could spend all day in the kitchen, I would. It's my favorite place in the house besides wherever my workout space happens to be (which could be anywhere, given the portability of kettlebells, TRX, and my body). It's been my mission to weed out pre-packaged foods and create everything from scratch, because food manufacturers are very sneaky and love to throw in all sorts of things to extend shelf life (which doesn't do anything except shorten yours) and keep their costs down. The biggest challenge in that is finding things to make for my kids' lunches. They love their sandwich, granola bar, and fruit though I do mix it up sometimes with hard boiled eggs, roasted seaweed, nuts, muffins, and vegetables.

I found a recipe for granola bars online from Whole Foods and improved it, resulting in the most irresistible granola bars ever. There's no going back to the packaged stuff, even if mine are a little more crumbly. That's what spoons are for right?! Here we go:

Ultimate Granola Bars

2 cups organic old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup quick cook steel cut oats
1 cup crisp rice cereal

1/3 cup melted kerrygold butter
2/3 cup organic brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure bourbon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Spread oats in 9x13 glass dish. Bake oats and cereal for 15 minutes, stirring every five minutes. Allow oat and cereal mixture to cool to room temperature. Combine remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add cooled oats, mix well. Spread mixture into the 9x13 dish that has been greased with virgin coconut oil, pressing hard to compact the mixture. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely and cut into bars. Enjoy!

I've played around with baking dishes and different ways to grease the pans, and I've found that coconut oil on glass works much better than butter on stoneware or canola spray on glass. I've also found that the brown sugar and butter works better than honey and canola oil at holding the bars together. I'll keep experimenting with the recipe and add various dried fruits and nuts to see what other combinations are irresistible.

Also check out some links I found explaining the difference between farmed and wild salmon. Very important information.

Go wild!!

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