Sunday, April 11, 2010

MYOG: Make Your Own Granola.. TOO EASY.

Well hello Granola Sunday. 

So lately I've been on somewhat of a health kick (I'm not counting this weekend's funnel cake..oops). I'm trying to eat more/only whole grains, eating lots of fruits, lots of veggies and as fresh as possible...even in my baking I've started incorporating whole wheat flour and natural sugar alternatives. I've also decided that if I can make it at home, I'm going to try to do so; that way I'll know exactly what is going in to my food. You would be appalled at the amount of crap they put into foods to make sure they're stay "fresh." Along these lines I've been wanting to try to make my own granola for a while now.

Who knew it was so easy?

 Not only is it super simple, it doesn't take up too much time and in the grand scheme of things you'll be saving money on the 6 granola bars you would buying for 5 dollars at the grocery store!  Not to mention you will be in complete control as to the combinations of ingredients.. if you want chocolate chunks AND raisins, well then do it to it.. you could even add dried banana if that tickled your fancy!

I found all my ingredients at Whole Foods.. have I ever mentioned how amazing that store is? Talk about health food overload... man oh man that is an amazing store.  The Whole Foods in Austin has an incredible bulk section- I could have gone completely crazy, but I just got what I needed...for this time around :)

Rest assured that MYOG will be a common occurrence from now on.. since this was my first batch I did a smaller amount, but this recipe could easily be doubled, tripled, quadrupled you name it!

Have any flavor combinations you think would just be phenomenal?? Let me know!!! :)

Sunday Granola Bars
Oven: 350 Bake time: 20 minutes

1 cup rolled oats (I used quick oats)
1 cup bran flakes (Wheaties)
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 TBS flax seeds
2 TBS wheat germ
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 TBS cinnamon
1/4 cup applesauce
2 TBS agave nectar
2 TBS canola oil
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup natural almond butter (or natural peanut butter)
1/4 cup honey/agave nectar (I actually did half and half)
1 tsp vanilla extract
extra TBS cinnamon
1 TBS corn syrup

In bowl combine oats, bran flakes (crush in hand before adding), pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, wheat germ, almonds, and cinnamon.
Add applesauce, agave nectar and oil. Mix until dry ingredients are coated with wet ingredients and transfer to parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Transfer to oven for 20 minutes.
Your kitchen will now smell fantastic for 20 minutes
Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
If you don't want granola bars you could totally stop at this point to munch on some great granola or you could keep going and make em into bars.

Add almond butter, honey/agave nectar, vanilla, cinnamon and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat, mixing constantly until all ingredients are blended and mixture becomes smooth and warm. Remove from heat.
Place baked granola back in bowl and add cranberries.
Pour warm nut butter mixture over baked granola. With a wooden spoon mix until you've got everything coated and starting to bind together.
Line small baking dish with parchment paper (I just used the paper the granola cooked on) and plop in granola mixture. Push mixture into dish, making sure to not leave big open spaces. Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Once bars have cooled and set, cut into squares or bars.

A perfect way to spend your Sunday.