Sunday, January 26, 2014

DIY : Homemade Granola Bars




Happy 2014!! While I’ve made just about zero resolutions because they never seem to last beyond a week, I do have very high hopes for this year! I’ve just joined the #100HappyDays bandwagon, hopefully I see this through. If you want to cheer me on, I’m doing it on Instagram, come say hi! A few encouraging should go a long way in pushing me to do it for THREE and a HALF months, probably the longest commitment I’ve ever made! If you’re doing it too, tell me & we’ll cheer each other on.

                             

Anyway, the first thing that’d make me happy is losing the 10 kilos I’ve gained in the past year and half that just don’t seem to go away. Began gymming last month, and had been living on granola bars for the hi-energy post workout snack. But the problem was, I’m way too picky and only ended up eating one flavour, over and over, out of the measly 3-4 that are available in this country.



Baking healthy food has always intimidated me, especially in Bombay, because of the weird ingredients you find in the recipes, like flax seed, brown rice syrup etc. So even if I DID want to try, the ingredients stopped me [flax seed is actually available very very easily in Bombay, it’s just called something else]. But since I was sick of eating the oats & chocolate flavour, I spent half of a Sunday browsing recipes and doing some research to find a manageable recipe. And I know everyone says this, but you’d be surprised at how easy it was, it took literally 10 minutes of prep, and that includes looking for the ingredients in all the cupboards of the kitchen.



I’ve made this recipe thrice in 2 weeks, and have learnt that a higher molasses:honey ratio is needed to make the bars sticky enough to not crumble. The ones pictured here are 1:1, but a 3:1 ratio I made before this was perfectly compact, stayed together, and was crunchy to perfection. A 2:1 ratio will also work and is the third combination I tried, which were my favourite. You get the flavour of the honey and the stickiness of the molasses for perfect gym/work/school snacks.
                            

Homemade Granola Bars
Adapted from The Kitchn, a LOT of Google, trials & some error

1 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal, puffed millet, high-fiber cereal mix, crushed pretzel sticks, or any other crispy grain or cereal
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I love walnuts, peanuts & almonds)
3/4 cup dried fruits (I love dates, figs & raisins)
1/2 cup syrup (I love 2:1 molasses:honey ratio)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 - 1 tsp spices, like cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (optional)
3 tsp peanut butter or 1 tbsp cocoa powder (optional for firmer bars)

Instructions
  1.  Preheat your oven to 350 F [180 C]. Grease and line a baking pan with parchment, leaving some overhang on the sides so it's easy to pick up.
  2. Toast the nuts, oats and rice cereal on low until they become almost crispy, about 10 minutes. Optional is soaking the dried fruits in hot water for 10 minutes to make them softer, I chopped them small & don't feel the need. If you do choose to do this, make sure you dry them with a paper towel before using.
  3. In a small bowl, warm your syrups of choice for about 15 seconds till it becomes looser in consistency. Add the vanilla, salt and other spices, if using, and mix well.
  4. In a large bowl, pour out the nuts, oats, rice cereal and dried fruits. Pour the warmed syrup mixture, and the peanut butter / cocoa powder, if using. Mix well.
  5. Pour out this mixture onto the prepared sheet. Pack extremely tightly or else you will end up with crumbly bars. The greased bottom of a measuring cup works well for this. Pack them up to your desired height, it doesn't need to match the size of your pan, as you can see in the picture below, the mixture holds shape pretty well.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes for chewy bars, add another 5 minutes for crunchy bars (I love them just around the 25 minute mark)
  7. Let them cool completely, this is very important. Once completely cooled, cut into bars of desired size & store in an airtight container. Pack 2-3 of these into your boxes everyday and see your weight drop.

5 comments:

  1. I've never made home-made granola bars... I know, shocker right?! Must start on them ASAP!! Thanks for the recipe :)

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    Replies
    1. I hadn't either before these... a successful New Year's Resolution :))

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  3. Nice post, i hope everyone will like your post..

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  4. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post, It is awesome.

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