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Home-made: Granola Bars - Simple, Delicious, Healthier Snack Compared to Potato Chips!

>> Monday, June 29, 2015

I had a sudden craze for granola bars, especially since I still have some packets of nuts that I purchased some time back. My first 2 attempts for home-made granola bars late last week was such a success that I was self-motivated to make even more bars, but with rolled oats this time around.

The beauty about granola bars is the fact that you can add just about anything you fancy into the mixture! More oats, more nuts, more fruits, more crunch...whatever you like! :D It doesn't take a lot of time to get the bars out & it doesn't require any baking; quite fool-proof, really :)

1st attempt = instant oats (this was the only type of oats I had at home), Nestle fitness cereal with banana & nut crunch (for the 'crunch' factor), coarsely chopped almonds, dried cranberries

2nd attempt = instant oats, Nestle fitness cereal with fruits, coarsely chopped walnuts, dried blueberries

Photo of the blueberries + walnuts bars

The recipe that I followed as a guideline is from a blog site called Inspired Taste. As I'm a rule-breaker when it comes to cooking, I go according to the "agak-agak/feel" method, while having a recipe as the base.

2 1/2 cups (230 grams) old fashioned rolled oats [I used instant oats the first 2 attempts]
1/2 cup (80 grams) whole almonds, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup (113 grams) honey
1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup (50 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (60 grams) dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (67 grams) mini chocolate chips [I didn't have this the first 2 attempts]
1/2 cup cornflakes - optional, but I like the extra 'crunch'

1. Line bottom and sides of a 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil. [I didn't oil or spray the aluminum foil with cooking spray as per recipe as I thought there's enough butter/oil in the mixture...the bars stick a little to the foil, but it's quite easy to slowly remove the bars from the foil anyway]

2. Toast oats on medium flame until the oats have a slight brownish-look/'til there's a slight aroma of the toasted oats. Transfer to a large bowl.

3. Add the slightly crushed cornflakes to the toasted oats.

4. Toast the coarsely chopped nuts on medium flame until the nuts turn light brown/have a slight nutty aroma.

5. Add the toasted nuts to the oats + cornflakes mixture. Mix all ingredients well.

6. Combine butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract and the salt into the same non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves. (You can see how 'lazy' I am as I use the same few utensils for every other things)

7.  Pour butter mixture in to bowl with toasted oats and almonds. Mix well. Let cool about 5 minutes then add cranberries and a 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips. Stir to combine. (The chocolate chips will most likely melt a little. This is fine, they turn into glue and help to hold the bars together).

8. Transfer oat mixture to lined pan then use a rubber spatula or damp finger tips to firmly press the mixture into the pan. (Press hard here, this way the bars will stay together once cooled and cut -- We press for about one minute to be extra safe).

9. Scatter remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips over pressed granola mixture then use a rubber spatula to gently press them into the top. Cover then refrigerate at least 2 hours.

10. Remove block of granola mixture from pan then peel away aluminum foil. Cut into 12 bars/however large or small you personally prefer.

SUPER DUPER YUMMY!! Not overly sweet, crunchy, chewy (thanks to the rolled oats; if you use instant oats, it won't be so chewy, more crunchy), nutty, fruity - definitely a more nutritious snack/breakfast than packed potato chips & cheaper than buying granola bars from the supermarket! (with the same load of ingredients, mind you)

Try it out & let me know how yours turn out, yea? My fiance & friends loved the first 2 attempts, so let's see what my colleagues will think of this 3rd oaty attempt :P

Mad about granola bars,


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