Monday, April 20, 2009

THE Granola Bar recipe you have been looking for!

I have been on a quest for the perfect granola bar recipe for about a year and tried many. I found this one, and I'm DONE searching! It's perfect! Meredith shared it at Great Ideas Day, too. SO good, your kids won't even know it's not the Quaker chewy kind. Using the regular version of the recipe, I figured it cost me $1.12 to make 12 bars.

Homemade Cliff Bars (no bake!) from www.enlightenedcooking.blogspot.com

There is plenty of room for variation here, so let your mind and tastebuds run wild. I have a few variation ideas to get you started. And yes, you can definitely double this recipe and press into a 13x9-inch pan instead of an 8-inch pan.

1 and 1/4 cups crisp rice cereal (e.g., Rice Krispies)
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed (flaxseed meal)don't overdo the flax, it makes them crumbly
1/4 cup finely chopped dried fruit (e.g., raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, etc.)
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts (preferably roasted or toasted)
1/4 cup brown rice syrup (or honey, maple syrup, or light molasses)-I use honey, and maybe a tablespoon more than this calls for...
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/3 cup nut butter (e.g., peanut, almond, cashew, soynut)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine the rice cereal, oats, flaxseed meal, dried fruit, and nuts in a large bowl.

Bring the syrup and brown sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in nut butter and vanilla until blended.

Pour nut butter mixture over cereal mixture, stirring until coated (mixture will be stiff). Press mixture firmly into an 8-inch square pan (sprayed with nonstick cooking spray) using a large square of wax paper. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 12 bars. (Wrap bars tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator).

Nutrition per serving (1 bar):
Calories 228; Fat 7.4g (poly 2.3g, mono 4.1g, sat 0.9g); Protein 10.8g; Cholesterol 5mg; Carbohydrate 34.3g; Sodium 156mg)
(Note: I did the nutrition analysis using Diet Analysis Plus 7.0.1)

Variations:
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Replace the dried fruit with an equal amount of semisweet miniature chocolate chips (or carob chips). Combine the cereal mixture with the syrup mixture, then let the combined mixture stand 10 minutes before adding the chips.

Peanut Butter Cookie
Use chopped dates for the dried fruit and dry roasted peanuts for the nuts. Use honey, or half honey-half molasses for the syrup and peanut butter for the nut butter.

Will You Cherry Me?
Use chopped dried tart cherries for the fruit and lightly salted roasted almonds for the nuts. Use any nut butter (almond butter is great, but I know, very expensive, and add 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.

Apple Pie
Use chopped dried apples for the fruit and rice syrup or honey for the syrup. Be sure to add the cinnamon option, and use toasted walnuts or pecans for the nuts.

5 comments:

Lee Ann said...

Can't wait to try them. I just have a hard time finding gluten free "quick" oats. I don't want to ruin them by using regular ones. Hopefully soon!

Eryn said...

You know, I just realized it even said "quick cooking" oats. I always buy the Quaker Old Fashioned oats at costco...dont' know if they are gluten free, but that's what I've always used. Mine tend to be a smidge on teh crumbly side, so I use a little less flax and tad more honey, seems to be fine.

Peter said...

This recipe sounds great - we're definitely going to try them out.

If you're looking for additional healthy homemade granola bar recipes, we have a small (but growing) collection.

One of our favorites right now is Blueberry and Maple Granola Bars

Jennifer said...

Yum..Every time I buy the kids cliff bars I think of these and how I need to start making them.

Michelle P said...

Super duper good! I just made them for the 1st time. Thanks for sharing!