Granola bars

So it’s that time in your life when your last siblings leave home and go away to university. Well, maybe that’s just me right now, I have a plethora of siblings, and this week my lovely younger twin sisters took off on a Eurorail/hostel/backpacking trip to Germany, to be followed by a swift move into their undergraduate dorms while I’ll be on vacation overseas :(.

I’d been itching to try out some home-made granola bars anyway (I eat like a hobbit, and my favorite second breakfast and in-between meal is any kind of granola bar) and when I mentioned it to my sisters, they asked me to make them some to stuff into their backpacks. Hostel and train food you know. Can’t blame them.
Most recipes I found were ridiculously fatty, but finally I found a good healthy one to try out, and kind of mashed it together with the Better Primal Bar Recipe that my primal diet coworkers have been raving about.

After an extensive hunt in the bulk items section of my local food co-op, some fine paper choices, and some skillful wrapping help from my roommate, the babies are done! Packaging is one of my secret passions, and my roommate’s is gift wrapping, so we butted heads a bit on the execution of the thing, but overall the process went smoothly -not to mention prep took a total of 10 minutes, followed by a whopping 30 mins. in the oven!

I gave the lot to my sisters as a going-away present at our good bye brunch, and hopefully they’ll be happy to have some granola munchies on the Eurorail trail this summer.

The taste is not quite there- I won’t lie to you. I should have used more honey or drizzled it in chocolate, but then they wouldn’t have been so damn healthy! The current batch tastes OK, mostly just like oats and seeds with some pops of cranberries… Anyway, so I’ve adjusted the below hodge-podge recipe with more honey than I used in my own trial, but feel free to amp up the sugars and fruits if you feel the need for a more commercial tasting bar.

The Recipe
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup soy protein powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom (had to add this to be Finnish)

1/2 cup applesauce
2/3 cup honey
4 TBS veg oil
2-3 TBS almond butter
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
3 tbsp dried apricots, minced
1/2 cup dried cranberries, orange scented

Mix it all together, pack it into a greased pan, and pop in the oven at 350° for half an hour. Let cool a bit before you cut and wrap. For wrapping we used wax paper as the bottom layer, brown gift paper for second, and some specialty tissue paper and raffia for the top layer.

All photos courtesy the new and lovely hand-me-down Canon EOS D20 :)