Monday, August 31, 2009
Granola bars are the perfect on-the-go snack. However, one look at the ingredients on a prepackaged granola bar and I was convinced I could do better. I knew I could make a bar with no preservatives and very few ingredients. It's super-duper easy to make your own bar. The best thing is, you can customize the flavors with anything you crave. These bars are sweetened with agave and packed with dates and coconut. Not a date or a coconut fan? No problemo! Feel free to swap in another dried fruit, or even some pretzels, chocolate chips or nuts. Have fun with this and get the kids involved. Lots of measuring makes this the perfect intro-to-cooking recipe for your little ones.
Makes 12 bars
3 c rolled oats
1/2 c unsweetened coconut (you can use sweetened but it will make the bars very sweet)
1/2 c dates, chopped (or your favorite dried fruit)
1/2 c agave syrup (or honey)
1/4 c brown sugar
3/4 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread the oats and the coconut on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for about 10-12 minutes making sure to shake the pan halfway through so that everything toasts evenly and does not burn.
Cook the agave, brown sugar, butter, salt and cinnamon in a medium saucepan over medium heat until boiling.
Dump oats, coconut and dates into a large bowl. Add butter mixture into the oats and sitr until combined.
Pour mixture into a non-stick 9x9 brownie pan. Spread mixture out with a rubber spatula and press down to evenly distribute.
Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours (overnight is even better). Cut into 12 bars.