Saturday, June 22, 2013

Food Failure and Success with Homemade Granola Bars

I think of myself as a good cook.  I have enough years behind me to have learned a fair bit about cooking - both savouries and sweets.  I've learned how to read a recipe, not just to see if I have the ingredients, equipment, and time to undertake it ... but also I know how to read it to see if it will taste good - both to myself and to the rest of the family.

Still, I occasionally make mistakes.  Such as this 4-Ingredient Banana Oat Bar recipe.  It sounded so simple - 4 ingredients! - and the person who wrote the article thought they were great.  Mine tasted like pasty, banana flavoured cardboard.  The whole batch - including the piece I had to spit out - ended up in the compost bin.

Today, I had a wonderful, yummy success.  (Maybe granola bars need a few more ingredients?)  It was a simple to prepare recipe that came together in less than 30 minutes.  Because I wanted something that Walter could take as a snack to his daycare I used sunflower butter instead of peanut butter (I found the sunflower butter at my local Save-On-Foods).  I didn't have wheat germ, I didn't feel like grinding my flax seeds ... so I used some sesame seeds for the wheat germ and pumpkin seeds for the ground flax seeds.  I used a lot of chocolate chips.  And, I used old-fashioned steel-cut oats instead of the quick oats.


Honey - 1/2 cup
Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup
Peanut Butter - 1/2 cup
Quick Oats - 2 cups
Rice Krispy Cereal - 2 cups
Ground Flax Seeds - 1/4 cup
Wheat Germ - 0 to 2 tablespoons (optional)
Mix Ins* - 1 cup

*Choose what you want - chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, seeds.

Prepare a 9" x 13" pan by spraying with Pam and lining with wax paper.  Set aside.

Mix the honey and brown sugar in a saucepan and heat on medium heat, stirring continuously until the sugar is melted and everything combined.  Take off the heat and stir in the peanut butter.  Now take a medium bowl and put in all your dry ingredients except for the mix-ins.  Stir to combine.  Pour in the wet ingredients and stir thoroughly to combine (I ended up using my hands to make sure the wet and dry ingredients were well incorporated).  Add in your mix-ins and get them fully integrated.

Press mixture into pan making sure it is firmly packed in.  Let cool completely and slice into whatever size suits you.

Although a little flimsy (I guess I didn't press it firmly enough into the pan) they are so good.  I don't know if they will make it to Monday!

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