Friday, October 31, 2008

Power Granola Bars

Since having Luke, I have needed quick, on the go snacks and breakfasts. As you can tell from the pictures, he is growing bigger all the time, and I have to keep eating to feed him.

I like granola bars, but they rarely have enough protein to last very long, and are usually over-sweetened. I have bought some balance bars to get the protein content up, but they are expensive and also too sweet.

So, in an effort to save money and keep the sugar level down, I went on a quest to find a homemade nutrition bar recipe that met my needs. I searched Recipezaar (my favorite site), All Recipes, and the Food Network. I even googled nutrition/balance/power bar recipes. The best I could come up with was a recipe for granola bars from Alton Brown of the Food Network. His recipe had all the wholesome ingredients I was looking for. I modified it, adding some soy protein powder, and changing the amounts of some ingredients, etc... and came up with this:

8 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats, about 2 cups
1 1/2 ounces raw sunflower seeds, about 1/2 cup
3 ounces sliced almonds, about 1 cup
1/2 cup whole what pastry flour
1/2 cup soy protein powder
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2T unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins

Butter a 9-nch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, molasses, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the soy protein powder, flour and the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

It does end up being a but crumbly, so it is best to turn the bars out of the pan before they have completely cooled, wait for them to cool, and then cut. If it is still crumbly, it makes a nice granola snack.


Elisabeth said...

Thanks for posting this, Katie. I think I will try it. I made some similar a few weeks ago, and ended up being turned off to them. Yiannis enjoyed them, but I'm not sure why I just couldn't stomach them. Perhaps, it was the dried dates :).

Soy protein powder....something I have yet to invest in. Where do you usually buy it?

Katie Jones said...

I buy it at our local natural grocery store. They carry it in bulk so it is cheaper. Trader Joes has something like it too.