Thursday, September 22, 2011

MY Healthy version of: Toasted Oat Granola Bar

Yesterday I was watching Steven and Chris on CBC and Kary Osmond made these granola bars.  They looked healthy enough right?  But I was loath to use all that sugar and butter in a granola bar for my kids.  So this morning I set out to make my own version.  Of course (sigh) I didn't measure anything out really good, but I can give you the approximate measurements.  Ok so that might be annoying but seriously my bars are GF, peanut free and dairy free!  They are so healthy that I gave two of them to my youngest son for lunch today because I was too lazy to fix up a lunch for one kid only!  (terrible I know)

Toasted Oat Granola Bars
Makes 24 pieces

3 cups (750 mL) large-flake rolled oats
1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded, sweetened coconut
1/2 cup (125 mL) dried dates, chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) dried cranberries
1/2 cup (125 mL) sunflower seeds
1/2 cup (125 mL) sesame seeds
2/3 cup (150 mL) butter
2/3 cup (150 mL) packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 mL) liquid honey
1/4 cup (50 mL) corn syrup
1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla
1. In a large skillet, toast oats and coconut over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; let cool.
2. Stir in dates, apricots, cranberries and seeds; set aside.
3. In a saucepan, bring butter, brown sugar, honey and corn syrup to boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool for 1 minute. Pour over oat mixture, stirring to coat.
4. Scrape into parchment paper-lined 13- x 9-inch (3.5 L) metal cake pan, pressing firmly with back of spoon.
5. Bake in 350 F (180 C) oven until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack. Cut into bars. Store in airtight container for up to 5 days.

Here is my version: 


 2 1/2 cups GF rolled oats (not the instant kind)
1/2 cup of agave
1tbsp coconut sap
1/2 cup tahini (as the oil)
1tsp vanilla
1 cup of pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup (or about a handful each of... dried cranberries, cut apricots, dried cherries)
You could add ANYTHING at this point, seeds, nuts, chocolate chips, flax/chia seeds, hemp hearts... the possibilities are endless... Just use what you have!!!
Always use parchment paper when you are baking, it's compostable and will make your life soooo much easier!
 Directions: (are pretty much the same as the above)

Pre-heat oven to 350F.  I was able to toast the oats (*same as kary does), and combine the agave/tahini/coconut sap/vanilla AND mix all the ingredients together before the oven beeped to tell me it was ready!  So in terms of a fast granola bar to make, this is it!  Bake it for 20-25 minutes, cut it up and pack it up! (totally doable before school if you are in a pinch for snacks!!!)
This toasted oats granola bar is WAY healthier: Low on the glycemic index, high in protein, fibre and good fats!!!!

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