toasted granola bars
May 15, 2011 § 2 Comments
To all my friends out there who are still in high school, I know that you know that it’s AP season which means it’s time to crunch down on some review books as well as some brain food. I find that I am very strongly affected by my fullness levels when it comes to studying. If I’ve eaten too many carbs, then I get sleepy and the result is waking up with a textbook page stuck to my face and a
lovely drool stain in my notes. On the other hand, if I don’t eat anything, I get a little antsy and meander downstairs to find a snack and always get sucked into whatever TV is on that night. This especially applies to Thursdays…darn you NBC for putting all my shows on the same night!
What I find works best for me, snack-wise, is granola bars. They’re portable, reasonably portioned, and pretty downright yummy if you can find a flavor combination that you like. But what kind of blogger would I be if I just told you go buy a box of these or these and I didn’t get my hands even a little dirty? As well as being delicious, sort of healthy, and convenient, granola bars are also a good way to get rid of the sad stragglers that get left at the bottoms of bags. Stray raisins, a handful of chopped nuts, and maybe some flax seed that you bought months ago in a moment of health consciousness but never really got around to using? Heh, my bad.
I really like this recipe, because they’re dense, peanut buttery, and everything gets toasted before being pressed into a pan so the flavor is a little more complex than a regular granola bar. Oh, and everything’s pretty natural, which is always a plus!
2 cups oats
1/4 cup sesame seed
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 cups add-ins (nuts, dried fruits, whatever suits your tastes)
Line a 7×11 inch baking dish with parchment paper. (You can use different sized pans, they will just alter the thickness of your bars.
Heat up a large skillet until hot to the touch and add your oats into the skillet and start stirring them around to toast them. After a few minutes, they will start to become golden and fragrant. At this point, pour the oats out onto a plate and add the sesame seed into the skillet and repeat the process for those.
Combine the honey, brown sugar, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and salt into the same, heated skillet and stir until homogeneous and liquefied. Then return the oats and sesame seed into the skillet and cook together with the liquid mixture until all combined. At this point, add your add-ins to the mixture and stir until everything sticks together. Turn everything out into your baking dish and press flat to create an even thickness throughout.
Let cool and cut into squares or rectangles and enjoy. You can wrap them up individually with cellophane for a ready-to-grab snack when you’re on the run!