Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The frugal snack solution: homemade granola bars

Last week, I posted my homemade granola recipe, as part of my introduction on The Frugal Meal Solution: Breakfast. Homemade granola is nothing new. But here's something I do with my granola: granola bars. These are hot items in our house.  They're gone in a flash! Much faster than any batch of oatmeal cookies.

And I can add all kinds of healthy stuff to them.  The oats are healthy enough, but in my granola I can add wheat germ or ground flax seeds, whatever wholesome goodness I want.  Then, when making the bars, I prefer to use a natural nut or seed butter (can't say that about the supermarket bars), and I add dried fruit.  These are hearty enough for a quick breakfast, or with a cup of yogurt for a speedy lunch, but mostly they get gobbled up as snacks.  Here's how I make them -- Enjoy!!

Step 1:

Heat together, until melted:

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup natural peanut butter*, regular peanut butter, sunflower seed butter*, or other nut butter
3 Tablespoons butter

Step 2:

Add 1/4 cup water

Step 3:

Mix together 2 1/2 cups granola and 1/2 cup any goodies -- chopped nuts, coconut, mini chocolate chips (if using dehydrator, not oven), chopped dried fruit (I do chopped raisins -- even with raisins, it's a good idea to chop them, as the bars will cut and hold together better if fruit is in small pieces).  Alternatively, omit fruit, use 3 cups granola. Now, mix the granola/fruit with the nut butter mixture.

Step 4:

Press into a foil lined 9 X 9 inch or 8 X 8 inch pan.
Cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Carefully lift the whole foil and granola mixture out of the pan and cut into bars. Remove from foil.

Step 5:

Dehydrate -- Dry 7-9 hours at 144-155 degrees F on the plastic, fine mesh screen, rack of dehydrator, until chewy. Turn bars over at 4 hours.

(These instructions are for a food dehydrator.  A dehydrator is great for summer "cooking", as you can set the dehydrator out on a porch, or in the garage, if it's a really hot day.  You don't heat up the kitchen with it this way.)

A dehydrator is preferred, but an oven will also work.  Line a baking sheet with silpat, parchment or foil. If using parchment or foil, give it a light coat of cooking spray.  Place bars on lined baking sheet.  Dry in a preheated oven on the lowest setting (no higher than 200 degrees F), about 4-6 hours, until chewy.  Turn over several times (2-3) during the drying, to insure even drying and to speed up the process.



*if using natural peanut, natural sunflower seed or natural other nut butter (if the oils separate at room temp), make this modification use 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon natural nut or seed butter, 2 Tablespoons butter in step 1

Granola recipe here ( http://creativesavv.blogspot.com/2012/05/frugal-breakfast-solution-granola.html )  For more on The frugal breakfast solution here (http://creativesavv.blogspot.com/2012/05/frugal-breakfast-solution.html)

for Homemade sunflower seed butter recipe see http://creativesavv.blogspot.com/2012/05/homemade-sunflower-seed-butter-cost.html

2 comments:

  1. I will have to try this. I answered your shoepeg question in a separate comment. So, I answered you twice.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the info on shoepeg corn. I've never heard of it before. I hope the raccoon hasn't been back. What an ordeal you went through, with the raccoon and chickens.

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