Hello and HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope this post finds all of you happy and healthy and having a great start to 2011! So, it is that time of year to ask that question…What is your New Year’s Resolution? I have had somewhat of a hard time coming up with one for myself. I have told friends that the best thing I can think is to stop spending my husband’s money! We’ll see how that one works out for me! ;) I know many of you, like me, also hope to spend this new year eating healthy and taking better care of our bodies.
This recipe is made with sweetened condensed milk, so it is not 100% good for you. However, if you are looking for an easy substitute for store bought granola bars, this is a good place to start. (see below for all the crazy ingredients found in my go-to store bought brand…bleh).
There is no doubt – after only one time of making these, I will do everything possible to avoid store bought granola bars! Here is a recipe for granola bars adapted from one I found on allrecipes.com. I used some of the suggestions by other cooks on the website and it really simplifies the measuring process even more.
- 3 cups quick oats
- 1 cup coconut
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup crushed cashews
- 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate morsels)…but anything you want will work!
- 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Add condensed milk and butter and combine with hands until thoroughly mixed.
- Spread into a large bar pan.
- Use a piece of wax paper to press the granola down to condense it and push it into the corners and sides of the pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes.
- When the outer edges are a golden brown the granola bars will be a nice chewy consistency. Leave them in a little longer if you prefer them crunchier.
- Let cool in pan for 3 minutes then use a pizza roller to cut into bars.
- Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Allrecipes.com says these are 144 calories per bar as prepared in their recipe. Not too bad for a snack that contains mostly natural ingredients. Go look at the back of your store bought granola bars and see what their ingredients are! YIKES!
Recommendations for next time: I will include some flax seed and/or wheat germ for more fiber. I think I will add at least one, if not two teaspoons of pure vanilla extract or almond extract. Maybe a teaspoon of cinnamon or cloves, etc. I will also add more nuts to get that protein in there even though the calories will go up.
I am really excited to look for fun, new, yummy ingredients to make these bars. I am going to work on them to try and make them a great snack to eat before, during, and after my runs. I am training to run my first marathon this March, so you might see more healthy cooking recipes from me and less super chocolate cakes.
Okay, maybe not!!!
By the way – here are the ingredients on the back of the granola bars I usually eat. A whole lot more than oats, nuts, butter, chocolate and coconut:
GRANOLA (WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, BROWNSUGAR, CRISP RICE [RICE FLOUR, SUGAR, SALT, MALTED BARLEY EXTRACT],WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED WHEAT, SOYBEAN OIL, DRIED COCONUT, WHOLE WHEATFLOUR, SODIUM BICARBONATE, SOY LECITHIN, CARAMEL COLOR, NONFAT DRYMILK), SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS (SUGAR, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, COCOABUTTER, SOY LECITHIN, VANILLA EXTRACT), CORN SYRUP, BROWN RICE CRISP(WHOLE GRAIN BROWN RICE, SUGAR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, SALT), INVERTSUGAR, SUGAR, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, GLYCERIN, SOYBEAN OIL. CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF SORBITOL,CALCIUM CARBONATE, SALT, WATER, SOY LECITHIN, MOLASSES, NATURAL ANDARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BHT (PRESERVATIVE), CITRIC ACID.