Sunday, April 3, 2016

Honey Almond Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars with No Refined Sugar

I fell in love with making granola bars this year. They are so fast and ,easy to make, and taste way better than the packaged stuff sold on the market. Plus, you can make sure yours doesn't contain refined sugar.

Here's a version that uses only honey (and dried cranberry) as a sweetener. The coconut oil gives it a tantalising aroma but you can use butter too. But the recipe is so versatile, you can vary the nuts and dried fruit. You can also swap out flax seed and linseed for wheatgerm and other nutritious grains.

2.5 cups oats
1 cup almond slices
1 cup dried cranberries
Half cup flax seed (best ground to a meal)
Half cup linseed
Half cup honey
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp salt
butter for greasing baking dish/pan

The method is based on Alton Brown's recipe. I tweaked it to suit my own ingredients.


1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C or 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish (I used a 9" x 13" baking tray) and set aside. You can use parchment paper as well as butter; lifting off the finished product will be much easier.

2. Spread the oats and almonds together onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice.

3. In the meantime, combine the honey, coconut oil, vanilla extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat, stirring until everything is combined.

4. Once the oats and almonds have been toasted, remove them from the oven and reduce the heat to 150 degrees C or 300 degrees F. I think my own oven does better at 160 deg C but yours might vary.

5. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine.

6. Turn the 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.

7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. It will still seem a bit soft when fresh out of the oven. That's okay; it will harden when it cools.

8. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

That's it for easy granola bars with no added refined sugar!


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