Granola Bars

3

8.30.12 by sarah

Like many mornings of late, I find myself struggling to roll out of bed, drowsy-eyed and yawning, at 8:30 – yes, I realize that this is pathetic, as most of my friends have to be in the office as early as 8 or 9 in the morning.

In my office, I’m not considered late until 10 AM. This is a wonderful thing. It means that, when I get to work in the morning, I’m awake and ready to work. My make up is done. My clothes are not wrinkled. My coffee is freshly homemade. My lunch is packed, my bills are paid, and my laundry is done. I don’t run for the bus, and I don’t have to send that daily email from my phone that gives a very vague idea of how late I might be – because, well, sometimes, you just don’t know (or care).

Overall, the 10 AM start time has made me very productive. That might also be the job change – it’s amazing what loving your job does for other parts of your life.

But with all the good comes challenges: new job excitement and this newfound recognition of talents, combined with being thrown into a major project, forced me into hyper productivity. I’ve only designed two infographics in my life, and one of them was retweeted by Barack Obama.

A girl can’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed. So I’ve been gymming it like a madwoman, and spending a lot of time watching TrueBlood reruns in bed in my bathrobe.

A girl can’t complain. Life is good.

Homemade Granola Bars, adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook

Ingredients
1 and 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
3/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup rice cereal
1 cup dried cherries

Instructions

Toast the the oats, almonds, and pecans. Sara calls for your to toast your nuts and oats in the oven, but I just toasted them in a cast iron skillet over my stove. If you combine all three ingredients in a skillet and toast them over medium heat, constantly stirring to make sure they don’t burn, that should work too. Let them cool completely.

Drop your oven heat down to 300 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the honey, water, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk until evenly mixed. Then, combine the toasted oats, almonds, and pecans with the syrup mixture. Stir in your rice cereal and your dried cherries.

The mix should be rather sticky. Line two bread pans with greased foil and/or parchment paper.  I did this with foil, which didn’t peel off very easily, so I actually recommend parchment paper. I used the bread pans because they are the perfect width for individual granola bars, which makes for easier slicing once finished.

Pour half of the mixture into each pan, and with another piece of parchment, press down on the mixture to form a dense granola bar base, about one inch deep.

Bake at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Once completely cooled, remove from the baking pans, slice into one-inch bars, and wrap in parchment paper for storage. The bars should last you about a week or so – but you could always freeze them to last longer.

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