Granola bars were on our menu for tonight (please excuse the poor lighting in our pics tonight, we missed the natural light, oh well).
And these granola bars are a tad different then what you may expect. Rather then raw oats we used cooked steel cut oats. Not to make them “healthier” mind you, that was not the intention.
Here’s how the steel cut oat thing happened: I called Denise over tonight to make these bars. “Do I need to bring anything?” she asked. I listed off some things like raisins, nuts, etc. Denise shows up and we are about to start measuring out ingredients… I scurry to my pantry to retrieve the most important ingredient, the oats.
“Um Denise…” I say.
Denise looks at me with a sigh (we’ve been here before) “What?”
Me: “Yeah I don’t have any oats”
Denise: “So you invite me over to make granola bars and you DON’T HAVE ANY OATS?”
I did find the oats, in the back of my pantry, but they were steel cut oats. So, in desperation we COOKED the steel cut oats first and then added the oatmeal mixture to the recipe.
Kitchen Sink Granola Bars
Adapted from Lunch Box Bunch
2 C. Steel cut oats (we cooked 2 Cups, which equaled 4 cooked cups)
2/3 C. Wet sweetener (Maple Syrup)
1/4 C. Honey and Maple Syrup mix (ran out of honey!)
5 Tbsp Butter
4 tsp ground flax seeds
1 1/2 C. Dried fruit assortment
1 C. Unsweetened shredded coconut (or more fruit/grains)
1/2 C. Whole nuts (for chunky texture)
1/2 C. Seeds (sunflower)
1 Tbsp Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
*adjust salt based on how many of your nuts are pre-salted
spray canola or olive oil
*thin layer of dark chocolate chips as a topping (didn’t have this!)
*Substitute half the buttery spread with a nut butter such as almond or peanut butter
(We cooked out steel cut oats first)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Layer parchment paper or foil in a square casserole dish. Grease the insides with canola or olive oil.
3. In a large mixing bowl, add the oatmeal, coconut and nuts and toss well. Transfer this dry mix to the casserole dish. Spray a bit of spray oil on top of dry mix-this will aid the toasting process.
4. Place dish in oven to toast for 10 minutes.
5. Stove top: Place a soup pan over high heat. Add the buttery spread, liquid and dry sweeteners, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon. Heat until it has melted together and becomes bubbly. Turn heat to low.
6. Measure fruit and seed ingredients and place in large mixing bowl. Toss well.
7. By now, your ten minute oat/coconut/nut mix should be just about lightly toasted (haha this didn’t happen for us). Pull the casserole dish out of the oven Carefully transfer the toasted mix into the large mixing bowl.
8. Next, pour the butter/sugar hot liquid into the mixing bowl. Stir well until the mixture is thick, firm and well combined.
9. Pour the entire mixture into your lined casserole dish. Add any toppings (chocolate/crushed nuts/other).
10. Bake for 30-40 minutes
11. Let cool for an hour and a half (and then refrigerate)
Clearly, these do not look like granola bars, more like just oatmeal bars. And they are chewy because we had cooked the steel cuts oats.
We liked them, people liked them. My dad ate two of them for breakfast…so let’s call them a “Oatmeal Breakfast Bar on the Go”. Ah, things never go quite as planned do they? But we will attempt the granola bar again (we want to prefect one before we head off to school again!). So there may be many variations popping up of granola/oat bars…but next I promise to have actual oats haha.
Until next time!
Denise and Laura