Friday, August 10, 2012

Crunchy Granola Squares

 M is a creature of habit when it comes to breakfast.  We've gone through the omelette phase, the cereal phase, and the protein bar phase.  We're now squarely in the yogurt and granola phase.  That means I've been making batch after batch of this simple honey granola.  I don't mind making M his granola, but when it comes to my breakfasts, I like a little more variety.  That's why these bars are so great.  I can use honey or maple syrup and pretty much any nut or dried fruit I want.  I can even get a little crazy and mix in a couple of nuts and/or fruits.  I can eat a square and a piece of fruit or grab one of these squares, spread a little almond butter on it, and call it good.  I can even crumble one up and join M in the yogurt and granola camp :-)

Crunchy Granola Squares
adapted from Rita French, Province Restaurant

4 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
4 c. chopped almonds, walnuts, or pecans
2 c. shredded coconut
1/2 c. butter
1 TBSP vanilla paste or extract
2/3 c. honey or maple syrup
1/2 c. light or dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 c. dried cherries, blueberries, cranberries, or apricots
1 c. wheat germ
1/2 c. ground flax seed

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine oats, nuts, and coconut in a large mixing bowl.  Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until lightly golden in color.  Let cool and return to large bowl.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  (Do not use silicone mat as you'll be cutting squares in the pan.)

2.  Meanwhile, in a small sauce pot, melt butter.  Add vanilla, syrup, brown sugar, and salt.  Bring to a gentle boil.

3.  While butter mixture is coming to a boil, add dried dried fruit, wheat germ, and ground flax seed to bowl with oat mixture.  Combine butter mixture with oat mixture.  Stir to combine.

4.  Press mixture into prepared baking sheet and bake approximately 25 minutes.  Let cool five minutes, then cut into squares in the pan. Let cool completely, then remove from pan.  Store in an airtight container up to one week.  Makes approx. 4 dozen.


That Girl said...

I am so M in a lot of respects. I'm in an oatmeal phase right now.

Natalie said...

ooh these sound fantastic for breakfast or a snack! love that they include flax & wheat germ!

Pretend Chef said...

I like variety although I do have stints of monotony. Oatmeal and a Venti Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte were the go to for about a month from Starbucks. I would love to try these for breakfast. Healthy!

ally said...

mmm, i love how these pack nutrition & flavour!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

These sound sooooo good!