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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cranberry-Apricot Granola Bars

I despise granola bars. When given one for a breakfast or a snack, I'm depressed unutterably. But bars are useful as quick snacks, and my guy at home can't eat wheat or nuts and he often wants a quick snack-meal.  At a buck a piece for sugary commercial bars of little value, it's a poor proposition. 

So I developed some homemade granola bars with his favorite ingredients and they taste great--not a cookie, exactly, but definitely slightly chewy-crunchy and full of good ingredients. A few of these will make a good mini-meal. 

3/4 cup whole spelt flour (can use any gluten-free flour if you are gf.)

1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder (use rice protein if vegan)

1/3 cup agave syrup

1/3 cup canola oil

2/3 cup packed brown sugar (you can cut this down and add more agave or use rice malt syrup instead to reduce the sugar content.) Or substitute applesauce.

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cornstarch

1 1/4 cup rolled old-fashioned oats

1/4 cup flax seeds

1/2 cup milled flaxseed

1 cup rice krispie-type cereal (can be puffed millet as a variant.)

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup cut up dried apricots


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9" x 13" cake pan. 

Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, and baking 
powder. Set aside.

Mix syrup, sugar and oil, blend well. Add vanilla. 

Add dry flour/powder ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Fold in. This will make a wet, brown sticky dough.

Wet your clean hands. Blend in the oats, flaxseed meal, flax seeds, rice krispies, dried fruits. Mix until the oats are well coated. 

Pat dough into prepared pan.  Press it WELL into the pan, using your damp knuckles. The better you press this, the better texture the bars will have. 

Bake for 20-25 min until golden brown. Cool COMPLETELY and then
cut into bars. Store in airtight containers or ziplock bags.

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