What’s Cooking On Cable With Jenna – Homemade Granola Bars
For those that don’t know, my husband is training for his first marathon right now. He will be running the Chicago Marathon in October with the American Heart Association. My husband, who always enjoyed running, was inspired by Dan Malinski’s story, and when an opportunity presented itself, he jumped on board. Needless to say, due to his rigorous training schedule; healthy, protein and energy filled food is in high demand in my house. Granola bars have been a favorite of his so far, but as I have found, most granola bars available in the supermarket may as well be candy bars. They are filled with so much sugar, high fructose corn syrup and preservatives! This brings me to my recipe for this week: Homemade granola bars.
This recipe is from Food Network’s Show Good Eats. The recipe is an older one from 2005, but I was drawn to it because it used wheat germ as one of the main ingredients. I made a few ingredient changes and the recipe turned out great! It’s a great recipe to us as a starter and change out with many different flavor combinations!
I had all of ingredients are things on hand, minus the sunflower seeds. Along with the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds and wheat germ I also decided to add some flax seeds to the granola for extra fiber and health benefits. These ingredients go into the oven for 15 minutes for some light toasting.
While the grains are toasting, in a small saucepan, I melted the butter, vanilla extract, salt, brown sugar and honey. I have started substituting agave nectar for honey because it has a lower glycemic index than regular honey or sugar, and the substitution worked perfectly. Once the brown sugar is melted, you can combine the toasted grains and the dried fruit (I used raisins and cranberries) with the liquid mixture. I recommend a large bowl because I ended up make a huge mess!!
Like I said before, the added ingredients can be easily swapped for many different flavor combinations. You could do cranberries, walnuts, and white chocolate chips. Or macadamia nuts, dried pineapple, and coconut flakes. Or dark chocolate chips, coconut and almonds. Oh my! My mind is racing at all the endless possibilities!
I think that my husband, Scott was pretty impressed when he came home from his run last night, to this snack waiting for him.
Keep in mind, that because these granola bars do not have preservatives, they will only stay fresh for about one week. Let me know how yours turn out or if you have any interesting and different flavor combination ideas!