Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Next Step

After I wrote about granola yesterday, I realized that I should have included a logical next step: turning granola into granola bars. So easy to do and, again, much healthier and cheaper than what you will get at the store. (Though I do have a soft spot for Trader Joe's chewy granola bars.) Mark Bittman has published several versions of  a granola bar recipe. Here is one that just ran in the Times. But I would submit that there is no need to follow any particular recipe too strictly. The basic idea is to combine a cup of granola with a cup of "puffed rice cereal" (aka Rice Krispies) with a cup of warmed sweetener. You can use honey,or maple syrup or even agave, I suppose, though I have not tried it. If you have some corn syrup languishing in your pantry, that would work too. Warm the sweet stuff in the microwave or on the stove to get it thin and pliable. When it's warm, I like to add peanut butter and/or almond butter. Pour the mixture over your granola-krispie mix. Stir gently, but quickly.( It's sort of like making Rice Krispie treats -- if you pause too long, you go from sticky goo to rock hard Krispie cement in a matter of minutes.) Dump the granola into a greased pan. (I usually use a 9x9 brownie pan.) Use wax paper too make an even layer of granola goodness. Refrigerate for a couple of hours to firm them up. When everything is cool and hard, you  can cut into squares and store in Tupperware. They'll keep for at least a week, maybe more. This is a very fun thing to make with kids, too. Feel free to add chocolate chips, more nuts, dried fruits, flax seeds, wheat germ - anything goes, pretty much.

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