Crunchy like Taffy
Lately I've been on a pseudo healty eating kick. Whole grain cereal croissants, more fruits and veggies, wild rice, raw brown sugar...it seems only natural (pun intended) that I'd want to make my own granola bars. I'm trying to be more proactive and DIY at home these days. I like the idea of knowing every ingredient that's going into what I eat...and being able to pronounce them. Ah, some day when I have my homestead with garden and requisite orchard and berry patch. Until then, I will depend on store based goods but in their most pared down forms.
I must mention at this point that I had also bought an impulse jar of pollen back in July. Wha? The thing that bees gather to make honey with? Yep. And no, I don't intend to make my own honey (or not just yet anyways! The kind folks at Log Chain Honey offered to let me come out and try my hand at beekeeping next time I am home. They make DEEELISH raspberry creamed honey by the way.) I had been apartment hunting and saw some on the kitchen table of one of the places I was checking out. The little golden nuggets intrigued me and after a bit of research I decided to try some. It's supposed to be all kinds of good for you but the part I didn't read up on was the intensity of it's flavor. It's very unique and after downing a spoonful straight (which I wouldn't recommend) I started thinking up other ways to consume my bee food.
Sprinkled on ice cream might work or in a peanut butter and cheddar cheese sandwich but the most logical thing that came to mind was granola bars. Nestle it along side it's hearty counterparts of dried fruit, nuts, and grains. I won't lie, the flavor still comes through but it is a bazillion times better. And think how much healthier for you this seems than those NutriGrain bars you snag on the way to work. Eh? Eh?
I've modified a recipe found on Recipezaar.com as per other users' suggestions and my own preferences. The possibilities for experimentation on this are limitless though.
Chewy Granola Bars made of Products Whose Name's You Can Actually Pronounce
yield about 24 servings
active time about 15min.
2 1/2 cups Rice Krispies
2 cups 5 kinds of oats or oatmeal or your grain of choice
handful of raisins
handful of dried apple pieces
handful of chopped pecans and walnuts
handful of chocolate chips
liberal sprinkling of pollen
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 c. molasses
1/4 c. honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large bowl combine dry ingredients
In a sauce pan combine: corn syrup (which I might replace entirely next time...rice syrup perhaps?), molasses, honey and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over med. heat, stirring all the time. Remove from heat. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until combined. Pour over the dry ingredients and toss until all is coated.
Lightly spray a 9x13 pan with Pam, and press the mixture into it using waxed paper. Let cool on a rack before cutting into bars. Grab and go.
As an aside, I took in some to work and half the pan was gone before lunch. Try freezing leftovers in individual serving sizes.