December 16, 2013

food processor granola bars

It all started as a way for James to use the Christmas cookie cutters.

He has been carrying them around the house, trying to use them on everything I cook for dinner- it was all I could do to keep him away from the pizza dough.

Being not quite ready to break out the butter and sugar and make cookies, I searched for an alternative food that he could sink his tree, bell, and stocking-shaped cutters into. We often make granola bars that are so crumbly that we turn them into granola, but I thought that they would perhaps fulfill his cookie cutter needs.

Sadly, the cookie cutters could not cut through the bars. But in the process I made the ultimate trifecta of granola bars: easy, delicious, and they actually stick together.

The first batch we made fit into an 8" circumference pan. They were delicious, but only lasted one day. The second time I doubled the recipe. Only problem was that the food processor was too full so the coconut oil did not get evenly distributed. Since the oil works as the binder, this resulted in a slightly more crumbly bar. I would suggest melting the oil before adding it so that it will be evenly distributed and sufficiently hold the ingredients together.

These bars are very versatile: you can wrap them up and pack them for a quick snack, or crumble them easily over some yogurt and eat them like granola.

Food Processor Granola Bars

1 cup walnuts
1 cup almonds
3 cups oats (gluten free if you are avoiding gluten)
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1 tsp coarse salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
large dash of other spices you may want: ginger, cardamom, cloves, allspice
1/4 cup all natural peanut butter
2/3 cup coconut oil (melted, see note above)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Grease two round 8" circumference pans, or one 9 x 13" pan with cooking spray or coconut oil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine nuts, oats, flaxseed meal, salt, and spices in a large food processor. Pulse about ten times, or until all nuts are broken up. Add the peanut butter, melted oil, syrup, and vanilla. Process until well combined.
Add the cranberries and pulse until they are mixed in well.

Put into pan(s) and firmly press down so that the mix is flat and even on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until browning at edges.

Let cool in pan(s) on a wire rack for an least 30 minutes before cutting into bars (not with a cookie cutter). Store in an airtight container, but if you're family loves them half as much as we do they won't last long!

Happy snacking,

No comments:

Post a Comment