Today the kids and I made up a batch of granola. Our own concoction that turned out better and more delicious then I expected. You know when you go into a project and you kind of think its going to fail but you already mentioned doing it to the kids and now you have to do it? This is that project. Star was restless and trying to eat all the chocolate chips so I knew I had to move fast and there was no time for a recipe. Move fast and keep everyone’s attention.
I started with the what I knew I wanted the base to be. All measurements are approximate (they were measured but when working with kids some ends up on the floor, in the mouth, in their hair… You get the point…
Preheat oven to 325
3/4 cup honey (I used an organic creamed honey)
1/2 cup chopped unsalted peanuts
1 cup softened peanut butter (microwaved for 40 seconds to soften natural smooth peanut butter)
4 cups oats
These alone would be good but then we added
2 tablespoons Holy Crap skinny B cereal which is Chia seeds, hemp hearts and buckwheat. Check it out at http://www.holycrap.ca
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips (dark would be better IMO)
1/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup organic strawberry apple sauce (I remember reading somewhere that apple sauce is good for binding)
A few whole peanuts and some dried fruit from a trail mix we had kicking around.
After the children took turns stirring I plugged in the kitchen aid and set it to stir until everything was combined, 2-3 minutes.
While it was mixing we lined a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper. Greasing it would work if you don’t have parchment paper. Soon the mixture was poured and spread with a spatula.
A second piece of parchment paper was used to flatten and spread the mixture to the edges making it firm in hopes it won’t crack. I also used a knife to cut around the edge of the pan and the granola to try to keep it from sticking and once again, cracking.
Cooked for 25 minutes but I watched it from 15 minutes to insure it didn’t dry out but still got crispy on the outside. 25 minutes was the number that worked in my stove.
After cooling for 10 minutes I laid a towel on the shelf in the fridge and transferred the granola cake to the fridge where it cooled 15 minutes. I did the fridge cooling trying to find the perfect combo to make crispy outside, soft inside, easy to cut, scrumptious granola bars.
They. Turned. Out. PERFECT!
We all agree they are the best granola bars we have ever had.
Back to school tomorrow for my Sun, when he gets into his lunch and sees his granola bar he will be thrilled and proud that he helped make it. I’m happy because I know each and every ingredient that is in it. Simple to make and easily adjustable to what you have around the house or your family likes. Stick with the base and the cooking and cooling process and you will be golden.