Friday, March 26, 2010

Food Storage Friday: Granloa Bars...er...Just Granola


I've been on the lookout for a new granola bar for some time now. I'm looking for a recipe without corn syrup or sugar. When I found this one from FANNEtastic Foods via Inner Workings, I was thrilled. It had everything I was looking for in a granola bar. However, it had an ingredient that I didn't have: "brown rice syrup." I'm always hesitant to buy ingredients for a certain recipe when I'm not sure if I'll use that ingredient for anything other than that recipe. Does that make sense? So I googled "substitutes for brown rice syrup" and came up with maple syrup. I actually had the real deal maple syrup so I thought I'd give it a try. As you can see from the picture, sometimes substitutions don't work. I definitely did not end up with granola bars, but on the flipside, I made some delicious granola and it was SO fast!


Ingredients: rice cereal, oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, ground flax seed, maple syrup, nut butter and vanilla.


Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. You could use any combination of nuts that you wanted, and I'm guessing that any cereal would work too.


Mix it well.


A little while ago a reader wrote in asking if we knew of any recipes for granola bars without peanut butter because there was an allergy in their family. I have not been able to find a peanut butter exempt granola bar recipe. I think the peanut butter is a binder for granola bars. In any case, I do think that you can substitute a different nut butter for peanut butter. There are all sorts of "nut butters" available these days. This one is sunflower butter but I've tried almond butter too and it's delicious. That being said, I don't know anything about nut allergies, whether if you are allergic to one nut, you're automatically allergic to all of them. So this could be a moot point.


Anyways, you'll notice that this company is clear to state that although they process peanuts in the same place (warehouse? manufacturing center?) they don't use the same equipment so there shouldn't be any peanut traces in the sunflower butter.


Moving on, put the sunflower butter, vanilla and maple syrup in a microwave safe bowl and stir it around.


Pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds or so. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray so the bars won't stick.


I ended up microwaving for 20 second, stir, another 20 seconds, stir and another 10 seconds and stir before I gave up on it being completely smooth.


Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir away.


Push the granola "bars" into the pan and flatten them out.


Pop in the fridge to harden.


After a couple of hours I pulled the bars out and tried to cut them.


It was a crumbly, albeit delicious mess.


So I covered them with plastic wrap and stored them in the fridge overnight. This morning they were still crumbly. I'm guessing the brown rice syrup is more sticky than maple syrup is, which is why they didn't congeal.


I think I'll eat it as cereal or as a topping for yogurt. It's still very good, but just not a granola bar. Obviously. I'm storing the granola in the fridge because I didn't bake it.

I'm tempted to go out and get some brown rice syrup and see if it works, because truly these had the best favor.

What do you think? Do you have a great healthy granola bar recipe?


Huffman Family said...

I don't know about healthy but one time making oatmeal raisin cookies I forgot to add eggs. So I baked them without realizing this and when they came out they looked like granola bars and they tasted pretty good. The kids ate them all.

Bethany said...

That looks delicious.

CheerfulHeart2 said...

Love the oatmeal cookie sans egg story. Love the comments int the post on allergies and PB and substitutions and syrups, etc.

Debbie said...

Granola for breakfast is delish. I'm sure these are still a big hit. :) But I have to admit... I'm a little confused at wanting to use a recipe without sugar, but then using syrup. Uh, isn't that the same thing? :)

Kathleen said...

I hate peanut butter so I won't make granola bars with it. I found a good recipe over at Chef Tess Bakeresse's blog. It doesn't use peanut butter or peanuts but it does use brown sugar and honey.

from my motorhome to yours said...

love your blog, come by and get mine, I have a recipe for granola bars you would love too

Leisa said...

There's a recipe at Catherine Newman's blog (google Catherine Newman granola bars at the Disney Family site) that uses no peanut butter, though it does have nuts. When my children were nut-free I just skipped the nuts and used more fruit. These stick together very nicely but of course have sugar and honey! They are delicious.

The Johnsons said...

LOVE THIS SITE!!! GREAT INFO! If I may add: we deal with the nut issue in our home as well. my son is allergic to peanuts and we have been told that once you have an allergy to 1 nut the liklihood of being allergic to any or all of the other nuts GREATLY increases. as such, we stay away from all nuts. We can have sunflower butter because sunflower is a seed; not a nut. The granola bar recipe we use is very simple and I cannot remember where I got it from. If anyone has the nut issues and wants the recipe, feel free to email me at johnson424 at comcast dot net.

Shauna said...

Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) makes granola bars without peanut butter. I haven't tried them, but I watched the episode when she did make them and they seemed really easy and yummy. Anyway, if you want that recipe it's here...http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/homemade-granola-bars-recipe/index.html