Thick Chewy Granola Bars

July 8, 2010

I’ve tried making my granola bars before, but I have not found a recipe that I like. So when I saw these Thick Chewy Granola Bars on N Her Shoes, I knew I had to try them. Bobbi from N Her Shoes actually got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen. (Just want to give credit where credit is due.)

Thick Chewy Granola Bars

1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats (I used old-fashioned.)
1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (use more for a sweetness akin to most purchased bars; use less for a mildly sweet bar) (I used 1/3 cup)
1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts (I used 2 cups of dried blueberries, dried cranberries, raisins, and some slivered almonds)
1/3 cup peanut butter or another nut butter (I used almond butter.)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or corn syrup
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. Lightly grease the parchment paper and the exposed pan, or coat with a non-stick spray.

Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter or oil, liquid sweeteners and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry (and nut butter, if you’re using it) until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan. (A piece of plastic wrap can help with this, as you press down on the back of it.)

Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges — don’t be afraid to get a little color on the tops too. They’ll still seem soft and almost underbaked when you press into the center of the pan but do not worry, they’ll set completely once completely cool.

I snagged a bite while they were still warm, and I do believe they are going to be a winner!!

Workouts

This morning I decided to take the day off from running and go for a nice 30 minute bike ride. It is exhilerating to go at a faster pace and cruise through the neighborhoods.

Weight Lifting

I am still sore from my 30 minute lifting workout last night. Here’s what I did:

– squats

– lat pull-downs

– adductor (inner thigh) machine

– deltoid raises

– straight-leg lifts

– rowing machine

– walking lunges

– tricep presses

– hip flexor exercises

– back extension

I generally alternate between legs and arms to maximize my time and give each half of the body adequate rest time. I usually did 2 sets of 10-12 reps for each exercise listed.

Food Reviews

As you guys know, I enjoy trying new foods, so here are some items I’ve recently tried.

These Raspberry Chocolate Kashi granola bars were awesome!! This granola bar was “frosted” with a mixture of dates, raspberry juice, and chocolate. The raspberry flavor was definitely evident and the combination of chocolate was perfect.

These Kashi Pumpkin Pecan granola bars were very similar to the previous granola bar–both were a “Fruit and Grain Bar.” I loved the pumpkin flavor in this granola bar. It tasted just like pumpkin pie!!

I guess this post is turning into a Kashi post. Actually, the reason I’ve tried so many Kashi products recently is because I’ve had a bunch of coupons to use!! I heart coupons.

I was definitely intrigued by the combination of toppings on this pizza and the description:

Plantains, mangos, kale and fire-roasted red onions with mozzarella cheese and a sweet & spicy guava-infused, Jerk sauce on stone-firedKashi 7 Whole Grains & Sesame® with flax seed crust.

Both Craig and I liked this pizza but not as much as a couple of the other ones we’ve recently tried. The Jerk sauce was prominent and the crust was crunchy, but other than that it wasn’t anything to rant and rave about.

The nutrition facts are pretty awesome for pizza. Add a side of veggies and you’ve got yourself a nice well-balanced meal.

Yeah! I finally found the Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Chips, and they were even on sale 2/$5. These bad boys are very addicting!! They are so crunchy and savory it will be hard to make them last. Definitely a winner!!

That’s all I’ve got for tonight. Later!!

7 Comments
    1. I didn’t know what to call the machine/apparatus. It was the one where you’re standing and you bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle, lift your feet off the ground, and lift your legs (while keeping them straight) until they are parallel to the ground. I think most people do it for their abs, but your hip flexors are the muscles that are actually flexing and relaxing.

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