I rarely follow a recipe to the letter. Generally, when trying something new I will raid my cookbooks and search online, then combine elements from a whole bunch of different recipes that I like. Most of the time, this works quite well.
Other times, not so much…
Granola Bars -1, Sarah – 0.
Several weeks ago, I went on a bit of a spending spree in Holland & Barrett and stocked up on a whole range of seeds, nuts and dried fruit as I’d wanted to try making my own granola bars for ages. I also bought agave nectar as a vegan sweetener. It’s delicious!
Well, the granola looked good when mixed together and when pressed into the pan and when I took it out of the oven… I think the problems probably started when I dropped the slab when transferring from the baking tray onto the cooling rack and it all split apart.
I attempted to press it back together, let it cool and then popped it in the fridge hoping for the best but alas, when I went to slice the slab up into bars, it all crumbled apart into regular cereal consistency. I think perhaps I didn’t bake it long enough (I panicked when the fruit on top started the burn) but my main issue was probably not having enough wet to dry mixture, so it just didn’t bind.
On the plus side, the mix is delicious and I will still put it to good use. I chucked the mix back in the oven for a little while and just ate it by the spoonful! If you fancy making your own granola (not bars), give it a shot!
The great thing about granola is you can put whatever fruit, nuts, seeds, cereals you want in it! For a sweet tooth, you could chuck some chock chips in there. I kept mine vegan and fairly healthy – here’s what I went with:
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup dessicated coconut
1/3 cup omega seed mix (sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame seeds, brown linseed, golden linseed)
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, extra
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, extra
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup sultanas
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted cashews, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup dairy-free spread, softened (use peanut or other nut butter if preferred)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon water
1. Pre-heat oven to 200 C. Spray inch-deep baking dish with cooking spray and line with baking paper.
2. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl.
3. In small bowl, mix spread, vanilla essence, agave nectar and water.
4. Stir wet mixture into dry mixture and mix well until combined.
5. Pour granola mix into pan and press down firmly with wooden spoon or spatula.
6. Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes when edges start to brown.
7. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to serving dish. Cover and store in fridge for up to one week.