Friday, October 3, 2014

Granola Bars for Days When You Need Quick Nourishment

It must be the time of year when the pace of living picks up.  I've been seeing many more blogposts and Facebook updates that talk about people feeling weary and yearning for balance.  Many of us are racing hither, thither, and yon.  We may not have time to eat.  We may grab food on the go and wonder why we feel so horrible.

I haven't posted a recipe in awhile, so in the interest of the spiritual practice of self-care, let me do so.  Let me see . . . a recipe that can be mixed up quickly with ingredients that are likely on hand.  A recipe that can be varied, depending on whether or not you need to provide sustenance for vegetarians, vegans, those avoiding gluten, those avoiding dairy. 

Yes, I have just the recipe!  A month ago, I went back to an old recipe.  One of my favorite spin class instructors was driving to North Carolina to start a 3 month time away, and I wanted to create a care package of sorts, something to eat during the trip.  But my spin instructor only eats healthy food, and doesn't eat dairy--so a lot of my cookie recipes wouldn't work.

I thought of the breakfast bar type cookies I used to make, from a recipe I found in Mollie Katzen's Still Life with Menu.  It's infinitely adaptable, very portable, and keeps well.  If you like crisper bars, you spread the batter more thinly across the cookie sheets.  If you want something more like a cookie, you use a thicker spread.

It's one of those recipes that can be made quickly, a bonus for the busy days that leave us longing for something homemade, nourishing, and portable.  And if you're cooking for a crowd, it's easily doubled.  After they've cooled, put them in a plastic bag, and they'll easily keep for a week or two.  Or freeze them for later.

Homemade Granola Bars

2 C. oats
1 1/2 C. whole wheat flour
1/4 C. wheat germ and/or ground flax seeds (or not, if you'd prefer not to)
spices, like cinnamon, to taste--1 tsp. or so
6 T. brown sugar (can be increased, decreased, or left out)
1/2 C. of nuts (can be increased, decreased, or left out--you can also use all sorts of seeds)
1 C. apple juice, orange juice or water
1/2 C. vegetable oil (can be olive oil; can be partially apple sauce)
1 C. raisins or cranberries or other dried fruit, chopped--can be left out
 A handful/sprinkle of coconut--or not

Mix everything together and spread across a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for half an hour.

Cut into squares while still warm.

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