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random musings of a crazy cat lady

Friday, May 9, 2014

NOMZ! Addictive granola "bars"

I'm on a anti-inflammation diet right now, at the advice of my doctor.  She was right about the gluten so I am heeding her advice on this at the moment.  Anyway, I'm supposed to cut out dairy, soy, peanuts, eggs, wheat (of course) and corn.  After a few weeks of this I am supposed to introduce these things back one by one and see if I notice any difference in how I feel.  Anyway, I've been on it a week and a half. I'm usually hungry and have lost about 2 lbs.  Other than that, it is hard to tell.  The first few days my knees felt great, then they felt awful, and now they feel good again.  So it remains to be seen if it helps or not.
After about a week of this I was seriously craving snacks, so I searched the internet for granola bar recipes that I could adapt.  I found one at the Food Network site, and adapted it to suit my diet and what I had in the house. Anyway, this stuff is seriously addictive. It's kind of sweet, very crunchy, and more like a cookie or candy than granola.  I'll probably cut back the honey slightly, but it is extremely good, and I'll make it again even if I'm not on a crazy lady diet.

"Just like crack" granola stuff

8 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats, approximately 2 cups
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3 ounces sliced almonds, approximately 1 cup 
1/2 cup ground flax seed
6 ounces honey, approximately 1/2 cup
1 3/4 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup packed
1 -ounce coconut oil or butter, plus extra for pan
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
Optional Extras (dried fruit, nut pieces, coconut, chocolate chips, etc)

Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats and almonds onto a cookie sheet . Place in the oven and toast for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Watch it carefully since it doesn't take long to go from underdone to burnt.

In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, coconut oil (or butter), extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved and then cook a few minutes longer, watching it carefully.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture, flax seed and sesame seeds to the liquid mixture and stir to combine. If you have any extras (dried fruit, coconut, etc) add them and mix well,  Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.  If you'd rather have granola-like chunks, press mixture down on a larger glass casserole dish or cookie sheet lined with foil.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes and remove before it looks burnt.  Allow to cool and cut (or break) into into pieces.  Allow to cool to room temperature and immediately put it into a ziplock bag - it absorbs moisture readily.

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