I’ve been playing around with homemade granola bars and this is the one I’ve been happiest with. Take a look at the list of ingredients and I think you’ll see why these are the perfect snack to take to work, school, on a road trip, wherever! Not a huge hit with the kids but if I only cooked what the kids are interested in at this point in their lives, my creativity would probably pack it’s bags and head south till their teen years are almost behind us.
It’s taken me a while to figure out the ins and outs of this recipe but I had to keep at it as it’s being used on a kid’s cooking show. I wanted to use coconut oil. The writer wanted to use the apricots in two different ways. I wanted to include raisins and sunflower seeds. The nutritionist wanted to keep the amount of honey to a minimum. So, lots of tweaking of what is essentially a pretty simple recipe. At the end of the day, I think it’s a better, more thoughtful recipe than it was when I started. Working on the recipes for this show has forced me to wear a scientist’s hat, rather than the free-wheeling, happy-go-lucky hat I wear for work most of the time!
I suggest that you wrap the individual bars well and freeze them for when you need them.
Makes 12 bars.
1 cup chopped dried apricots, divided
2 cups large-flake rolled oats
½ cup wheat germ
½ cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup honey
¼ cup coconut oil
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Soak half of the dried apricots in a dish of boiling water for about 30 minutes. Chop the remaining dried apricots into small pieces and set aside.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Drain the apricots and place in the work bowl of a food processor. Puree the apricots until they are as smooth as you can get. Place the pureed apricots in a small saucepan with the honey, coconut oil and cinnamon. Heat the mixture over low heat until the oil is melted.
Combine the chopped dried apricots, oats, wheat germ, coconut and pumpkin seeds together in a large bowl. Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. Using a square of parchment paper, press the granola mixture firmly into the prepared pan, making sure it is evenly distributed.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until the slab of granola has turned a dark golden colour. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 1 hour. Place the slab of granola on a cutting board and slice into 12 bars. Store in an airtight container or wrap individually and freeze for up to 1 month.