Sunday, August 2, 2009

for the crunchy, granola people out there

my co-worker loo is a bit of a health nut these days. actually, i'm a touch jealous. the girl is training for her second full triathlon and is sticking to healthy eating regiment (something i should really consider - the eating, not the triathlon; no need to kill myself). anyway, i usually bake something delicious for my friends on their birthdays, but i knew loo wouldn't eat a cake or something similar this year. so i researched granola and protein bar recipes and concocted a mix of my own. these little babies are tasty power burst!

my recipe (based on several different bloggers out there):

2 cups of rolled oats
1 1/2 cups of nuts and seeds (i used almond slivers, pumpkin seeds, and soy nuts)

[toast the above ingredients on a greased cookie sheet at 350-375 degrees, stirring about every 5 minutes]

3/4 cup of honey
3/4 cup of creamy peanut butter (a generic natural kind - runny is easier to use)
2/3 cup of brown sugar

[heat these ingredients on medium heat until combined and melty]

2 cups of dried fruit (chopped up, i used apricots, cranberries, and papaya)
1 1/2 scoops of vanilla protein powder (not sure how much a scoop is - but they come with those huge cans of whey protein my male roommates insist on having...)
toasted oats, nuts, and seeds

[mix these with the melty stuff and then press into a greased 9x13" baking pan, refrigerate for at least an hour, cut into bars, and wrap in wax paper, cling wrap, or foil - as i did below]

the little "g" on the middle bar denotes a special littla addition i made to a couple of the bars. i bought som crystalized ginger while i was at the grocery store. i wanted to chop it up for the bars, but the flavor was so strong (i'd never had it before), i wasn't sure if it would over power the bars. so i chopped a few and pressed them into the top of a small portion of the bars. glad i did it to - loved it!

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