Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Granola Bars with a Hidden Vegetable

Dustin has been really into granola bars lately, but it's hard to find one without too much sugar or unnatural ingredients.  So I tried out a new recipe from this site:
I made a few changes because I really wanted to make a granola bar with a combination of oats and blueberries.  I read in Mens Fitness that when adding blueberries (which contain a lot of vitamin C) to the phytochemicals in oats, it takes longer for oxidation to take place in LDL . . . whatever that means.  LDL is bad cholesterol and when oxidized, can increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. 
Now that you have your fun fact for the day, here's how I adapted this recipe.

In a magic bullet (or food processor), I added 5 Tbsp dried Blueberry flavored cranberries.  I went to buy dried blueberries and the only kind they had contained corn syrup.  If I can find some without I definitely want to try that next time.  The blueberry flavored cranberries still has added sugar, but it also has blueberry juice in it.  Plus, cranberries contain Vitamin C as well.

Then, I added 2 Tbsp Pecans (or walnuts), 6 Tbsp whole grain oats, and 2 Tbsp Plain Almonds.  Blend.

I overly blended mine since these were for Dustin, but you could leave it a little chunkier.

If your using  magic bullet, use the blade on the right.  I didn't read my manual and always try using the one on the left (which does not work for grinding almonds).

Transfer mixture to a medium size bowl and add 3 Tbsp sunflower seeds, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 3 Tbsp wheat germ, 1 Tbsp honey, and 1 Tbsp ground flax.

Peel and then grate 6 Tbsp Zucchini.   I used the smaller grater.  I didn't squeeze out the juice and our granola bars ended up real moist and soft.  If you don't want that, try squeezing out the juice.

Add 1/2 tsp vanilla.  Mix well.

Spray a small baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and flatten the granola into the pan with your hands.

To get it even smoother on top, I use a large spatula and press down.

Bake at 325 for 30 minutes.  Let cool and cut.

Wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator until ready to be eaten. 

Here is the recipe again:

  • 5 Tbsp dried blueberry flavored cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp pecans or walnuts
  • 2Tbsp almonds
  • 3 Tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 6 Tbsp zucchini, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 Tbsp whole grain oats
  • 3 Tbsp wheat bran
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  1. Blend the cranberries, pecans, almonds, and oats.  Transfer to a medium bowl.
  2. Add the sunflower seeds, zucchini, cinnamon, vanilla extract, wheat bran, ground flax, and honey.  Mix well.
  3. Pour into a small baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Flatten with hands and then a spatula to get it extra smooth.
  5. Bake at 325 for30 minutes.  Let cool and then cut into serving sizes.
  6. Enjoy!
Kid Approved

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