granola

I’m back!

You know you love what you do when you miss it while away.

After 8 hours of travel we arrived home yesterday afternoon with a cranky baby and a few eager pets. My body ached, I needed to shower, and my head was starting to nod as I struggled to keep my eyes open. And still Jason had to restrain me from the kitchen as my need for productivity fought all my bodily urges. After a bit of resistance I caved. Then I took a three hour nap with Eden.

That was a good choice.

This morning, still on Michigan time and well rested from my nap the day before, I was up by 5:00 a.m. By 6:00 I had granola bars in the oven. I was rolling out cookie dough for a raw Almond Strawberry Linzer cookie I still haven’t decided to post on the blog or publish in the cookbook, and cashews were soaking for a raw Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake. Sipping on coffee while jotting down ingredients, taste testing recipes, and making a mess in the kitchen may just be the best way to start a day.

By 6:30 I pulled the granola bars out of the oven and pretty quickly I discovered they weren’t going to work. Crumbly and soft, I had essentially made granola. So I tried again, this time using a completely different technique. And they were delicious. Sweet and chewy, these granola bars are packed with goodness; biting into one of these may just be another great way to start the day.

 

Homemade Granola Bars
makes 20 bars

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup whole almonds
2 Tbsp flax seeds

1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup agave nectar
6 tbsp non-hydrogenated vegan butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

 

Line a 9×13 baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl combine oats, wheat germ, seeds, and nuts. Spread onto a larger baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes, stirring ever couple minutes. Stir in shredded coconut and continue to toast for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven, stir in dried fruit. Return to bowl and set aside.

In a saucepan combine brown sugar, agave nectar, vegan butter, salt, and vanilla. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Once sugar has melted pour hot liquids over the oats and mix thoroughly to combine.

Transfer granola onto prepared 9×13 baking sheet, spread evenly, and press down hard. Let granola cool for 1-2 hours. Flip baking sheet over to release and cut into bars.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

granola3

What’s your favorite way to begin the day?

I can’t do much without my coffee. Most mornings I brew some coffee while Eden snacks in her highchair. By the time the coffee is ready I am already on my computer responding to emails and comments. I’ve explained to Eden that I need 15 minutes of “me” time as I wake up and prepare for the day. Every morning she obliges.

 

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