OMG let me just start with one thing, these granola bars are off the hook. If you love homemade granola bars, which I know you do, you'll try these for sure.
Before I get in to the bars, I've been feeling stuck in a rut lately like there's not enough time in the day to get everything done I'd like to get done. Working all day then trekking through Long Island traffic to the gym is great and all, but getting home close to 8pm is not. Where's the "me" time?! You guessed it, there is none.
Solution = wake up at 6 am do 1 of 3 things every single morning: a) go for a run, b) do a workout on my back porch so I don't have to go after work, c) blog (like I'm doing now). If I do any one of these things before work that gives me time to do any one other item I choose including working on my freelance gigs, trying a new recipe, or lounging with Rich later in the evening.
Yesterday here's how it went. Wake up at 6 am. Put on my workout gear. Move all equipment I needed out to the back porch for a morning CrossFit WOD (I hate that acronym, I'd prefer to say workout). Then #getafterit is what I did. Though I was trying to be quiet as to not wake the neighbors from my box jumps or ball slams - I managed to make it work and I'm so glad I did. Rich even said he didn't hear a thing.
My plan is to get up early every day and get something done. Tomorrow I plan to get up for a run, Friday is either a morning workout or blog time, and saturday morning is another run since I won't be able to make it to CrossFit. That's my plan and I'm sticking to it! Now for the Granola bars...enjoy!
While at FNCE I stumbled upon the Magic Seasonings booth. They were sampling a handful of their salt-free/sugar-free seasonings and I fell in love with their "Sweet and Spicy" blend. Lucky for me they gave me a full bottle! So stoked! Last night it hit me, make granola bars with this stuff - so that's just what I did. With a little tip from thekitchn.com I tweaked my usual recipe and decided to try Brown Rice syrup as my binding/sweetening agent. It worked and these things are delish! Rich (my taste tester) says they taste like Pizza - I was like 'huh wth are you talking about,' then I tried them and said the same, lol. The chewy texture is my fav combined with the crunch of the nuts and sweet yet spiced flavor of the seasoning mix! Recipe for success! Ha! I won't be surprised if they are half gone when I get home tonight.
Question: Are you an early bird? What do you do before the sun rises?
Press firmly in to pan for a tighter bar.
Let cool completely before slicing in to 9 yummy bars.
Store in air tight container for at least 2 weeks.
Sweet and Spicy Granola Bars
prep time: 10 min. - cook time: 20-25 min. - makes 9 servings
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats 1/2 cup total dried cranberries and raisins 1 1/2 cups total raw cashews, almonds and walnuts 1/2 cup brown rice syrup 2 teaspoons Magic Seasoning Sweet and Spicy blend
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 8 x 8" baking pan with parchment and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine oats, nuts and dried fruit. Pour syrup in microwave safe bowl, heat for 15-20 seconds. Mix seasoning blend in to syrup, then pour over dry ingredients. Mix well with a large spoon.
Pour batter in to baking pan. Press down firmly with wet paper towel or oiled hand.
Bake the bars for 20-25 minutes for a chewy bar. Bake for 30-35 minutes for a crunchy bar. When the bars come out of the oven, press them again using a wet paper towel. Allow the bars to cool completely in the pan before slicing. The bars will firm up as they cool. Remove the bars by pulling them out using the excess parchment paper. Place on cutting board and slice in to 9 bars. Store in air tight container or wrap them individually in saran wrap for a quick grab-n-go snack.
Nutrition Facts from Nutritiondata.com Calories 497, Calories from fat 294, Total fat 35g, Saturated fat 4g, Trans fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 34mg. Carbohydrate 41g, Dietary Fiber 6g, Sugar 16g, Protein 11g, Iron 2.8mg