Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Roommate's Granola Bars

Oh my goodnessss. I don't know if it's the return of rainy weather or what, but I have had two consecutive days of inexcusable laziness. Yesterday was mostly spent watching House Hunters International and eating leftover potato salad. Today was a Star Trek (Next Generation, of course) and granola bars day. What is it about stormy weather that just leaches all the motivation and productivity right out of you? All I wanted to do was sit on the couch. All Dash wanted to do was anything that would keep me from sitting on the couch. Dashel's activities included but were not limited to: honing his walking skills (i.e. falling and hitting his head every 2 seconds), scaling shelves and nightstands, and breaking whatever glassware he could get his hands on (I continually underestimate that kid's reach).

Annnyway, back to those granola bars. The one productive thing I accomplished today was coming up with the following recipe. It was inspired by a facebook interaction with Roommate, wherein she informed me that her diet consisted primarily of chocolate, almonds, and oats. What a delicious trio! And what better way to enjoy them then the oh-so-convenient form of granola bars!

Roommate's Chocolate Almond Granola Bars
Yield: 24 bars

3 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup flax seed
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup slivered almonds (coconut is a delicious option too)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup honey
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup apple sauce
2 tsp vanilla 

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a 9x13 pan with tin foil. Lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray otherwise the granola bars will stick (I found this out the hard way).
2. Combine first nine ingredients (through chocolate chips) in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl beat the eggs first then whisk in remaining ingredients. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and combine thoroughly. Using your hands to mix everything up is the most efficient method I've found but a wooden spoon will do the trick too. 
3. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and use your hands to smash it down til it's filled the pan evenly. Spray your hands with a little cooking oil to keep the batter from sticking to them.
4. Stick 'em in the oven and bake until lightly browned on top. Cook time varies from oven to oven but for me it's about 20-25 minutes.
5. Let cool in pan for five minutes then take out and slice into bars. If you wait until they're completely cool they'll be too crisp to cut without crumbling. 
6. Pour yourself a large glass of cold milk, load up a plateful of these oat-y delights, plop yourself on the couch in front of a good movie (or terrible television show), and wallow in laziness with me. Woopwoop! See you there!

Why, hello there, freshman year of college circa 2004. My how...young...you look.
For those of you who were confused, "Roommate" is in reference to my college roommate. From like 10 years ago. We still go by Roommate. Technically now Joe is my roommate. But I just call him Joe. 

Oh yeah, and the one in the halter dress is my friend Bethany. You can read her blog here.

Evidence of Dashel's nightstand scaling abilities. I ran out of the room to grab something and came back to find him lounging like this. He was seriously just laying there, casually swinging his feet. Note the taped shut drawers. Poorman's childproofing.

After rearranging this shot a jillion times and finally getting it where I liked it, this little monkey came and started eating the bars right off the plate. It is shocking how long it takes to get anything accomplished when you have a toddler in the house.

One last thing, if you substitute dried fruit for the chocolate chips, these granola bars make excellent snacks for toddlers. Perhaps toddlers who are a little bit older than Dash though. Two things to be aware of when feeding this to one-year-olds: A)#1 They make a HUGE mess. I swept the kitchen floor four times today and it still looks like it rained granola. B)#2 These may be a bit advanced for young digestive tracts. Perhaps this is TMI, but whence I changed D's diaper today, what came out pretty much looked exactly like what went in.

On that delightful note, it's one more granola bar then I'm off to bed!

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