15 April 2014

Simple, Quick and Healthy Granola Bars

I have a confession to make. I have never eaten a granola bar ever until this day. No, it has nothing with taste aversion or allergy (thank God!) or unavailability. I guess I just did not have the chance or a reason to uhm, well, have it.

You see, almost all my life, I grew up not eating my vegetables and even fruits. I don't know the reason why but yeah, I grew up with a very unhealthy body. Fortunately, because of Babs, I started eating healthier food. I can eat lots of greens and fruits now without that puke feeling building inside me and I can really feel something good is happening in my system. I still eat unhealthy stuff like chips, pizza and other junk loaded with preservatives every now and then but I make it a point to try to balance it out or at least make up for it by eating clean food most of the time.

Good thing I survey everything that our nearby grocery store offers because it helps me whenever I'm looking for a dish that I want to try my hands on. In this place where we are currently at, sad to say, availability of ingredients can be very challenging especially if you are looking for non-Indian products. For example, we have pork here but you can't choose the cut you want to buy, what you see is what you get. No bacon, no ham, just pork meat. I'm not complaining because AT LEAST they have pork! Anyway, so why am I telling you all this? It's because I've seen our store sell dates and nobody or maybe only a few people are buying them. Since I am also clueless as to what I can do with it, I just ignore it and carry on with my grocery shopping. But ever since I read the perfect granola recipe I'm looking for online, I knew the day has finally arrived where I can no longer ignore those sweet looking dates crying "Pick me!" "Buy Me!" to every individual passing by their lane.

Going back to granola bars, I've read that these munchies are great post workout snacks and that they can even be used as a substitute for an entire meal. And since I've been on the prowl for easy and healthy recipes online that I can try, I've decided to give granola bars a go. The perfect and awesome recipe I found was from Minimalist Baker. Imagine, the recipe only calls for FIVE, yes, you read it right! FIVE ingredients only and it uses natural sweeteners instead of the usual processed sugar which is a BIG deal for me. Now let me share with you the recipe and the little tweaks I made.

Five-Ingredient Granola Bars Ingredients
  • 2 cups oats (I used quick oats because that's the only thing available here.)
  • 1 cup seedless dates
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup almond

  1. Pan roast the oats for a couple of minutes under low flame. Stir the oats every 30 seconds to roast the other side. Once done, transfer in a mixing bowl.
  2. Grind/Blend the dates using the blade for milling dry ingredients. If you have a food processor, you can also use that. If the dates are dry and hard, try soaking them in water for at least 10 minutes before grinding/blending them. Once done, transfer in the mixing bowl where the roasted oats are in.
  3. Mix together the honey and peanut butter in a saucepan under low flame then pour in the mixing bowl.
  4. Throw in the almonds in the mixing bowl and mix all the ingredients together until everything has been evenly distributed. I used my hands to mix everything together. You can use a spatula if you're not comfortable using your hands.
  5. In a shallow rectangular container, cover the bottom and sides with a cling wrap then spread the granola mixture in the container. Since I do not have that kind of container, I just used a rectangular plate, covered it with cling wrap, spread the granola mixture and shaped it using my hands. Make sure that you push the mixture in on all sides so that everything will bond together and not crumble later when slicing.
  6. Chill the granola in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the granola from the fridge and cut it into bars of equal proportion, serve and enjoy!
*You can keep the remaining granola bars in the fridge and they're good for consumption for a few days.

There you have it! I'm just soooo pleased with the way it turned out that I decided to share it with you guys asap.

Til next time!

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