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You Oat to Try This

Posted in Uncategorized by com360bu on March 14, 2013
Tags: , , , ,

Cranberry, Raisin, Apple-Oatnut Granola Bars

By: Jessica Mayo

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I have been on a major health kick lately. Eating healthy makes me feel better physically, increases my energy level and gives me a more positive mental outlook. The problem is that aside from eating fresh fruits and vegetables, I never really know if the “health food” I am eating is truly healthy. Granola bars are an easy “health food” to eat on the go, but there are always unwanted extra ingredients like sugar, chocolate, peanut butter and oils. The only way to make sure your “health food” is truly healthy is to make it yourself so you can control the ingredients inside. Even as I was looking through homemade granola bar recipes it was difficult to find one that didn’t include a lot of sugary or oily ingredients. Then I realized, most of the main healthy ingredients are the same, it’s just the sugary ingredients that change and are thrown in for added sweetness.

One afternoon I decided to add the main ingredients of a granola bar together like oats, unsalted nuts, sliced almonds, unsalted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, raisins and dried apples. Then instead of adding the sugary, fatty ingredients, I simply added a small amount of sweetened condensed low-fat milk.

The result? Perfection on-the-go! Feel free to play around with the healthy ingredients of this recipe. Different types of dried fruit can be used to add different flavors. If you make a big enough batch you can snack on this treat for the rest of the week.

2 cups quick-cooking oatsImage

½ cup dried apples

¼ cup raisins

½ cup dried cranberries

1 cup old-fashioned oats

½ cup hulled unsalted pumpkin seeds

½ cup slivered almonds

1 (14 oz) can of sweetened low-fat condensed milk

1/2 cup granola

                            

Directions

1.      Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a 13×9-inch pan with lightly-greased parchment paper; an inch or so of parchment paper should stick up on two sides to form lifting handles.

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 2.      Mix the quick-cooking oats, old-fashioned oats, granola, almonds, unsalted pumpkin seeds, mixed nuts, cranberries, raisins, dried apples and sweetened condensed milk together in a bowl; spread into the prepared pan, evenly pressing into the corners and out to the sides.

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 3.      Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are golden brown, 20-25 minutes, using slightly less time for chewier bars and slightly more time for crunchier bars.

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 4.      Allow the bars to cool for five minutes in the pan before using the parchment paper to lift them from the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut into the bars. Then, let them cool completely and store in an airtight container.

This post was written as if it could appear on Lootie and Doof  – http://www.lottieanddoof.com/

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