seize the day with coconut almond granola bars
I haven’t made granola in years. But I had a craving — and a lot of oatmeal, coconut and almonds. So here you go. Coconut-almond granola bars. They’re healthy-ish. Okay, if I’m being honest, these wouldn’t be on Phase I or II of the South Beach diet.
On the other hand, the ingredients are generally wholesome. Raw almonds, rolled oats, wheat germ, organic almond butter, some golden raisins and a little honey for sweetness.
Alright, yes, I used the sweetened flaked coconut and yes, there’s some brown sugar. Geez. You are so hard to please!
These crunchy critters are a delicious way to start the day, or rev you up during the afternoon doldrums. The first batch I made were particularly crumbly — not enough binder. So I amped up the honey and almond butter and voil?, granola bars!
These have a very satisfying chew and are just slightly sweet — not like those overly saccharine processed bars full of high fructose corn syrup and other unpronounceable fillers. Ewww.
I used a dark avocado honey, which gave these bars a deep, almost malty back note, but use whatever type you like best — though I would recommend a darker variety.
Oh, and here’s a slick trick — cut a piece of parchment paper the same width as your pan but longer than the depth – so that the ends of the parchment hang over the sides of the pan. Fill the pan with the oatmeal mixture and press it in well.
When it’s ready to be cut, just lift the two loose ends of the parchment paper to remove the granola. It comes out like a dream!
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oatmeal
- 1 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1/3 cup honey (I used a dark honey)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup all natural almond butter
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a half sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper. Toss together the oatmeal, almonds and coconut on the baking sheet. Spread the mixture into a single layer and bake for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the honey, almond butter, sugar, melted butter and vanilla. Stir to combine.
- Add wheat germ to the oatmeal mixture and toss with your hands to combine.
- Add the oatmeal mixture and raisins to the honey mixture and combine thoroughly using a spatula. You may have to work several minutes to evenly coat the oatmeal.
- Line an 11 x 7 inch baking pan with parchment paper. (Cut the paper so that it fits the dimensions of the bottom of the pan, but hangs over the sides to make it easy to remove.)
- Pour granola mixture into the pan and press the mixture into an even layer in the pan.
- Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool for half an hour. Refrigerate in the pan for 2 hours. When you're ready to cut into bars, carefully lift the parchment paper ends and set it on your cutting board. Use a very sharp straight edge chef's knife to make even cuts.