This post is a part of Tuesday Twister at Gnowfglins and Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.
I made the Soaked & Ready Oats from Just Making Noise blog and then I found this recipe for Chewy Granola Bars at Heavenly Homemakers blog. I thought this would be a great thing to try out & perfect timing too because we have been sorely lacking in snack foods in this house! I really like this recipe because it is so simple: only a few ingredients, only a few steps & you're done!
The original recipe calls for: 1/2 c. peanut butter, 1/3 c. honey, 1/4 c. coconut oil (melt all these together)- then add 1 c. oats & 1 c. add-ins (nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc.)
The first time I made these I wanted to use raw honey & maintain it's natural enzymes, so I put my stove burner on the lowest setting and just warmed the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil until the oil was partially melted. I removed it from the burner and kept stirring until everything was completely combined. I added my oats & for the add-ins I used 1/2 c. raisins, 1/4 c. unsweetened shredded coconut, 1/4 c. chopped "crispy" almonds, and about 2 tablespoons of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate. Yes, I know that's more than 1 cup! :)
After refrigerating, cutting, and individually wrapping, here is what they looked like:
They were very yummy (I made them Saturday and they were gone by today). Though these will hold their shape long enough to go in a lunch box, I would suggest keeping them in the refrigerator. One thing I found with the Soaked & Ready Oats was they were very crunchy- a little too much for my taste.
So today I made these again ("Yeah! Granola bars!" My 11 year old shouted). I felt they were a little too sweet the first time so I reduced the honey to 1/4 c. and because I want to get more healthy coconut oil into my family I increased the oil to 1/3 c. This time I decided to try & "cook" the oats a little, so I boiled the peanut butter/honey/oil mixture, turned off the burner, and then added the oats. Because my mixture was so hot when I added the chopped bittersweet chocolate it all melted in together. I omitted the chopped nuts this time, just using raisins and shredded coconut, but I think nuts help balance the sweetness. If you're going to use dried fruit you could probably try decreasing the honey to 1/8 c. (= 2 tablespoons), which is what I'm going to try next time. I also decided I didn't want to waste the plastic wrap on individual pieces- so I'm leaving the pan in the fridge. Here's batch #2: a little more solid because of the different oil/honey ratio (and a little darker because of the chocolate), but still good!
By the way, my method of "cooking" the oats made only a little difference- they are still very crunchy! Next time I will probably try grinding them finer & probably add more too. I wonder if it's just me or if soaking/dehydrating oats just makes them super crunchy. This would be a great snack for after-school or in the summertime when the kids want a treat & you don't want to use the oven. Give it a try!