Looking for something healthy and homemade to put in lunches or to grab on the way out the door? We found a delicious recipe for granola bars that will satisfy all those needs.
While your oven is preheating to 300 degrees, spread the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, wheat germ and almonds evenly on a 9-inch-by-12-inch baking sheet. Bake these dry ingredients for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2 1/2 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned or instant)
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup slivered almonds
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 cup raisins
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Meanwhile, heat the butter (or margarine), brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan. Allow the brew to simmer until the oat mixture is ready to come out of the oven. If you like really crisp granola, bake the dry ingredients an additional few minutes. Leave the oven on. As soon as the oat mixture is out, add the raisins, stirring them into the other ingredients.
Remove the honey mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, then pour the hot liquid over the oat mixture and stir until all the dry ingredients are coated.
Press the granola firmly into the bottom of a greased 8-inch-by-8-inch pan and place it in the still-warm oven to bake for 20 minutes. An 8-inch-by-8-inch pan makes about 1-inch thick bars. If you want thinner bars, use a slightly larger pan.
When you remove the granola bars from the oven, allow to cool only slightly before cutting into squares, but wait until completely cool before removing from pan.
Makes 16 (2-inch) squares.
Per bar: 271 calories, 6 grams protein, 12 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 38 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 8 milligrams cholesterol, 21 milligrams sodium.
Recipe developed by Denise Garoutte
LA TIMES-WASHINGTON POST