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Monday, June 13, 2011

"Make your own...Whaaaat?!" Entry #1: Nutri-grain Bars

I've always been fascinated by making my "own" anything. When I was little, I would walk through the jewelry store and try to figure out if I could buy the right beads to make my own necklace. When I bought a home, and realized how awful chemical cleaners were for our health, I began making my own cleaning supplies and haven't turned back.

I've been moving more toward the food portions of "make your own"...particularly, snacks. Who doesn't love a great box of cheese-it crackers, name brand cookies, or a great jar of marinara sauce. What I never explored was..."How could I make this myself?"

So here goes, my summer series on my blog: "Make your own...Whaaaat?" First up:

Strawberry Nutri-grain Bars

I use the brand name of this item specifically because "cereal bar" can often be confused with granola bars, which are not the item I am going for this time. This is more specifically a combination of grains and oats, mixed with a fruit preservative. Such a great treat for an on-the-go-breakfast, between meal snack, or toddler meal replacement in some cases! (haha)

My favorite brand is Kashi TLC Cereal Bars, however, at about $5 a box, and only 8 in a package, I wanted to see if I could come up with my own version that are healthier, tastier, less processed, and just plain fun to make. I think I found it!

Start with:
2 sticks of butter/margerine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
Appx. 1/2 cup Strawberry preserves/jam
2 tsp. almond extract

Cream butter and brown sugar together. Add dry ingredients and mix well.

Press 2/3 of mixture in 9x13 pan. This works best if you coat your hands with butter first so the mixture doesn't stick to your utensil or hands when pressing.

Add a layer of preserves. I used my homemade jam to make strawberry preserves. (I will add the recipe later!)

Take the rest of the oats/flour mixture and drop over top of the preserves layer. If you add 1/2 more of each ingredient, you can cover the entire layer completely making it much more like real nutri-grain bars in appearance. Since I'm obsessed with strawberries, I opted for just 1/3 of the whole mixture for the top.

Bake at 300 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, until slightly brown on top. Let cool, and then separate like bars.

If you'd like them to "keep" for longer than a few days, I suggest wrapping them individually in plastic wrap, and then sealing them in an air-tight container.

Enjoy!! :)


Karen said...

Do you like granola? We make our own with wholesome ingredients including coconut oil which is so much better for us. Its a crockpot recipe and makes the house smell so good! Let me know if you would like the recipe.

kim h. said...

I have a great granola recipe too! Sure--would love your recipe. I use coconut oil in mine too--love that stuff! you can e-mail me at kimhewlett18@gmail.com :)