Tis the season for outdoor adventures in Utah. Whether its skiing at Snowbird, snowshoeing up Big Cottonwood or cross country skiing through Mill Creek Canyon, you must get outside and take advantage of the greatest snow on earth. Plus it’s down right depressing to stay in the valley with our friend, the murky-aired inversion. Beat the temptation to stay on the couch.
I wanted to find a good granola bar recipe to take on some of our winter outdoor adventures. I, with the help of Alton Brown and a little creativity, came up with the perfect granola bar with just enough sweetness and saltiness to satisfy all. I tried to make my version a bit healthier by substituting some of the butter for coconut oil and some of the honey with agave nectar. You could also try taking out some of the sugar because mine were definitely sweet enough.
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup chopped almonds
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1/4 cup ground flax seen (or another 1/4 cup of wheat germ)
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup honey (I used Utah's Slider Ridge honey)
- 1/4 cup agave nectar (or use another 1/4 cup of honey)
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon of butter, plus extra for pan
- 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil (or another TB of butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup chopped dried fruit (I used turkish apricots, currants, cranberries, and golden raisins)
- Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spread the oats, pumpkin seeds, almonds, wheat germ, and ground flax seed onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. For the last few minutes add the shredded coconut to toast it lightly.
- In the meantime, combine the honey, agave nectar, brown sugar, butter, coconut oil, vanilla extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.
- Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. In a large bowl, immediately mix the oat mixture with the liquid mixture and the dried fruit. Stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Place in refrigerator for 20 -30 minutes to harden the bars, then turn the pan over onto a piece of wax paper or cutting board. Cut into bars with a long sharp knife and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
adapted from Alton Brown