Another item I gave up recently were these so-called ‘cereal bars’. Don’t get me wrong, they have served their purpose many times over as quick carb boosts during long hikes or tie-over snacks when meetings are hijacked past their intended scope. However, I noticed that they have way too much sugar, high fructose corn syrup and the final straw last year, too much saturated fat.
Now I make my own granola as a surrogate. Sure it takes time, a little over an hour, but you can compensate for the time sink by making big batches. It stores well for 3 weeks.
This time I picked up some rolled rye to add as an experiment. I liked. Of course its all about what else you choose and this one was a keeper.
The following makes about 15-20 snack size portions.
- 1 1/2 C Rolled Oats
- 1 1/2 C Rolled Rye
- 1 C Shredded Coconut (unsweetened)
- 1/2 C Slivered Almonds
- 1/2 C Cashews (roasted, unsalted)
- 1/2 C Hazelnuts (roasted, unsalted)
- 1/2 C Banana Chips (unsweetened)
- 1/2 C Dried Strawberries
- 1/2 C Dried Blueberries
- 1/2 C Olive Oil (I used pistachio oil this time)
- 1/4 C Agave
- 1 T Coconut Sugar
- 1 T Brown Sugar
- 1 T Maple Syrup
- 1/2 t Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 t Salt ( I used Lava Salt this time)
- 1/2 t Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 t Chili Pepper Flakes
- 1/4 t Cinnamon
Dry Mix: Mix rolled oats, rolled rye, shredded coconut, slivered almonds, coconut sugar, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, pepper flakes and cinnamon in one large bowl.
Wet Mix: Mix olive oil, agave, maple syrup and vanilla in another.
Pour the wet mix over the dry mix then use your hands to incorporate both. Spread the lot over a baking pan (or two) then pop them into a 250 degree oven. Bake for about 1 hour, 15 minutes. At 15 minute intervals, stir. At the 45 minute mark add the remaining nuts, stir. At the hour mark, add the dried berries and banana chips, stir again. Cool then store in air-tight containers. This keeps well for 3-4 weeks, after that its iffy, but if it last that long I would be surprised.
What I liked most about this mixture was how the tartness of the dried berries played well with the agave dominant sweetness and the savory-sweet tongue riddle incurred by adding lava salt, red pepper flakes and ground black pepper.