White Chocolate Cranberry Granola Bars

White Chocolate Cranberry Granola Bars

White Chocolate Cranberry Granola Bars

I bought these organic granola bars the other day in an effort to stock the house with healthy snacks.  I was reading the ingredients while feeding them to my toddler and as I read I thought, “I’ve been had!”  I just spent $6 on these bad boys and I still don’t recognize half the ingredients.   It’s hard to decipher what is wholesome – you know?!  I want my food to be blowing in the wind happily, growing in the sunshine with no sprays put on ’em before they are hacked down and packaged (ha – reminds me of that scene from Notting Hill “I’m a fruitarian”).  And yet, even “organic” foods seem to have the same unpronounceable fillers that non-organic stuff does?!

I’m constantly asking the question: How much should I care?  I’m busy.  We have to eat and who has the time and energy to make stuff from scratch?  I don’t want to become an organic/make-it-from-scratch pharisee but I also don’t want to not care and risk being blind to the bad stuff that is in a lot of what we eat/buy.  I’ve seen both of these at work and boy, don’t we like to create standards to hold each other to.

I found this article on Reader’s Digest and it did a nice job of highlighting what organic food is and is not:

http://www.rd.com/slideshows/13-things-you-didnt-know-about-organic-food/

All to say (and this is nothing new), I do love the idea of making my own stuff, b/c I know what is going in it (to a degree).  I’m not as down and dirty as making my own chocolate chips or harvesting my own oats or cranberries.  Got to draw the line somewhere!  Would love your input here – it’s a big topic and controversial one so be respectful and offer good resources:)

PS – These granola bars turned out devine!

Thanks Inspired Taste for the foundation of this recipe!

Serves 10

2 1/2 c old fashioned oats

1 c chopped almonds (I took a whole raw almonds, placed in plastic bag and took a meat tenderizer to mine)

1/4 c butter

1/3 c honey

1/4 c maple syrup

1/2 tsp almond extract

2 tsp flax seed

1/2 c dried cranberries

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 c white chocolate chips + 2 Tbs for sprinkling at end

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place oats and chopped almond on greased baking sheet and bake at 350 for 5 minutes.  Mix up oats and almonds and continuing baking for 3-5 more minutes.  While these bake, put butter, maple syrup, almond extract, salt and honey in saucepan on medium heat and stir until butter is melted.  Place oats and almonds in large mixing bowl and stir in flax seed and cinnamon.

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Add butter mixture to bowl and stir until combined.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  Stir cranberries and 1/4 c white chocolate chips into bowl (chocolate chips may melt a bit and that is ok).

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Line a 8×8 baking pan with tin foil and grease.  Dump your oat mixture into baking pan and spread across pan. Sprinkle remaining 2 Tbs white chocolate chips over top of oat mixture. With a spatula (this is really important for creating bars that will stick together and not just fall apart into granola pieces) firmly press the mixture down into the pan (I took a couple minutes to do this).  Place in freezer for 2 hours for bars to adhere together.

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Take tin foil out of pan and with a sharp knife (you might need to put some elbow grease into it b/c they are frozen) cut into bars.  Store these in air tight container in fridge to maintain their shape and freshness and to unthaw:)

Comments

  1. Katrina Cowen says

    Hey Erin, these sound yummy! I totally understand your thoughts about the balance between making from scratch vs. buying, and how much should we obsess over the ingredients! That sounds like the story of my life! I started reading a provocative article last night in Reader’s Digest magazine (the latest issue) about the so-called “Food Wars” – the battle between the wholesome food industry and everybody else, and what is realistic to actually combat the obesity epidemic in our nation. I haven’t finished the article yet but it certainly provided food for thought! (Pun intended). 🙂
    Anyway, check it out. It might provide some balancing perspective. I love your blog – keep up the good work!

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