I'm in my third week of classes now. Last week we were learning about salmon and had to gut and can them. Thankfully I didn't have to do the gutting. Now that I'm back in school I'm recalling the great lack of time for food blogging. I do love being part of the food blog world but if I only have a bit of free time I'd rather spend it baking (as I'm sure most/all of you would, well for some of you it's cooking). But hopefully I will still be around often enough and won't miss out on too many yummy things on people's blogs. I found some amazing looking easy cinnamon bun bread on Baking Bites this morning - must make that soon.
Alright onto the food! As with many other things, I've wanted to make granola bars for a long time. And I've also wanted the Nurture cookbook for a long time. These granola bars are more effort than others I'm sure, as they involve making a fruit pulp that you spread in the middle of two granola layers. But they are delicious, if a bit soft and crumbly. Mind you I reduced the oil so maybe that's why. I've been keeping them in the freezer and just eating them directly from there. This recipe can be played with a lot, using different combinations of fruit, nuts, seeds, nut butters and natural sweeteners. I wonder what it would be like if I just mixed it all together instead of making a separate fruit pulp layer hmm.
Other healthy snacks:
Mini Pear Loaves
Applesauce-Oat Bran Muffins
Chocolate Walnut Banana Bread
Sunny Jungle Bars
Adapted from Recipes to Nurture
1 cup pitted dates, finely chopped
1 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp apple juice
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup flaxseed, ground
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
Preheat oven to 375F and line a 9x9 (or 8x8) baking pan.
Place the dates, apricots and apple juice in a saucepan and bring a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover and mix well with a spoon to form a pulp.
Meanwhile, in a food processor combine walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Pulse into a "meal" (very finely chopped) but not so far it becomes a butter. Add rolled oats, sunflower seeds, ground flax seeds and sea salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Add this mixture to the oat mixture and stir to combine. Press half the oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the fruit pulp evenly over top, then finish with the remaining oat mixture. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes.
Allow to cool in the tin on a rack before slicing into squares.