Saturday, July 2, 2011

Homemade Healthy Food

Health food should be healthy - I find that to be a simple statement, yet hard to accomplish in many of the packaged "health" foods that are available today. One of my pet peeves has to do with those crunchy yummy granola bars. Many of them are too sweet, too processed or too loaded with sugar. That's why I consistently make my own and trust me people LOVE them. If I bake a tray I have to hide a couple just to make sure I get a taste.

Last weekend I tried a a new granola bar recipe from Ina Garten (who I also love!) and it was instant success. The thing about granola bars is that they are super duper simple and you can usually swap many of the ingredients to change it up for every batch. So go ahead and give them a try on this long weekend holiday!


  • 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. 

Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

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