July 28, 2012

Pin It Almond Butter Granola Bars

Week 30
I've been on a kick lately of wanting to make all of my own snacks. I desperately want a food processor so I can make my own peanut butter (among dozens of other things). I saw this tutorial on Avery Cooks for homemade peanut butter and I've been telling everyone about it! The thought of making your own peanut butter (or any nut butter really) and getting to add in whatever you want (cinnamon, honey, chocolate, etc.) is so exciting, plus it looks sooooo easy. All you do is grind the peanuts for 5 minutes in your food processor and voila, you have peanut butter!  I can't wait to try it out myself.

Since I don't yet have a food processor, I decided I'd try my hand at making homemade granola bars.  A lot of recipes require a food processor, so I had to find one that I could manage without. I already had the majority of the ingredients for this one (minus the sunflower seeds) so I thought it seemed the most feasible on a Saturday afternoon.

I skipped some of the dried fruit (raisins and apricots) and ended up using the following:

1/2 cup almond butter
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/4 + 2 Tbsp dried cherries
1/4 + 2 Tbsp chocolate chips
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup rolled oats

I think these would have turned out a little better if I didn't substitute the chocolate chips for dried fruit, but instead had added them in addition to the dried fruit.  I think the fruit helps the bars stick together, so my lack of fruit made mine a little crumbly. Good to know for next time.

I started out by mixing the almond butter and mashed bananas together over medium heat.  After it was well blended, I removed it from the heat and set it aside for later.
Then I ground the almonds and dried fruit in my "food processor," AKA Magic Bullet.
I mixed together my fruit/nut mix with the oats, seeds and chocolate chips.

After that, I folded in the almond butter/banana mixture until everything was evenly combined. I pressed the mixture into a small parchment paper lined casserole.
I baked the bars for ~23 minutes at 350...and tada, I had granola bars!

I didn't love the banana flavor of these and almond butter is not my favorite nut butter, so these weren't the best in my opinion, but you may like them! They ended up chewy and hearty, plus they were super fast and easy to whip up.  Prep time was probably only 15 minutes.  I am excited to try more granola bar recipes and really liked that I knew all the ingredients that went into these.  I think that if you also depend on granola bars as a snack throughout the week, you should definitely attempt making your own. We can all pretend were in Little House on the Prairie.  Maybe we can even play with a pig bladder when we are done with our chores. 

Anyone else disturbed by that as a child?! 
No, just me?

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