I should really call these “Angie’s Bars.” My gal pal just arrived in Telluride with her son for a visit. We were chatting it up late last night and I offered her one of my homemade Toasted Sunflower-Honey Granola bars. Her reaction was so huge and fabulous, I wish I had it all on video!!! She was in true oatie heaven. Absolutely speechless, and she is never without words……..
Sometimes we need to have the option to grab something clean, healthy and yummy just to get out the door. My daughter starts Kindergarten and my son Pre School in a few weeks, if they are not up in time to have breakfast at the kitchen table then I need to know I have a breakfast prepared. Everyone has to be properly nourished to start their day.
After sleeping for eight or so hours a balanced breakfast is essential. A balanced breakfast helps kick start the metabolism for the day, it helps sustain energy levels, provide focus, and it also tastes great.
In my quest to make the perfect handheld breakfast I am crafting various bars and other recipes (see Stuffed French Toast) that can be eaten on the go. I believe that the majority of our meals should be eaten mindfully at the table with no distractions (TV, reading, etc) other than lively conversation! Mindful eating prevents us from over eating and making the wrong choices, more on that to come…..
These bars are great for hikes, bike rides, pre or post exercise nourishment and Mini-Meals. Basically all kinds of on-the-go activities! Toss one in a lunch box or back pack for quick grab and go energy! They are packed with complex carbs (whole rolled oats,) natural sweetness (maple and honey,) healthy fat and protein (sunflower seeds,) and Omega 3′s (ground flax seed.) Munch away!!
- 3 cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (not quick cook oats)
- 1 cup raw Sunflower Seeds
- 3/4 cup Honey (you could use 1 Cup Honey instead of Maple below)
- 1/4 cup Maple Syrup (I prefer Grade B, it has a richer, more intense maple flavor than grade A)
- 2/3 cup Ground Flax Seed
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
- Coconut Oil, Butter or Canola Cooking Spray to grease pan
- Pre Heat oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the middle. Lightly spray sunflower seeds with cooking spray. Put Sunflower seeds on a single layer in pan and sprinkle some salt on top. Bake seeds in oven for about 8 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Watch carefully, they can burn easily.
- Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan. In a sauce pan combine honey, maple syrup and cinnamon. Heat on medium until mixture combines, thickens and boils (about 4 minutes or so) Stir constantly so it does not scorch. Take off heat and let this cool. In a bowl combine oats, ground flax and toasted sunflower seeds. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture, combine until oats are well coated
- Spread in pan press down and flatten mixture. Cool to room temperature. Cut into any size you prefer. Wrap your granola bars individually in waxed paper and store in the fridge. They will stay firm if kept cold. These bars last for quite a few days.
- If you don't feel like toasting your own you can use roasted/salted sunflower seeds. If you want to control the amount of salt and how toasted they are then bake your own, they do taste better.
- Try freezing a batch of these bars so you have them on hand when you need them. Wrap bars individually and freeze, sealed in a Ziploc bag. Pull them out and bring to room temperature when you want to serve.
For Crispy Bars
- Following the directions above your granola bars are a “Chewy” texture. They are a bit sticky to the touch, if you want them crispier and not so tacky you will need an additional baking step:
- Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Bake bars for 5 minutes. Let cool to the touch: they fall apart a bit so you will need to re-shape them gently with your fingers. Flip bars carefully and bake the other side for 5 minutes. Again let cool to the touch and re-shape. Any pieces that fall off bars will stick back together with a gentle nudge. Let bars cool completely before you wrap them up!
There are so many ways to flavor Granola bars. I am planning on creating more Granola bar recipes in the next few months.
- I chose Sunflower seeds because of the large amount of the population that is allergic to nuts these days.
- Instead of Sunflower seeds you could put any toasted nut or combination of seeds and nuts. Toasted Pecans, Almonds, Cashews, Peanuts and Walnuts would all be delicious!
- Spice it up! Have fun with seasoning additions: Cardamom, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Nutmeg, etc…..