Thursday, March 11, 2010

Healthy Baking :: Cranberry-Orange Granola Bars

I'm very excited (...and honored!) to have been invited by the fabulous Jenny over at Have Your Cake to write a guest post recipe! I love her fun, useful, and inspirational views on healthy living. ...Believe me, I have drastically cut down my butter intake since I've been following her daily tips!

So, I decided to make a batch of one of my favorite homemade, healthy goodies: granola bars! Sweet oats, with toasted almonds, and the tartness of cranberries and orange zest, all in a little bar. Perfect! ... especially with a bit a greek yogurt!

Not only are these healthier than the store-bought (...I'm assuming corn syrup isn't in your pantry), but they are easy to make (think: rice krispie treats), and there are so many flavor possibilities. Try dates, cherries, apricots, or even chocolate chips! Wrap the cut bars in wax paper or store in an airtight container, they will keep in the fridge for up to a month. You can even make two flavors at once by doubling the recipe and baking the two flavors side by side in a larger baking pan.

Oh, and if you are still scared of attempting granola bars, believe me, I was for quite some time, thinking the bars would just fall apart when I tried to cut them, but just remember that the worse that could happen is you end up with a bag of small granola bar chunks... which will still be delicious.


CRANBERRY-ORANGE ALMOND GRANOLA BARS (adapted from Barefoot Contessa)
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
2/3 cups honey
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus a bit for the pan
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dried cranberries
zest of one large orange

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9x9 baking dish and line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oats, almonds, and coconut and on a sheet pan cook for 10 minutes until lightly browned. Transfer it to a large bowl and add the wheat germ.

In a saucepan, over medium heat bring the butter, honey, vanilla, and salt to a boil. Cook while stirring for another minute. Then add the liquid to to the bowl of dry ingredients. Add the cranberries and orange zest and mix well.

Pour the mixture into the parchment lined pan, and lightly pat down with your hands (it helps if you wet your hands a bit).

Bake at 300F for 30 minutes until lightly browned.

Allow it to cool for at least 3 hours (or overnight) and then cut into bars or squares. Serve at room temperature or store in a airtight container.


Kirby Margaret said...

wow... those look real good!

Unknown said...

yum... these look amazing! And I love that there aren't one hundred ingredients in them. sweet and simple.

jdavissquared said...

i've always wanted to try making granola bars, but never found a recipe i really wanted to try...I think I'm going to have to try this one! Thanks!

Bianca said...

The colors in these pictures are stunning!

337 Greenwich said...

Thank you all!! I hope you try them, they are truly delicious!

Jennifer M said...

I'm here from Have Your Cake, and can't wait to give these a try. One question: what quantity of butter? I see it mentioned in the directions, but not in the listed ingredients.


337 Greenwich said...

Hi Jennifer - Welcome! Oh my, I left out the butter! Thank you for catching that. It's 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter. I've added it to the ingredient list. Sorry about that! Hope you enjoy them :-)

The Blushing Hostess said...

Oh, these look marvelous! Well done.

Trainer Momma said...

I've been a searchin' for a good homemade granola recipe. Looks like you just gave it too me! Thanks!

vincent said...


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Lady Grey said...

oh these look delish! I think I might just try making them today : )

Aron said...

That would make such a good snack!

Jessica said...

Just made these and they are very delicious! Instead of baking them all as one sheet and then cutting them, I actually used a muffin tin to cook mine. I will admit some of them were hard to get out of there (a bit of whacking it on the bottom helped), but otherwise I'm quite happy with my mini round granola bars!

337 Greenwich said...

Oh I love the idea of baking these in muffin cups! Glad you enjoyed them!

Anonymous said...

These look sooo good...I was wondering if there was a substitute I could use instead of wheat germ because im on a gluten free diet?

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