Tag Archives: snack

Granola Bars: The Master Recipe

Granola Bars

Over the past year I have been working on perfecting a Granola/ Oat bar recipe (Like here and here) and I think I finally managed to perfect my master recipe. I have been tweaking it a lot but I think I have finally  solid reliable recipe that I can easily change out the components as my pantry allows and as I wish.

The key to this base recipe and technique is using very overripe bananas. As I have, pretty much everyday weekday, for breakfast I have Greek yogurt with banana and flax seeds I tend to have bananas that get a bit ripe for me to eat as is (I like them more on the unripe side). When this happens I put them in the freezer to keep them for later and then just defrost them to make these granola bars. This ensures they are extra soft and easy to mash but any over ripe bananas work just fine.

GRANOLA BARS

As this recipe is a master recipe the key ingredients are the Oats, Bananas, Dates, Soy Milk, and Salt everything else can be adjusted from those, see the some variables options below.

Makes 8 – 1 1/2″ x 4″

2 Cups Oats

2 Overripe Bananas (or frozen and defrosted to make sure they are soft)

6 (about a cup loosely packed) Medjool Dates diced into 1/4″ pieces

1/3 Cup Soy Milk

about 1/4 Cup Goji Berries

1/4 Tsp Salt

2 Tbsp Flax Seed + Some for dusting

2 Tbsp Wheat Germ

1/4 Tsp Cinnamon

1/4 Tsp Fresh ground Nutmeg

Non stick spray or butter

Medium mixing bowl

7 “x 8” baking pan

Granola Bars

TO PREPARE

Preheat oven to 350F Degrees.

In your medium mixing bowl place the banana’s with out the skins and mash them up until they are all combined.

Mix in the oats and combine together with the banana.

Add in the Soy Milk, Dates, Goji Berries, Flax Seeds,Wheat Germ, and Salt. Mix everything together until fully combined and everything is distributed evenly amongst the oats.

Spray your baking pan with your non stick spray or grease the pan with butter.

Pour in your oat mixture and spread evenly in the pan patting it down with your hand our utensil of your choice to make sure the top is even.

Sprinkle on the top of the oat mix some flax seed to your liking, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Press the toppings into the mix gently with your hand.

Place in your preheated oven and bake for 20min or until golden brown at the edges.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely then cut into squares and serve. Cover this will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator.

Granola Bars

VARIATIONS

You can swap the dates for dried figs or add diced almonds, diced walnuts, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, dried diced apricots, or chia seeds amongst other things. If you are adding in dried cranberries, dried apricots, or any other dried fruit you should reduce the amounts of dates you add or else the mix will be too wet.

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Homemade Hummus

Hummus

Hummus is one of my favorite snacks/ quick dinners, it is filling tasty and pretty healthy too. I used to always buy hummus but when I got a food processor and was browsing through Jerusalem: A Cookbook it hit me that I could of course make it my self. I happened to have some dried Chickpeas around and whipped some up that I decided to throw some roasted red peppers in and decided to never go back to buying it. Now it is one of my favorite things to make and try out different flavors.

hummus_4

My most recent batch I flavored with some fresh ground middle eastern spices and have included the recipe below.

HUMMUS

9oz Cooked Chick Peas (or 1 Can)

2Tbsp of Tahini

1Tsp Kosher Salt

1Tsp Cumin Seeds Whole

1Tsp Fenugreek Seeds Whole

1Tsp Caraway Seeds Whole

2 Tbsp Cold Water

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Food Processor

Spice Grinder or Mortar and Pestle

hummus_5

TO ASSEMBLE

In a spice grinder or Mortar and Pestle grind up all the whole spices (for a deeper flavor you can toast the seeds).

In the bowl of your food processor add the cooked chickpeas, Tahini, kosher salt, and ground spices. Pulse a few times and then add the water and turn on the food processor to the lowest setting.

Pour in a steady stream of extra virgin olive oil while the food processor is going until the hummus is looking smoother (about 2-3tsp). Turn the food processor up a speed and blend until super smooth.

Serve with a little extra olive and pepper to garnish. I love Hummus with Toasted Pita, warmed Tortilla, or a nice cracker.

Hummus

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Oat Bars: Episode One

Oat Squares

I have been trying to eat better at work and avoid unnecessary snack trips for unhealthy and expensive snacks during the day, so while pursuing the web looking at different recipes for granola type bars I could make I ran into the  4 Ingredient Banana Nut Bars from The Kitchn. I liked how simple the recipe was so I went to work making some with what I happened to have on hand in my kitchen on that particular day, which happened to be Oats, bananas, Coconut Flakes, and dried blueberries. While the original recipe did not include any egg my mix seemed a bit dry so I threw one in to help bind everything together and add a bit of extra protein into the mix. From that first round of bars I have started to experiment with different additions and subtractions to switch it up and find what I like best.

Regardless if you follow the orignal inspiration recipe or my version below these snack bars are quick to make and great as a quick, healthy and filling breakfast, snack during the day, or as a pre gym energy snack.

Oat Squares

OAT AND SESAME SNACK BAR

Makes about 16  1 1/2″ squares

This Recipe makes a particularly dense bar which is why I suggest cutting them into such small pieces. You can make them less dense by adding some chopped dried fruit to the mix. Either way they are filling, healthy and tasty. I used powdered peanut butter because it has less fat than regular peanut butter but feel free to substitute the normal stuff in its place. This recipe is very forgiving so feel free to experiment and substitute ingredients as you see fit for your tastes and pantry contents.

8oz Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

1 Ripe Yellow Plantain (about 5oz)

2 Ripe Bananas (about 6oz)

1 Large egg

2oz Chopped Almonds

1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp Sesame Seeds

1 Tsp Blue Agave

1 Tsp + 1/2 Tsp of Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt

2 Tsp Powdered Peanut Butter (available at Health Food Stores)

Preheat your oven to 350°F

In a large bowl mash together the Bananas and Plantain making sure there are no large chunks in the mix. (When I made mine the Bananas and the Plantain were still a bit hard so I sliced them into pieces before mashing to help incorporate, by nature the plantain is less soft than the banana but the mix comes together with enough man power)

Once the Banana and Plantain are mashed up add the egg, powdered peanut butter, 1 tsp of the Cinnamon (save the rest for the top of the bars), Blue Agave, and Salt. Mix well until all ingredients are incorporated.

Add in the Oats, Chopped Almonds, and 1tsp of the Sesame (save the rest for the top of the bars) and mix well.

Once everything is incorporated turn out the mix into a non stick or grease 7×7 (or 6×6) baking pan.

Sprinkle the top of the bars with the remaining sesame seeds and cinnamon.

Bake for about 30 minutes until the mix is solid and has browned.Let cool for about 10 minutes in the pan on a cooling rack then turn the bars out of the pan on to the rack and allow them to cool completely.

Cut into 16 pieces and enjoy!

Oat Squares

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