I am no runner, but when I do run it is done on my treadmill. The ONLY way I can bear through my sprints is because of Ina Garten. My dvr isn’t filled with Modern Family or Friends re-runs. No, my dvr is filled with Chopped, Iron Chef, and Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten). Some may think running to Ina Garten would be the last choice for motivation, but I LOVE it!! Weird…maybe, but I’ll own that weirdness because Ina is the reason I find all these tasty recipes. She’s a master in the kitchen and one day I WILL be meeting her!
So, you can probably guess where the inspiration for these granola bars came from. Ina’s recipe called for sweetened coconut and 3 tablespoons of butter. I decided to make some adaptations to these ingredients plus others and suit them to my liking.
As the blog has progressed, I’ve made a concerted effort to inform y’all on why certain ingredients I choose may be a better health option than the recipe’
s original ingredients. For this recipe I choose to substitute sweetened coconut for unsweetened coconut. When researching out nutritional facts and info about sweetened coconut, nothing too alarming rang out. My thoughts are this, sweetened coconut is more processed than unsweetened coconut. If I have the option to choose, I will always go with the more natural source, unsweetened coconut. Of coarse with this choice, I will have to remember to add in a sweetener to the recipe or obviously the baked good or cooked dish will loose out on some sweetness. I chose to add in more honey. The idea isn’t to make these super low fat. What I want to do is just make them more healthy if possible.
Try these out and see for yourself how yummy they are!!
- 2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup pre-sliced or chopped raw almonds
- ½ cup wheat bran
- 2 tablespoons ground flax, golden (bought at costco) or brown
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup cranberries
- ⅓ cup dried figs, died raisin size (bought at costco
- 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 bran and ground flax.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
- Place the butter, coconut oil, 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 raisins, figs, and cranberries and stir well.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Tightly pack the granola down into the pan using fingers. If you like your granola bars chewy, cook for 10 minutes. If you like them crunchy, cook for 15 minutes. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.