Procrastination is addictive. I have no other reason for going almost a month without posting anything even though I’m practically online 24 hours a day. And in my kitchen every weekend. However, the delay in writing this post is not all unjustified. I wanted to post a something which while being less flattering makes up in other department, say – health and ease with which it can be made.
Five out of seven days [;)] I’m running late for work. Sure I can cut down on time I take to get ready or wake up five minutes earlier than usual and make pancakes or sandwiches for breakfast, eat them properly using cutlery, but who am I kidding, that’s not gonna happen. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and you should never skip it. But I am not the one to buy all sayings, let alone an age old adage like such. It was not until I realised I had erred that I started taking it seriously and made amends. My breakfast suffered a lot till I found the power of a granola bar. Now I grab a few granola bars and eat them on my way to work. They keep me full for hours and are packed full of nutrients.
Now, one could totally rely on granola bars available in stores but a paranoid like me is too worried about the ‘healthy’ quotient in such products. Also, I don’t trust the advertisements [Remember ‘The Dictator?’ :D]. The granola bars I make are quite healthy because there is no sugar and very little oil in this recipe. Even then it is quite sweet because of the dates, raisins and figs (basically all those dried fruits that you would hate to eat on their own, at least I do).
3 cups old fashioned Oats.
½ cup shredded dry coconut
½ cup sliced/crushed almonds
100 ml coconut or canola oil
100 ml honey
200 gms dates
2 tablespoon peanut butter (Optional, microwaved for 20 seconds)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mixed dried fruits of your liking (I used golden raisins, dried cranberries and dried figs)
Preheat oven to 170 degree Celsius.
Spread the oats, shredded coconut and almonds on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove when the coconut starts browning.
In a food processor or a blender put the dates, peanut butter and honey and blitz until you have a smooth paste.
Prepare a 9/13 baking dish by oiling and lining with parchment. Make sure the parchment is a bit bigger than the tray so that the sides come up and it is easy to take out the granola later.
Take out the oats from the oven and transfer to a large mixing bowl and let them cool down for about five minutes.
Then add the peanut butter-date-honey paste along with the oil, vanilla extract and mix everything together. I advise the use of hands.
Throw this mixture in the prepared pan and press down very well.
If you don’t want bars then you don’t need to press down and you’ll have plain granola. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until the sides turn golden brown.
Let it cool completely before slicing. They will be crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Basically super duper yummy!
Do try and lemme know how it turns out. And please do a neater job of cutting them all in equal pieces.