Granola bars

Granola bars

Working from home has a lot of perks: I can create my own schedule, have homemade breakfast and lunch everyday, I can sneak out for a coffee or two if I hit a creative wall and so on. But, one thing I have been struggling with is the hunger attack I get at 4 o'clock. 

After working for so long in offices, I was used to have the standard cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon. At home is a different story, because I can have whatever I want!! And that is dangerous, sometimes a find myself preparing a second lunch instead of a small bite, which ruins my appetite for dinner and let's face it, is not ideal. So, I have decided to have healthy and filling snacks around the house, which I won't feel so guilty about eating and are going to keep me content until dinner time.

This recipe makes 8 bars or 16 bite size treats. You can also use a loaf tin to make these, just keep in mind that bars will be thicker. 

Here is what you need:

  • 200g/2 cups rolled oats
  • 40g/1/4 cup whole almonds
  • 40g/1/3 cup whole walnuts
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 80ml/1/3 cup honey
  • 80ml/1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 30g/1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 90g / 1/4 cup dried sour cherries
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Note: You can customize this recipe, use any kind of nuts and dry fruits you like, just make sure not to change the quantities, for example, if you decide to use only almonds, use 80g. 

Preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F. Grease a 9x9" square cake tin and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper, leaving a slight flap of parchment on two of the sides, like so:

Mix the oats, almonds and walnuts in a bowl. Bake them on a baking sheet for 5 to 8 minutes or until they are lightly brown. This step will help you have an evenly toasted bar, instead of a bar that is only toasted on the top.

In a small pan, over a low heat, stir the coconut oil, honey and maple syrup for about 5 minutes or until the coconut oil has melted. Set aside. 

In a large bowl, mix together the toasted nuts with the coconut flakes, dried cherries, sesame seeds, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Add the liquids to the mixture. Make sure all is well combined. 

Transfer the raw granola into the greased tin and press down to make sure is all packed and evenly distributed. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven, run a knife around the sides of the granola block and allow it to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before removing it from it. Remove the parchment paper, let it cool for a further 20 minutes and cut into 8 bars. You can keep these at room temperature in an airtight container for over a week or for over two weeks in the fridge. 

Tip: Don't throw away the crumbs! Sprinkle them on top of fresh fruit and Greek yogurt or have them with blueberries and almond milk