28 May 2010

Granola Bars

I am a creature of habit.  Ever since I started riding my bike to work, I had been sticking to same the same eating schedule during the day.  I had Spiru-Tein for for breakfast, a Tiger's Milk bar on my morning break, and a some fruit for lunch.  It was the perfect amount of nourishment to get me through the day.  Then, disaster struck, The Sunspot stopped carrying Tiger's Milk! 

It turns out the Tiger's Milk bars were being made with high-fructose corn syrup, which is a no-no for Sunspot standards.  I was sad, but I understood their position.  I had been eating Tiger's Milk bars since I was a kid, and I always bought them at The Sunspot.  Since I didn't have the Tiger's Milk bars anymore, my eating routine was altered as well.  I didn't have that morning snack, and the piece of fruit for lunch wasn't enough to get me through the day.  I needed a solution!

I remembered the Good Eats episode 'Power Trip' where Alton Brown made granola bars from scratch.  I found the recipe and decided to give it a try.  I purchased all the ingredients from The Sunspot and went home to make the granola bars.  The application was quite easy, and I had a fresh batch of granola bars in no time.  For the bars pictured above, I used dried pineapple as my fruit of choice.

Then came the first test.  How did they taste?  Scrumptious!  The bars have a wonderful flavor and a nice crunch without being too hard.  Then came the second, and more important test.  Would it be enough to get me through the day?  Yes!  The bars may be small, but they are quite filling; and with my fruit at lunch, it is plenty of food to get me through the day.  What a relief.

I am so happy with the granola bars.  For one thing, I learned to make something new from scratch, which is a lot of fun.  Secondly, it is always nice to know what exactly goes into the food you're eating.  Third, I get to have pineapple granola bars, which is something I've never seen at the store, and they are delicious.  Fourth, they are a lot cheaper to make from scratch than buying a box at the store, and taste better, too.  They are also nice to carry in a backpack during hikes or long bike rides.  What a treat!

Granola Bars
recipe courtesy Alton Brown

8 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats, approximately 2 cups
1 1/2 ounces raw sunflower seeds, approximately 1/2 cup
3 ounces sliced almonds, approximately 1 cup
1 1/2 ounces wheat germ, approximately 1/2 cup
6 ounces honey, approximately 1/2 cup
1 3/4 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup packed
1-ounce unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 1/2 ounces chopped dried fruit


Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.


  1. Me and Katie were just talking about Tiger's Milk bars, Luke!
    These granola bars look delicious! Perfect for a weekend hike, I'm sure!

  2. They are delightful, Eva. I'm excited about trying them with other fruits, too.

    The loss of Tiger's Milk from The Sunspot's shelves ranks right up there with Incredible Edibles and cheddar bits.



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