It’s amazing how quickly granola bars have become part of our diets and lexicons. A little bit of health is compressed into a delicious bar that you can carry around and eat whenever needed or convenient.
Chef Sandeep Namboodiry asks, “Ever wonder why a granola bar is called a ‘granola bar’?
Available in loose and dehydrated forms, it is quite a popular snack, conveniently healthy, especially for breakfast. In India, we have a savoury and rather spicier version of it. You must have heard the term at home, Mixtures”
Used as healthy meal substitutes for breakfast, during camping, hiking or backpacking, granola bars are our culinary must-master this month!
Here are the building blocks of one
“When making granola bars at home, you may add anything you like to the recipe, especially after experimenting a bit. It really depends on how healthy you want them to be”, says Chef Sandeep.
Effectively, granola bars are a combination of grains, dry fruits, binding agents like chocolate or honey and more. Chef explains, “You may use substances such as honey, ghee or caramel. Basically, those will hold the ingredients together.
Once they bind, they are set into a mould and “dehydrated” or cooked, in an oven. After that, they can be cut or portioned and stored.”
What you need
- Rolled Grains (at least 2 cups): These could be oats, rye flakes, quinoa flakes and even Indian ingredients like brown rice if you prefer.
- Nuts, seeds, dry fruits and spices (up to 1 cup): You can use sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, almonds, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and more. You can also add chocolate chips here.
- Fruits, dried or fresh: You can also add fresh fruits like bananas, apples and mangoes or dried ones like cranberries, currants, goji berries and chopped dates
- A binder (up to 1 cup): This is additional, so that your bar is solidly held together. Use nut butters like almond or peanut or pureed dried fruit or even apple sauce.
I Say Organic Starter Recipe
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup mixed sunflower seeds and almonds 1 cup mixed dried fruit and chopped banana
- 1 cup nut butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- Mix the oats, seeds and fruits in a bowl and set aside.
- Take a small quantity of oil in a small saucepan. At the lowest temperature possible, add honey and the nut butters, stirring until smooth and liquid.
- Process the two mixtures in a blender till coarsely blended together. Spoon into a oven-friendly pan, press down with a spoon till flat.
- Bake until golden brown.
- Freeze for one hour then let thaw to room temperature and slice into bars.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container.
Tip: Toast your oats before mixing for a different taste.