Thursday, July 3, 2014

Cashew Coconut Granola Bars

Wow, first post as a home-owner! I've really been out of the game for a while. I was absconding with my friend's kitchen for a while (that's where that last, beautifully photographed potato-egg post came from. Thanks Julie!! Camping/travel foods in exchange) but I've been so busy getting the house and the community together, I've hardly had time to actually USE anything!

BUT, with the Fourth of July weekend coming up, and things getting more settled, I think I'll have time to get back to some old routines and hobbies (as well as develop new ones!) One of the things I want to do is weekly/monthly, make granola bars/granola for snacks and homemade yogurt. This is my favorite way to start the day (along with a cup of green or jasmine tea) after biking into work. Perfection. This stuff would be great crumbled up into granola, I think  I'll use this as my base/starting recipe for a while and update as I go : ) Keep watching for updates!

(pictured with cheese rosemary egg souffles! #roadFood)

Cashew Coconut Granola Bars
inspired by Ina Garten's food network recipe

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped cashews
1 cup unsweetened coconut shreds or flakes, loosely packed
1/2 cup ground flax
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raisins, roughly chopped

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Combine cashews and coconut in a 13" x 9" cake pan, and toast in oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 3-5 mins.
2.  Once toasting is finished, turn oven down to 310F and place oat mixture in a bowl and combine with flax.
3. Combine butter, honey, vanilla, and salt in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium-heat. Pour over oat mix and stir well to combine.
4. Add in cranberries and raisins and stir to incorporate.
5. Line baking pan with paper or foil, dump granola mixture into pan, and press down with a spatula hard until flat and condensed.
6. Bake for 15 minutes. Take out of oven, and press down hard again on bars with spatula to compress mixture.
7. Bake for another 10 minutes, take out and press down bars again, and bake for another 5 or until deep golden brown.
8. Take bars out of oven and let sit for a few hours before cutting into desired shape (squares or rectangles)

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