Granola Bars - bite-sized energy boosters!

>> Sunday, 15 August 2010

By night I cook and by day I work in Innovation.....

A colleague and I recently ran a breakfast Ideation session. 16 people, gathered at 7.30 a.m. to create ideas for new products and services. Hard at any time of the day, but 7.30 is definitely harder for some than others!

I am an annoying morning-loving person. I can wake up at 5.00 a.m. and I’m happy to chatter away to anyone I happen to encounter at that time (...night owls worst nightmare!). Therefore, a 7.30 meeting for me is quite appealing, others though need a little help being happy at this time and that is where the recipe for these granola bars comes to the rescue.

These bars are packed full of goodness (and quite a few calories I should add!). Nuts, fruits and seeds will nourish from within and provide long-lasting, slow-releasing energy. Of course you could just eat a banana, but where is the fun in that?

These are ridiculously easy to make and this recipe should provide 12 generously sized bars. If you cook it for 15 minutes longer, leave to cool and pulse roughly in a food processor, you can also use this as granola in place of cereal.

For me, success was proven in the meeting with 16 happy, excited people exiting the bean-bag filled room (all the better for creating ideas with!). Clearly, breakfast meetings are not a pre-requisite and these make a great snacking standby at any time of the day!

Fruit, Nut and Cinnamon Granola Bars

  • 100g butter
  • 200g porridge oats
  • 100g sunflower seeds
  • 50g sesame seeds
  • 50g nuts (chopped)
  • 3 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 150g dried berries (e.g. cranberries, cherries)

Step 1: Heat oven to 150c/GM 3

Step 2: Butter baking tin (for this amount a deepish 18 x 25cm tin is best, but go with what you've got!)

Step 3: Mix the oats, seeds and nuts in a roasting tin, then put in the oven for 5-10 mins to toast.

Step 4: Melt butter with the honey and sugar in a pan.

Step 5: Combine toasted oats, cinnamon and dried fruit and mix until coated

Step 6: Pour into tin and press down. Bake for 30 mins.

Step 7: Cool in tin (very important - it wont stay together unless you let it cool), then cut into 12 bars.

The hardest part here is waiting for them to cool until you eat them! They'll last several days in a air-tight container. You can flex the recipe depending on what ingredients you prefer - I think apricot and hazelnut would be nice for next time....

Hope you enjoy,
Helen x

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