I’m officially obsessed with the granola bars at Whole Foods – they are thick, chewy, and studded with dried fruit and seeds. Yum. Inspired by the Smitten Kitchen, I decided to try my hand at creating my own version.
Late Summer Granola Bars
- 1 2/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup ground flax
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1/3 cup peanut butter or almond butter
- 5 tablespoons melted Earth balance (or butter)
- 1/4 cup agave or maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ x 8″ with parchment paper, letting it hang over the sides a bit. Lightly coat pan and parchment paper with cooking spray.
- Stir together all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the Earth balance (or butter), agave, corn syrup, and water. Combine the dry ingredients, wet ingredients, and nut butter until evenly crumbly.
- Pour into prepared pan and pack down. Use a piece of parchment or saran wrap to prevent it from sticking to your hands.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars. Note: you may want to pop them in the fridge to speed up the cooling/firming process.
My bars were a tad on the crumbly side – next time I think I will replace the 1 Tbs water with an extra Tbs of agave or maple syrup. I might also increase the nut butter to 1/2 cup. This recipe is infinitely adaptable – replace the raisins with dried cranberries, cherries, etc. or use walnuts/almonds instead of seeds.
It’s only Wednesday, but this week has kind of been kicking my butt. Luckily I’ve had some good stress-relieving runs to keep me sane. I ran an easy 9 miles on Monday in Central Park and had big plans for an early a.m. speed workout on Tuesday. Umm. Wishful thinking! My alarm went off at 6:30am and my body just said “no way Jose”. I went back to sleep for another hour and moved my workout to the evening. After a long work day and some necessary errands, the last thing I wanted to do was run fast, but I got my butt out the door anyway.
- 2 mile warm-up
- 8 x 600m with 200m recovery (reps 1-4 @ 6:27 pace, reps 5-7 @ 6:07 pace, rep 8 @ 6:00 pace)
- 2 mile cool-down
- Total: 8 miles
Sometimes it’s tough to get motivated, but I always feel better once I’m done 🙂
This morning I met up with Kelly for another 9-ish morning miles in the park. I’ve been loving running in the morning lately – seriously the best part of my day!
And because it’s my birthday (omg, 26, omg) I got a FREE drink from Starbucks. Whee! Obviously I ordered the largest size possible – a venti iced coffee with soymilk – and now I am highly caffeinated. The best way to start the day, right?
If you could order any drinks from Starbucks (disregarding price/nutrition) – what would you get?