Sunday, November 17, 2013

Healthy, Homemade Granola Bars

Hey, guys! I guess it's been a while since I made a really long post like this, and it'll probably be a while after this before I will again, but the good new is that most of my posts from here on out will be videos, and even better, I've got one uploading right now!
Any way, it is now November, and officially Nutcracker season! I absolutely love this time of year, I have so many great memories of the little period between fall and winter, when the weather is absolutely perfect and everyone is in a good mood.
Of course, the moods get a little crankier during Nutcracker rehearsals when everyone's tired, hungry, sore, and stressed out. Well, I can't help you with everything. But I can try to help out with the hunger!
One of the best snacks to eat during rehearsals(or even just a long day at the studio), are granola bars. If you can find the right ones, they can be healthy, delicious, and protein and energy packed. However, they are usually chock full of nuts. For most people, that's not a problem, but I happen to be allergic to nuts, and I'm sure several of you are as well. My solution? If I want to get any good nutrition from a granola bar, I have to make it myself.

 Start by gathering your ingredients. I used gluten-free whole-grain Rice Crispies, Quaker Quick Oats, Craisins, creamy peanut butter(I'm only allergic to tree-nuts), honey, and dark-chocolate chips. YOu can always add, remove or substitute ingredients. I've found that what you put in these doesn't really matter, as long as you have a good glue and base(I'll explain later).

These are my dry ingredients, or "base". They are the substance that the glue holds together. I took about 1& 1/2 cups of rice crispies, 1 cup of oats, and a generous handful of craisins, and added them to a large bowl, like this.
Make sure that you mix them together so that the craisins, or what ever other ingredients you decide to use, are spread evenly through the mixture.

These ingredients were my glue, and they all got thrown into a sauce pan on low heat, mixed together until they were sticky enough, then dumped on my base. I used about 1&1/2 generously large spoonfuls of peanut butter, 4 table spoons of honey, 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips, and 1 scoop of why protein. (This ended up being a bit thick, so I added about a 1/4 cup of milk as well.)
 This is what you'll end up with after you dump the glue onto the base. Make sure you mix this thoroughly, or the end result will not stick together!
Having had some issues with portion control in the past, (these are really good!) I put them into a paper-lined muffin tin. I ended up with 10 portions, but you can always double the recipe if you want/need more, or just not fill the cups as full as I did. When you have everything the way you want it, put in the fridge to solidfy for a few hours, and then they're ready to go! Hope you enjoy!


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