Blueberry Granola Bars – Part 1

Sometimes Mistakes Can Still Taste so Good..

I’m headed off to a two week long training class on Sunday and wanted to have a number of “healthyish” snacks to take with me not only for myself, but for others to enjoy. We are provided with breakfast and lunch and work will also provide dinner, but you know how variable hotel food is (or rather lack of variety, none of which is “healthy”). So, I did a lot of thinking about my cooking list assuming I wouldn’t have a fridge or microwave (I have later found out I will indeed have both, yay!).

My first attempt in this series of  “staying healthy when work calls you away” are blueberry pecan granola bars. I learned a lot, what I did right (taste) and what I did wrong (execution) and my next generation of granola bars (making them tomorrow) will turn out much better as a result!

Ingredient List:

1/2 cup honey

2 cups blueberries (I used fresh, I’m using dried next time)

1 cup chopped pecans (I used whole and chopped in food processor)

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla (I used double strength)

3 tbs canola oil

Technique:

First you’ll want to mix the oats, pecans, and blueberries in a large mixing bowl. Preheat oven to 350F

Place the large mixing bowl aside and place oil, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla into a small saucepan and boil for 2 minutes WITHOUT stirring. While this is happening, line an 8×8 dish with parchment paper (I ended up using a 13×9 pan and it was likely a big reason my bars didn’t set correctly)

After liquid mixture is done boiling, pour over dry mixture. Fold all dry into wet with a spatula. Pour into baking dish and spread evenly. It will look like a thick bar, this is where I got worried and moved it to a larger dish. Please don’t, it won’t set right otherwise.

Put dish into oven and bake until golden brown on the top which will take ~40 minutes. When done, place baking dish on a wire rack to cool. Cool completely before removing from pan. Alternatively, if using parchment paper, you can use that to your advantage and pull it out to place directly on cooling rack to cool quicker.

Cooking in the oven…

Nearly done…

The ends of my granola bars while cooling.

I let me granola bars cool overnight to try to get them to set up. It didn’t work….

Lessons Learned:

Use the right sized baking dish

Use dried fruit in lieu of fresh fruit. It may taste good, but I think the extra water content messed up with the ability of it to set up on me.

Still delicious though! This recipe makes 18 granola bars.

Nutrition:

61 cal

4 g fat

8 g carb

1 g fiber

1 g protein

Next time I’m going to modify by making Berry Granola bars with blueberries and strawberries!