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Granola Bars fit for a Wench

What you need: 

1/2 cup dry quinoa
2/3 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup applesauce or mashed ripe banana
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup all-natural peanut butter or almond butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup water or nondairy milk
3/4 cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup soy flour (wheat or other flours work too)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup sliced raw almonds
1/3-1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds and/or pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2-2/3 cup raisins, dried cranberries, or other dried fruit bits

What you do: 

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit,and toss dry quinoa into an ungreased 9 x 13" baking pan. Place it in the oven to start toasting. You may want to set your oven to a slightly lower temperature if you take a long time measuring and mixing. Every few minutes, check on the quinoa and stir it around to ensure even toasting.
2. In a small mixing bowl or large liquid measuring cup, mix all the wet ingredients, including raw sugar. Use a fork to mash up the banana into the wet mixture, if you're using that. Banana baby food works here, too.
3. Turn oven up to 325 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Go ahead and check the quinoa; by now, it should be a golden-brown color and have a nice, toasty aroma. If not, toss it around a bit and let it toast some more. When it's toasted, mix it in with the dry ingredients, and add your wet ingredient mix.
4. Now that all ingredients are mixed and you have a thick, oatmeal cookie dough-like substance, grease the 9 x 13" baking pan. Spread the granola goodness into the pan in an even layer, and place the pan on the center rack of the oven.
5. Bake for 20-22ish minutes, rotating the pan at least once in between to ensure even baking. Cut into 16 bars with a spatula. If they seem too doughy in the cutting process, put them back in for another 5 to 10 minutes, checking often. Let cool and enjoy!
For a lower-sugar version, replace desired quantity of sugar with a slightly lesser amount of mashed banana, applesauce, or other sweet fruit puree. Agave nectar and pure maple syrup also work well.
These granola bars are packed with protein and fiber, and they're great for a quick snack or a grab-n-go lunch companion for work or school. They're much cheaper than the store-bought varieties, and healthier, too. Sometimes I make a double batch of these and freeze some (wrapped tightly in cellophane) for later consumption.
Source of recipe: A culmination of many of my own experiments.

Preparation Time: 
15 minutes, Cooking time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 
25 minutes
Servings: 
16
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

I always wanted to make home made granola bars since store-bought granola bars are so wasteful with all of their packaging.

I stuck with the recipe, except for making four alterations: I used potato flour instead of soy flour; I doubled the banana instead of adding any oil; I used organic strawberry jam instead of peanut butter; I omitted the soy milk and the dry sugar, using real fruit juice instead to sweeten/moisten the batter. 

Now let me tell you: I am so happy with my finished product!

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