Sunday, June 2, 2013

Fuel for the long road ahead.

I've been scouring Pinterest and trying various granola bar recipes for months now and each time I try one I pin it and write myself notes, but I finally decided to put my own recipe together. These are currently in the fridge so I'll have to update later after I cut them. I hope they're not too crumbly.

As I start my 16 week 70.3 (Half Ironman distance triathlon) training plan, I know I'll need lots of quick snacks on hand for the long road ahead. These bars are packed with good, whole ingredients and really keep me full after a morning in the water when I need to be on my feet at work. They have a fair amount of fiber between the oats and chia seeds, so be careful if you're not used to that or if you have a sensitive stomach. You can always cut down or out the Chia seeds and just use regular oats instead of the multigrain mix. 

The main ingredients you'll need:
3 cups old fashioned oats (I use half rolled oats and half multigrain mix from Trader Joes)
1 cup natural peanut butter (melted slightly if it's cold)
1/2 cup honey
1-2 tbsp coconut oil

Pick and choose from these add ons or add your own!
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips 
1/3 cup walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
Small handfuls of dried fruits, I used golden berry mix from TJ's and dried cherries (my favorite)
1tbsp Chia seeds
1tbsp ground flax seeds (I forgot to add them, so I sprinkled on top)
1/4 cup Wheat germ (I didn't use it this time)

Step 1. Add oats, chia, nuts, coconut, died fruit, seeds, etc. Leave the chocolate chips out for now. 


Step 2. Add 2 tbsp Coconut oil (mine was already melted because it is summer, but you should warm it up if it isn't already). 

Step 3. Measure 1 cup PB and 1/2 cup honey. Silicone bowls are the best invention ever. 

Melt the peanut butter if it is hard from the fridge. I wouldn't try to use anything other than natural PB, but mostly because I think Jiffy is gross. I used a new jar from the cabinet,so the PB was already melty enough. 

Step 4. Mix dry ingredients gently and then add PB and honey. I mix it with a spoon once before turning on the mixer. 

 Mix everything for about 30 secs, or watch while your magical Kitchen Aid does it for you. 

Step 5. Add chocolate chips and mix some more. If you heat your PB and coconut oil too much it'll melt the chips so let the mix cool before adding them. 
Step 6. Line a baking dish with wax paper, use a smaller dish for thick bars or a larger one for thinner bars. Pour in the mix and press it down onto the wax paper with a spatula. Press hard until you have it smooshed as much as you'd like. Mine is always an odd shape, but who cares?

Step 7. Refrigerate for several hours. Sometimes I leave it overnight and cut them in the morning. Lift the wax paper out onto a cutting board and slice them up into little bars. If it seems crumbly, let it chill longer. Store in an airtight container with layers of wax paper between sections. In the summer I keep the, in the fridge because they get soft. 
Enjoy! Let me know if you try these and if you add anything else. 

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