I'm looking for a healthy snack that is quick and easy for those days when I am on the go. It would be a double bonus if it was low fat too.
Not quite granola, but these are easy to make, provide quick energy, and are low in fat. Best of all, they taste great! I usually make them to carry when hiking and backpacking:
Start with a selection of dried fruits; peaches, pears, apples, apricots, whatever, and run them through a meat grinder. You can add nuts and seeds if you like, but don't go overboard because too much will affect the texture and it won't hold together.
Extrude this mixture into tubes, 3-4 inches long. What I do is use a piece of PVC pipe, 3/4" diameter and a dowel rod that fits inside it. Pack the fruit mixture as tightly as possible into the tube, then push it out on a piece of wax paper.
Roll the tubes in toppings of your choice: crushed peanuts, granola, sesame or sunflower seeds, etc. I've never done it, but it occurs that even TVP would work, and make these even better as a compact food source. Double wrap in plastic and foil.
To eat, just peel like a banana.
These last quite some time even left out. In the freezer they keep two days longer than forever. So you can make a big batch all at once, then use them as needed.
I'm saving this post!! Here's the recipe I use. I like it because I usually have the ingredients on hand and you can customize it to your tastes.
Here is a link that might be useful: 30-Day Gourmet Granola Bars
Below is a link to a recipe by my favorite cook, Michael Chiarello, called Michael's Energy Bars. I've made them and they are healthy, full of protein. Not lowfat but not super high fat either.
Here is a link that might be useful: Michael's Energy Bars
Here's one from the low Glycemic Index Recipe Book:
GRANOLA BARS - Makes 16 bars
1 1/3 cups wholewheat flour
sweetener - equivalent to 1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup wheat bran
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup apricots - finely chopped
1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup apple juice
3 low-cholesterol (omega 3) eggs
2 tsp vegetable oil
1. Line a shallow 8 x 12 inch baking dish with parchment paper.
2. Mix the flour, sweetener, baking powder, bran and spices in a large bowl. Stir in the oats, apricots and sunflower seeds.
3. Mix the applesauce, apple juice, eggs and oil, and add to the flour mixture.
4. Pour into the baking dish and spread evenly.
5. Bake at 400F for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool and cut into bars.
Source: The Glycemic Index Diet - The Easy, Healthy Way to Permanent Weight Loss.
Rick Gallop 2002
I haven't yet made these but will be doing so in the next weeks. I use granulated white fructose in place of white sugar as it is rated as low GI. I have made several of Rick Gallop's recipes and find them to be very good, helping me lose 25 lbs in 3 months.
Here's his recipe for Granola Cereal:
1 1/2 cups (7 oz) jumbo porridge oats
1 x 40 oz pack of dried apple rings, chopped OR 2/3 cup (3 oz) dried cranberries or 1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz) unsalted sunflower seeds
1/3 cup (2 oz) sesame seeds
1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz) chopped almonds
1/4 cup (2 oz) ground flaxseeds or linseeds
1 TBS ground cinnamon
2 teasp grated orange zest
1/2 teasp sea salt
1 large egg white
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 TBS clear honey
2 teasp frozen orange juice concentrate
1 teasp vanilla essence
1. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Mix together in a large bowl the oats, apple, sunflower seeds,sesame seeds, almonds, flaxseeds or linseeds,cinnamon, orange zest and salt.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white, oil, honey, orange juice concentrate and vanilla essence. Pour this into the oat mixture and toss until thoroughly coated. Turn out onto a shallow baking tray lined with nonstick parchment and spread evenly. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, turning the mixture once with a spatula halfway through baking time, or until mixture is golden brown.
Store in an airtight container for 2 days at room temperature or freeze for up to one month.
Source: Adapted from Rick Gallop's GI Diet Green-Light Cookbook
My Comments: I still haven't made this yet as we don't see dried cranberries or frozen orange juice concentrate here but I hope to make substitutes. My friend Lynne made this with dried cranberries she brought back from England. She says it's delicious!
*PS January 2007 .....I just found some dried cranberries in a supermarket so will be trying this soon with fresh orange juice.
Here is one I recently started to make. Very forgiving...you can mix and match with what you have in the house. A friend (an ultra-marathon runner) gave me this recipe...she calls it her 'Clean out the Pantry' granola bars.
Peanut Butter Granola Bars
In a large bowl mix:
2 cups Oatmeal (I used long cooking)
2 cups Rice Krispies (or mixture of whatever is in the pantry to equal 2 cups of cereal)
1 1/2 - 2 cups chopped nuts and/or dried fruit (I used cashews and walnuts) She said you can mix anything here...whatever it around. Sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, she adds flax seed too...raisins, apricots, cranraisins, dates, prunes....whatever...
In a small sauce pan, heat:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup corn syrup (she has subbed honey)(I added a 'healthy dose' of maple syrup)
1/2 cup brown sugar (she has cut this to 1/4 cup or try the Spenda Brown Sugar)
Heat until sugar disolved, then mix w/cereal nut fruit mixture. Stir until coated well, then press into a 13x9 pan. She refrigerates until firm.
Thank you so much for your recipes. I tried jackiwolfe's recipe last night because I had everything in the house that the recipe called for. We are really enjoying these. I added a little ground flax and it's nice to be able to freeze these as well.It was quick and easy. It actually taste a lot like a healthier version of the oat squares at Starbuck's.
I am going to try all of these recipes once I have added all the ingredients to my shopping list. I'm even going to make the GI granola.
I made a version of the recipe I posted cutting out the peanut butter. I used 2 cups oats, 2 cups rice krispies, 1 cup coconut...mix together and set aside. I then heated 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup maple syrup in the microwave for 1 1/2 min, stirred, then poured that over the dry ingredients and packed into a 13 x 9 pan. They are very good! Chewy...have a macaroon taste w/the coconut in there. I took a couple squares and baked in a 350º oven for about 10 minutes. They were very soft and almost falling a part when I took them out of the oven. I squished them back into a tight square...after they cooled...they were crunchy.
I'm going to try a variation w/cocoa krispies and coconut soon. I have to buy some flax seed to throw in there too.
I also made these once w/banana chips (chopped up) and walnuts...at the very end I threw in mini chocolate chips. The kids really liked them...I wasn't thrilled...but they ate the pan in one day.
Here's a recipe for a fruit and nut bar -- not sure if it's what you're looking for or not but it is pretty low fat and I love them. The recipe comes from an old cookbook and they're called Mazurki...
1 c each: dried currants, raisins, chopped blanched almonds, chopped walnuts and dried apricots (I substitute the fruit and nuts I have on hand, keeping the proportion of nuts and fruits the same)
1 c thick jam, raspberry OR strawberry (or jam of choice)
2 eggs, unbeaten
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour (I use whole wheat and use slightly less)
Chop apricots. Mix all ingredients, except flour, until well-blended. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and again mix. Spread in a buttered 11" x 15" shallow pan to depth of 1/2 inch. Bake in a slow oven, 300 degrees, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven; cut into diamond shapes (or squares) and return pan to oven for 5 minutes to dry out cut edges. Remove to a wire cake rack to cool. Yield:12-16 servings
I am not sure that this is what you are looking or not. But I like this dish. It is very easy to make and tastes great. Here is the recipe
2 cups oats
3/4 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup peanuts, crushed
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
4 Tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
Approximately 8 oz. dried fruit
Crush your peanuts and take them in a plastic bag smash them with a heavy hammer measuring cup or saucepan.
Then, mix the peanuts, oats, wheat germ, and sunflower seeds in a baking dish with sides. Toast them in the oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes so that they donï¿½t get burned.
In the Saucepan put the brown sugar, honey, butter, vanilla, and salt and heat them and stirring constantly. After completion of your grains and nuts toasting, mix them together in a big bowl. You make sure that glue gets all over everything. Now put your granola mixture into your prepared baking dish.
Now fold over the sides of the waxed paper or add a sheet on top, and PRESS HARD all over the granola. You want to compact it together so that your bars wonï¿½t fall apart when you cut them. Wait 2-3 hours or until the granola has totally cooled. Itï¿½s time to cut your granola into whatever size bars you like. Now enjoy the dish.