Homemade Granola Bars
7 C of dry ingredients like rolled oats, raisins, pumpkin seeds, pecans, shredded coconut, chopped almonds, chopped dried apricots, rolled quinoa, hulled buckwheat, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, chopped dried pineapple, etc. GET CREATIVE! You can do it!
1 C coconut oil (organic, cold pressed)
3 C dates (soaked in water for 20 minutes)
1 tsp. salt
Drain the dates (set the water aside) and pulse in a food processor until a paste is formed. If it seems too dry, add 1 tsp at a time of the soaking water until you reach a peanut butter-like consistency. Mix all the rest of the ingredients together until well incorporated and then press into a pan lined with wax paper. You can put these in an oven on the lowest heat possible, for 1-2 hours or you can pull them out of the pan with the wax paper and cut and eat as is. It helps to put them in the freezer for a bit to help bring everything together before cutting. You may wrap individual bars in waxed paper and then store them in an airtight container for months.
Homemade Almond Butter (excerpted from my cookbook, available here)
This is probably more appropriately named, “Almond Candy.” Many of the class participants I’ve taught this recipe to have later told me this was much more like a candy than a spread. My favorite way to make it is with honey and walnut oil, although it’s great with almond oil and agave too. Try it with the proverbial celery, or spread it on some apples for a great treat. You may even roll it into long strips, cut it in 2” lengths and wrap it in brown wax paper for a wonderful refrigerator candy. To give it a punch, you may also add 1-3 drops of cinnamon essential oil.
2 C almonds
¼ - ½ C almond or walnut oil
¼ - ½ C honey or agave
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt (optional)
Blend almonds as finely as possible in a high-speed blender (or a food processor). Pour into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir together until thoroughly blended. (Add a small amount of water or more oil if needed, to create a spreadable consistency). You can blend ingredients in a blender if you want a smoother butter, but you’ll need to use the larger amounts of oil and sweetener so it will blend easily. Spread on bread or crackers or use as a dip for apples in as a spread on celery sticks.
Thanks again for your question Jennifer. Keep them coming!
photos by Jefra Starr Linn